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What is a Cyber Fusion Center and how is it different from Security Operations Center (SOC)?

Posted on: August 22, 2018

Keeping pace with today’s complex cybersecurity domain, security teams leverage different tools and technologies to build a dynamic security posture and gain deeper visibility into the threat landscape. While some organizations rely on security operations centers (SOCs), others build cyber fusion centers, taking a strategic approach to integrating teams, technologies, and processes.

What is the Role of a SOC Team?


The present threat landscape is marked by a continually growing number of cybercriminals leveraging new and diverse techniques to exploit both organizations and individuals. Many companies adopt the monitor and response cybersecurity strategy to tackle these threats. The SOCs are primarily responsible for this strategy within an enterprise.

The SOC team’s role is to detect, identify, investigate, and respond to security incidents that could impact an organization’s infrastructure, services, and customers. Such teams detect and contain attacks or intrusions in the shortest time frame possible and reduce the impact, damage, and recovery costs of the incident. This is achieved by using a combination of technologies and streamlined processes for real-time monitoring and analysis of potentially suspicious behavior across networks and systems that could indicate a security incident or compromise. The SOC team generally works closely with an organization’s incident response team to address potential security risks or issues without delay. The remotely located multi-disciplined workforce focuses on incident detection and response and monitors security operations and handles the tactical and operational analysis of potential threats. 
 

How does a Cyber Fusion Center Work?


A cyber fusion center is an advanced version of a SOC model that embodies detection, response, threat hunting, threat intelligence sharing, and data sciences. This entity is built to unify disparate teams within an organization such as SecOps, IT operations, physical security, product development, fraud, and others to boost overall threat intelligence, accelerate incident response,  and reduce organizational costs and risks.
 
Essentially, a cyber fusion center focuses on developing coordination between several different but related teams to increase operational effectiveness, readiness, and response to cyber threats. This is accomplished through the collaborative and streamlined communication of tactical cyber threat intelligence, relevant indicators of compromise (IOC), and analysis of potential threats/risks before they impact.

With teams working together, information and actions can be exchanged and shared among different teams in a multidirectional manner. As a result, an organization can witness better collaboration between teams and quickly identify and address pitfalls in the existing processes.

A cyber fusion model acts as a single source of truth for key decision-makers and stakeholders, enabling them to track all the vital metrics and build a shared goal concerning their security functions. With this model, organizations can leverage security orchestration and automation to support integrations between multiple tools. This aids security teams in eliminating the loopholes in their existing processes and quickly respond to threats. Furthermore, this approach combines and examines all the threat data generated from disparate security tools in one place to deduce high confidence actionable threat intelligence.  

Cyber Fusion Center vs. Security Operations Center


Both SOC and cyber fusion center models are designed to effectively improve an organization’s security incident detection and response capabilities. The monitoring capabilities of a SOC team give organizations the ability to better defend against incidents and intrusions, reduce mean time to response (MTTR), and stay on top of threats that could target their environments.
 
However, the cyber fusion centers offer a more proactive and unified approach to dealing with potential threats by bridging the gap between multiple teams through intelligence synthesis and inter-team collaboration. Moreover, they facilitate the fusion of strategic, tactical, and operational threat intelligence for rapid threat prediction, detection, analysis, and incident response.

While both SOCs and cyber fusion centers provide incident detection and response capabilities, the latter connects disparate teams and renders faster threat detection, analysis, and incident response. Contrary to SOCs, cyber fusion centers bring together multiple teams to work as a single entity with shared goals and real-time information on vulnerabilities, malware, and threat actors. Apart from containing all of the same features of a SOC, the cyber fusion centers are more cost-effective and adept at addressing today’s cybersecurity landscape.

When dealing with evolving cybercriminals and security threats, pervasive visibility enables organizations to identify suspicious patterns, quickly respond to them, and mitigate them more effectively. In a nutshell, cyber fusion centers and SOCs are closely connected entities of the incident response chain vital for an organization to gain greater visibility into its networks,  systems,  and posture against threats.

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