What Are Some SOC Analyst Roles and Responsibilities?
In general, the role of the SOC analyst is to plan, monitor, and implement security measures to protect an organization’s computer systems, networks, and data. To do this, SOC analysts must stay up-to-date on the most current intelligence, including hackers’ practices and tactics, to anticipate and prevent security threats and breaches.
In addition to the above, as an SOC analyst, you will likely be required to:
- Provide threat analysis and security logs for security devices
- Analyze and respond to hardware and software weaknesses and vulnerabilities
- Investigate, document, and report security problems and emerging security trends
- Coordinate with other analysts and departments regarding system and network security when needed
- Create, implement, and maintain security protocols and controls, including the protection of digital files and data against unauthorized access
- Maintain data and monitor security access
- Perform risk analyses, vulnerability testing, and security assessments
- Perform security audits, internal and external
- Anticipate threats, incidents, and alerts to help prevent the likelihood of them occurring
- Manage network intrusion detection systems
- Analyze all security breaches to determine the root causes
- Make recommendations of countermeasures and install approved tools
- Coordinate security plans with relevant vendors
What Are Some SOC Analyst Job Requirements?
Each organization that is hiring an SOC analyst will have its own degree and work experience requirements for candidates. However, it’s most common for organizations to require that SOC analyst candidates have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another relevant field, as well as at least one year of IT work experience.
Some of the other common requirements for SOC analyst positions are:
- Knowledge of all security policies
- Training or educating network users about security protocols
- Administration of network firewalls
- Troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
- Identification of security areas that can be improved, and the implementation of solutions to those areas
- Dependability and flexibility, being on-call or available outside of regular work hours
Some of the common technical knowledge requirements include:
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
- TCP/IP, computer networking, routing and switching
- C, C++, C#, Java or PHP programming languages
- IDS/IPS, penetration and vulnerability testing
- Firewall and intrusion detection/prevention protocols
- Windows, UNIX and Linux operating systems
- Network protocols and packet analysis tools
- Anti-virus and anti-malware
- Various certifications including Security+, CEH, GIAC, CASP, CISSP
What is a Typical SOC Analyst Job Description?
As a security operations center analyst your primary duty is to ensure that the organization’s digital assets are secure and protected from unauthorized access. That means that you are responsible for protecting both online and on-premise infrastructures, monitoring metrics and data to identify suspicious activity, and identifying and mitigating risks before there is a breach. In the event that a breach does occur, an SOC analyst will be on the front line, working to counter the attack.
Additionally, SOC analysts must generate reporting for managers and IT administrators to evaluate the effectiveness of current security protocols. Then you will be responsible for making any necessary modifications to establish a more secure network. You may be required to create training programs and curriculum to educate the organization’s employees and network users on proper security policies and procedures.
Candidates for the SOC analyst position must have analytical skills, communication skills, and the desire to stay up-to-date on the latest technology. It’s also important that you are prepared to sift through huge amounts of information to identify threats or other security issues, and to be flexible and available at any time – because threats and attacks can happen at any time, day or night.
A Day in the Life of an SOC Analyst
As an SOC analyst, you will likely find that no two days are alike in a security operations center – hackers and other adversaries don’t follow a specific schedule, and how much time you have to spend on an individual incident can depend on many factors. You may be able to circumvent an attack quickly in some cases, while others much more time and attention.
While you will be required to ascertain the weaknesses of hardware, software, and network infrastructure and establish ways to protect it daily, the nature of information security means that each day may bring different situations, tasks, and challenges. When there is a threat or an attack, your team will likely work nonstop to expose the attack, shut down access to your systems, resolve the issue, work to prevent the same type of attack from happening in the future, and document and communicate appropriate information to management or clients.
SOC analysts may have to be willing to work at odd hours, outside of the normal workday, to perform the necessary incident response to protect the digital assets of the organization. You can rest assured that as an SOC analyst, you will not experience boredom or repetition in your daily duties.