Security Operations Centers:
More Accessible than Ever
As technology becomes more sophisticated, more affordable and more compatible, an increasing number of organizations are developing security operations centers, or SOCs, to support their security programs. In fact, Sunstates Security has partnered with companies to manage these command centers both locally and internationally.
Benefits of GSOCs
No longer restricted to spy thrillers and global mega-corporations, SOCs allow small-to-medium enterprises to leverage technology in expanding their security capabilities while reducing headcount.
• Universal protocols. Managing security operations from a SOC makes it easier for large companies to apply security standards across their organizations. Controlling access from a central location, for instance, reduces the need to rely on individuals to follow company protocols. SOCs can help ensure that every facility adheres to the same procedures and benefits from the same level of security expertise.
• Improved asset control. Many companies use these centers to provide additional layers of asset control. Local employees are trusted to do the right thing, and technology provides verification. For example, some companies track high-value shipments with GPS technology. Geo-fencing the route sends an alert if the vehicle travels a specific distance off course, and SOC personnel can contact the driver and offer assistance if needed. Similarly, SOCs can support employees traveling to high-risk countries by providing information on demonstrations or other incidents that could affect their safety.
• Remote monitoring. Technology integration has significantly increased the capabilities of SOC operators. In addition to monitoring an airplane hangar, for instance, to prevent tampering with corporate aircraft, security personnel can interact with individuals on site. In some cases, SOCs have allowed the remote identification of intruders, who ultimately left the facility before causing damage. Other operators have witnessed medical emergencies and directed responders to provide assistance.
• Real-time intelligence. Some sophisticated organizations have built briefing rooms adjacent to the command centers. If a major incident affects a company or one of its operating regions, executive teams move to the briefing room, which duplicates many of the monitors and other equipment in the SOC.
In developing and supporting SOCs for client companies, we’ve seen some common misconceptions. Frequently, organizations tend to overestimate cost savings from a reduction in security personnel, while underestimating the risk of information overload.
- Lower headcount, higher skill level. Beyond the expense of creating the SOC, these sophisticated centers require highly skilled operators with specialized training. Security departments are “doing more with less” in terms of personnel, but these positions command higher pay, better benefits and increased training. At some locations, for instance, operators complete between 80 and 120 hours of one-on-one training before they enter the SOC.
- Less is more. Many organizations want to fill an entire wall with monitors, allowing command-center personnel to view more areas at once. However, operators can only absorb so much information. A more efficient practice is to support primary monitors with secondary monitors. If an incident occurs, the relevant images are transferred to the primary screens.
Thinking of creating a SOC at your organization? Sunstates Security can help you optimize a control center from a security perspective, in addition to arranging tours of active SOCs. Call us at 866-710-2019 or contact us.