Finding the Perfect SOC Model for Your Business

Joshua Molina


Cytek Security provides state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, delivered by the world’s top cyber experts. This includes advisory and implementation services, managed security services, and capability building.

The Security Operations Center (SOC) is the central hub for managing an organization’s security posture. It is responsible for monitoring and analyzing the security of the organization’s IT infrastructure. The SOC team plays a crucial role in identifying, evaluating, and responding to cybersecurity incidents.  

A Security Operations Center mitigates security threats, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and managing security needs and risk management. A SOC provides efficient incident response capabilities and safeguards sensitive data.  

A successful SOC is characterized by dedicated security teams with extensive industry expertise and use cases. It must diligently track security metrics and conduct thorough threat hunting to ensure comprehensive protection. Secure communications play a crucial role in coordinating processes within the SOC.  

Diving into different SOC models

Now, let’s delve into the different Security Operations Center models that organizations can consider. These models may include building an in-house SOC and working with a managed SOC to cater to your needs. Each model comes with its own set of advantages and challenges.  

It’s crucial to evaluate the business’s specific needs and the IT or SOC team’s capacity. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) should be involved and own the process of assessing SOC metrics and aligning them with the overall security strategy. 

The concept of virtual SOCs

A Virtual Security Operations Center (SOC) is a concept where security operations are conducted remotely or virtually, often through cloud-based or outsourced services.  

In a virtual SOC setup, the SOC functions are performed by a team of security analysts who may not be physically located within the organization’s premises. Instead, they could be working from a centralized location or even remotely from different geographic locations. The main idea is to replace the need for a physical SOC. 

The role of managed SOCs

Managed security operations centers are pivotal in collaborating with internal teams for security efforts, offering dedicated security operations capabilities. A managed SOC replaces the organizational SOC. There may also be hybrid models where the managed SOC takes control during overnight hours.   

Managed SOCs assist organizations in meeting regulatory requirements, making them an essential part of a robust security infrastructure. By working closely with the SOC team, third-party providers and the IT team, co-managed SOCs ensure that the organization’s security is in line with industry standards and best practices. 

Factors to consider when choosing a SOC model

When selecting a SOC model, it’s crucial to assess its scalability and flexibility of the model to adapt to evolving security needs. Evaluating the capabilities of in-house SOC versus leveraging third-party services can help in making an informed decision. Analyzing SOC metrics and the alignment of the model with the organization’s overall information security strategy is paramount to ensure comprehensive protection and risk management. 

Aligning with internal security efforts

Implementing a Security Operations Center model requires seamless integration with internal teams and effort. This involves coordinating processes with internal resources and operations center teams, as well as aligning with internal business units and security teams.  

Support for internal security service providers is essential for the overall effectiveness of the SOC. Aligning with internal security efforts is not only beneficial but also critical for the success of any SOC model, providing a strong foundation for information security and collaboration across various teams within the organization. 

Evaluating your security budget

Evaluating the security budget is essential for effective resource allocation, cost-effectiveness, risk management, ROI assessment, scalability, compliance, and overall cybersecurity preparedness. Organizations must carefully consider their budgetary constraints when planning and implementing SOC and internal cybersecurity solutions to achieve optimal security outcomes within their means.   

In-house vs. outsourced SOC

Decide whether to establish an in-house SOC, outsource to a managed security services provider (MSSP), or pursue a hybrid model. In-house SOCs provide direct control but can be resource-intensive, while outsourcing can be cost-effective but may require relinquishing some control. Evaluate the pros and cons based on the organization’s capabilities and requirements. Here are some examples. 

  • Expertise and resources: Establishing an in-house SOC requires hiring and training cybersecurity professionals, as well as investing in the necessary technology and infrastructure. Outsourcing to a specialized provider gives access to a team of experienced security experts and advanced tools without the need for extensive internal resources. 
  • Cost: Building and maintaining an in-house SOC can be costly due to staffing, technology, and infrastructure expenses. Outsourcing can offer a more predictable cost structure with subscription-based or pay-per-use pricing models.  
  • Scalability: An outsourced SOC can often provide greater scalability, allowing organizations to adjust resources based on their evolving needs. In-house SOCs may face challenges scaling up or down, especially during peak demand or budget constraints. 
  • Focus on core business: Outsourcing SOC services allows organizations to focus on their core business activities while leaving cybersecurity to specialists. In-house SOCs require ongoing management and oversight, diverting attention from other strategic priorities. 
  • Control and customization: In-house SOC provides greater control and customization over security processes, policies, and procedures. Organizations may prefer this approach for highly sensitive or regulated environments where strict control is necessary. 
  • Response time and availability: Outsourced SOCs often provide 24/7 monitoring and support, ensuring rapid response to security incidents. In-house teams may face challenges providing round-the-clock coverage, especially during weekends, holidays, or staff shortages. 
  • Regulatory compliance: Some industries have specific regulatory requirements regarding data security and incident response. In-house SOCs offer more direct control over compliance efforts, while outsourcing requires careful selection of providers with expertise in relevant regulations. 


Consider the scalability of the chosen SOC model. As the organization grows, the SOC should be able to handle increased workloads and adapt to emerging threats. Scalability ensures that the security infrastructure can grow in tandem with the business. 

Technology infrastructure

Assess the existing technology infrastructure, including security tools and platforms. The SOC model chosen should seamlessly integrate with current systems to avoid compatibility issues and enhance overall efficiency. Evaluate whether the selected model supports automation and orchestration capabilities. 

Compliance requirements

Different industries and regions have specific compliance standards and regulations. Ensure the SOC model meets these requirements to avoid legal complications and financial penalties. Compliance considerations may include GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, or industry-specific regulations. 

Response time and incident handling

Analyze the SOC model’s expected response time and incident handling capabilities. A SOC’s effectiveness is often measured by its ability to promptly detect and respond to threats. Look for a model that combines advanced threat intelligence with efficient incident response workflows. 

Threat intelligence integration

The SOC model should be able to integrate threat intelligence feeds. Real-time information about emerging threats enhances the SOC’s ability to defend against evolving cyber risks proactively. 

Making the decision: choosing the right SOC for your organization

When selecting the appropriate Security Operations Center model, it’s crucial to consider various factors to align with your organization’s specific needs. Evaluating the scalability and customization of the SOC to integrate seamlessly with your existing IT team. Here are some things to consider when choosing a managed SOC service:  

  • Expertise and experience: Look for a managed SOC provider with a team of experienced cybersecurity professionals who possess the necessary skills and certifications to monitor, detect, and respond to security threats effectively. 
  • Technology and tools: Evaluate the technology stack and tools used by the managed SOC provider. Ensure they have advanced security analytics, threat intelligence capabilities, and incident response tools to provide comprehensive protection against cyber threats. 
  • Service level agreements (SLAs): Review the SLAs offered by the managed SOC provider, including response times, resolution times for security incidents, and uptime guarantees. SLAs should align with your organization’s needs and expectations. 
  • Scalability and flexibility: Choose a managed SOC service that can scale up or down to accommodate your organization’s evolving needs. Ensure they can handle increases in data volume, new technologies, and changes in threat landscapes effectively. 
  • Compliance and regulations: If your organization operates in a regulated industry, ensure that the managed SOC provider has experience and expertise in compliance requirements relevant to your industry, such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc. 
  • Threat intelligence: Assess the managed SOC’s capabilities in threat intelligence gathering and analysis. Look for providers who can proactively identify emerging threats and vulnerabilities relevant to your organization’s industry and environment. 
  • Integration with existing systems: Consider how well the managed SOC service integrates with your organization’s existing security infrastructure, processes, and tools. Seamless integration can streamline operations and improve overall security effectiveness. 
  • 24/7 monitoring and support: Ensure that the managed SOC provides 24/7 monitoring and support to detect and respond to security incidents promptly, regardless of the time or day. 
  • Transparency and reporting: Look for a managed SOC service that provides transparent reporting and regular updates on security incidents, vulnerabilities, and performance metrics. Clear communication is crucial for maintaining trust and accountability. 
  • Cost and pricing structure: Evaluate the cost of the managed SOC service, including setup fees, recurring charges, and any additional costs for customizations or upgrades. Choose a provider that offers transparent pricing and aligns with your budgetary constraints. 
  • References and reputation: Research the reputation and track record of the managed SOC provider. Look for customer reviews, case studies, and references from other organizations to gauge their reliability, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. 
  • Jurisdictional compliance: Ensure that the managed SOC provider complies with the data residency requirements of the jurisdictions where your organization operates or where your data subjects reside. This may include regulations like GDPR in the European Union or the CCPA in California. 

Reflecting on organizational needs and goals

Reflecting on the organizational needs and goals involves identifying crucial threat-hunting use cases that are essential for enhancing information security. It also necessitates mapping internal resources, dedicated SOC teams, and third-party service providers to address specific security needs. Furthermore, coordinating processes, ensuring robust cloud connectivity, and maintaining server room security are indispensable considerations for any SOC team.  

Reflecting on the overall threat landscape and response capabilities is critical for a proactive and effective security operation. Small businesses should carefully assess their geographic location, network operations, and the true virtual SOC capabilities to optimize their SOC metrics. 

Consulting with industry experts

When consulting industry experts, it is crucial to consider years of industry expertise, true virtual SOC, and hybrid approach expertise as critical components. Reflecting on physical space, data storage, and secure communications is also essential. Having command SOC, virtual SOC, and managed SOC expertise is crucial. 

Are you ready to implement a cost-effective SOC model?

Is your business ready to implement the ideal Security Operations Center model? This requires dedicated SOC capabilities, coordination of central management teams, network security, and protection of sensitive data. Regulatory requirements, physical space security, and threat intelligence are also crucial. Expertise in incident response, threat detection, and network operations is necessary. Plus, the model must align with business hours and effectively coordinate processes. 

Preparing your business for enhanced cybersecurity

Preparing your business for enhanced cybersecurity involves understanding various SOC models, such as in-house, co-managed, and outsourced options. Assess your business’s specific cybersecurity needs to determine the most suitable SOC model. It’s important to consider the costs and resources required for each option while looking for a SOC provider with expertise and a track record of success in your industry.  

Prioritize ongoing communication and collaboration with your SOC provider to continually improve your cybersecurity defenses, ensuring a robust information security infrastructure. 


Selecting the right SOC model for your business is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your cybersecurity efforts. It is important to understand the different types of SOC models available. Consider factors like alignment with internal security efforts, evaluating your security budget, addressing compliance requirements, and adapting to changing business needs when choosing a SOC model.  

Assess the pros and cons of each model to make an informed decision. Consider managed SOC options to find the best fit for your organization. Reflect on your organizational needs and goals, consult with industry experts, and ensure your business is prepared for enhanced cybersecurity. 

Speak with a Cytek Security consultant today to learn more about how setting up a Managed Security Operations Center.  


Cytek Security provides state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, delivered by the world’s top cyber experts. This includes advisory and implementation services, managed security services, and capability building.

Abstract pattern of red dotted lines on a green background forming a swirling fingerprint design, representing digital identity or cybersecurity concepts
Abstract pattern of red dotted lines on a green background forming a swirling fingerprint design, representing digital identity or cybersecurity concepts