SecOps roles and responsibilities: What function stops the attacks

SecOps means security and IT. it’s a team skilled in monitoring and assessing risks. You guessed it helps protect the company’s assets and operates from a SOC (Security Operations Center).

It’s an open book that cyber-attacks are rampant and to deal with the challenge, the team came into being. More so during the peak pandemic time because folks were and are still working from home. So managing remote teams can be tough.

SecOps are specialists like Navy SEALs. They hunt and kill their targets aka cyber threats. Elimination is the name of the game. You might be looking to get in on the team or are just curious about what they do, then this is for you.

What happens when the two teams join forces

In other words, what are the roles in SecOps? Well, you get the elite operators in the field of cybersecurity to:

  • Merge and consolidate priorities.
  • Ensure communication and information are properly circulated.
  • Leverage tools and techniques for creating better protection mechanisms
  • To stay proactive 
  • To streamline overall operations especially related to IT.

How it’s done?

For SecOps security isn’t an afterthought in today’s landscape. They help build it into the IT and application development environments from the onset. And with time upping the ante.

Secondly, they provide insights into threats that a layperson wouldn’t pay much attention to. That leads to informed decision-making. Furthermore, technology and tools are at your disposal but hardly we care. They make sure a strategy is in place to leverage those tools. 

With endpoint protection laid out, SecOps keeps the organization on alert for any possible intrusion which shouldn’t be taken lightly. When you know the enemy it becomes easy to combat them.

Lastly, by streamlining, the SecOps team delivers patches swiftly and in less time, and with greater reliability. Resulting compliance failures are minimized and your organization’s security portfolio is strengthened.

SecOps calls for optimal IT hygiene 

The optimal IT hygiene is achieved when you integrate SecOps with your SOC. Now, what’s a SOC? It’s a group of cybersecurity professionals already working for your organization to identify and mitigate any threats and defend against security breaches.

When SecOps is introduced into the mix, SOC performs effectively. In the past, SOC was considered a separate entity from the main company operations. They would sit in another building studying threat models, reviewing stats, monitoring incoming attacks, and the usual.

That isolation is gone. The SOC and SecOps work together to promote collaboration between operations and security teams. How you can too achieve the objective?

  • Let different teams in your organization assume responsibility and keep an eye out for issues. This could include not clicking on links in the email. Always check for links by hovering over them to see where they lead, etc.
  • Those employees who are willing and have identified or spotted security issues, let them sit together with the members of the SOC team. You need all able-bodied and self-motivated individuals you can get to defend against modern cyber threats.
  • You can have your DevOps team serve as SOC if you want.
  • Be ready to train and enable people to understand the importance of cybersecurity. If anyone has ideas from any department, table them, and let’s hear what SOC and the other team can do to improve processes.

What makes SecOps stay ahead of the curve and detect security threats better than SOC

For starters, they’re skilled professionals with one job or if you break them down, it comes down to the following:

  • Network monitoring
  • Incident response
  • Forensics and root cause analysis
  • Threat intelligence

You might ask “which main function of SecOps stops the attack?” It’s not one but all of them combined that gets the job done. Let me explain.

Network monitoring:

SecOps monitor the organization’s network and stay on the lookout for any unusual happenings. This gives the edge to safeguard IT infrastructure and protect private, public, and cloud environments in which the company operates. 

It’s done by constantly studying security events, operational status, and performance of deployed applications.

Incident response:

Regardless of how much security you put in place, something always gets past. When that happens SecOps spring to action and lays out an incident response plan. It’s done by reviewing software tools, network monitoring, etc. to pinpoint where the breach may have originated.

Firefighting in those becomes the only recourse and it’s them who can contain the damage and limit the attacker’s reach.

Forensic and root cause analysis:

The root cause, as you may guess, is what led to that breach. Special security tools are used to conduct an analysis and assessment of the incident. Corrective measures are suggested and implemented to prevent future attacks.

Threat intelligence:

Issues pop up and are resolved but the damage, sometimes, can be irreparable. That’s why threat intelligence required who or what kind of attacks the company can anticipate. It could be a disgruntled employee, a competitor who can’t beat you fair and square, or an ill-equipped intern who didn’t know better and let the malware in.

So understanding and knowledge of the possible threats are key. Of course, you can’t foresee all likely dangers but to whatever extent you can, SecOps will have it under control.

So, SecOps is not just a fad or buzzword. It’s the future of IT operations and security. And it’s high time you include it in your organization if you haven’t already. The benefits are too great to pass up. Cybersecurity should be given utmost importance in these times when remote working is the new normal. Do whatever it takes to protect your business and employees.

Additional reading: Do not be like your grandparents with data.

But if you’re still doubtful, here are some numbers that may help change your mind.

As per Gartner, by 2022 (we’re still in it at the time of writing), 30% of enterprises will use DevSecOps tools and practices to deliver applications and services (up from 5% in 2018). The global DevOps market is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2023 from $2.9 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 19.21%. (Source: MarketsandMarkets)

A bit of origin

While of course, we can revel in the benefits SecOps offers. But isn’t it worthy to learn why the surge or the need arose?

DevOps is at the helm of it. It’s because of the success of DevOps which provided major advantages and successes to businesses, that a need for SecOps was deemed fit. The main aim of DevOps was to shorten the software development life cycle and increase efficiency but it left out security.

With the number of cyber-attacks increasing each day, the need for a robust security system was dire. And that’s where SecOps comes in, it securitizes the IT operations process.

Best practices to let SecOps thrive

You can break the best practices into the following points:

  • Providing necessary training to individuals
  • Safeguarding against potential pitfalls
  • Do not compromise on SecOps tools

Now briefly let’s look into each of the above.

Providing necessary training to individuals:

The first and foremost thing you need for SecOps is the right team. You can’t just put together a bunch of people and think they’ll get the job done. They need to be specifically trained for it which requires time, effort, and money.

Safeguarding against potential pitfalls:

Like every process, there are certain risks involved in SecOps as well. One of the main dangers is that companies might get too comfortable with the securitization of their IT operations and stop paying attention to other important aspects. Other dangers include over-automation, security breaches, etc. So while implementing SecOps be aware of these potential risks.

Do not compromise on SecOps tools:

One of the most important things in SecOps is the tools. Without the right tools, you can’t hope to securitize your IT operations effectively. So don’t try to save a few bucks by compromising on quality. It’ll only cost you more in the long run.

Tools for SaltStack SecOps:

  • SaltStack Enterprise
  • Red Hat Ansible Tower
  • Chef Automate 2.0
  • Puppet Enterprise 2018.1
  • Microsoft Azure DevOps Server 2019
  • AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate 2
  • GCP Cloud Functions

Cloud SecOps:

  • Cloudflare Access
  • Okta SAML Provider

Cisco SecOps:

  • Cisco Firepower NGFW
  • Cisco AMP for Endpoints
  • Cisco ISE
  • Cisco Stealthwatch Cloud
  • Umbrella
  • Meraki MR Access Points

What are ServiceNow SecOps integrations?

secops roles and responsibilities
Image credits: ServiceNow

ServiceNow secures and accelerates the software development life cycle with integrations to leading DevOps tools. ServiceNow integrates with popular DevOps tools such as Puppet, Chef, and Ansible to help you automate manual tasks, enforce compliance policies, and quickly deploy applications and services.

Since the purpose of SecOps is to secure and accelerate the software development life cycle. ServiceNow integrations with leading DevOps tools help you automate manual tasks, enforce compliance policies, and quickly deploy applications and services.

If you’re looking into SecOps, a ServiceNow SecOps certification lets you validate your skills and show that you’re an expert in the field.

In conclusion, SecOps is an important process for the security of IT operations in any business. The benefits it provides are too great to ignore, so if you haven’t already, now is the time to implement SecOps in your organization. However, remember not to make these mistakes while doing so:

  • Not providing necessary training to individuals
  • Not safeguarding against potential pitfalls
  • Compromising on SecOps tools

The future

The future looks promising for SecOps. It has potential and is still new. The benefits are so good that more and more businesses are starting to use SecOps. If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to join in!

But there will always be some problems with every new system or tool.

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