Cyber-attacks and breaches of application security are commonplace in today’s electronically driven economy. To combat this threat, OEMs and organizations are employing experts in the field of network and application security. However, no security solution can guarantee 100% security. An organization that detects an intrusion and resolves it as soon as possible is in a much better position to recover from an intrusion. Security operation centers (SOC) are centralized functions within organizations that combine people, procedures, and technology to continuously monitor, analyze, prevent, detect, and respond to cybersecurity breaches.
This might seem like some sort of elaborate business function that requires dedicated specialized personnel sitting in front of their computer monitors combing through logs and meeting regularly to discuss security contingency plans. The truth is far less complicated though. Fortunately, through the evolution of the security industry, third-party SOC vendors have entered the market to offer solutions such as automated Corporate as well as Vehicle Security Operations Center solutions.
Why SOCs are important
Attacks on personal and commercial data are common, and it’s vital to respond promptly and efficiently when they happen. The concept of computer security incident response has gained a lot of traction. One of the advantages of having an incident response capability is that it allows you to respond to occurrences Systematically (i.e., using a consistent issue handling approach) and take the relevant measures. Incident response assists staff in minimizing data loss or theft, as well as service disruption caused by incidents. Another advantage of incident response is the ability to use information gleaned from previous incidents to better plan for future incidents and secure systems and data.
Core Elements of Effective SOCs
For a SOC in the automotive industry to be effective, a clear, OEM-specific, response plan needs be developed. This response plan should be a systematic, focused, and coordinated approach to reacting to incidents, which includes an incident response plan that lays out the steps for putting the capability in place. OEMs need a plan that fulfills their specific demands, which are determined by the mission, size, structure, and roles of their organization. The plan should specify the resources and management assistance that are required to secure both infrastructure and IoT devices, such as vehicles.
Secondly, since SOC policies will be entirely industry-specific and there are only a few key elements that need to be included as a baseline. Policies always need to be accompanied by a management commitment statement as it empowers the policy as a directive. The purpose of the policy should always be clearly stated along with the scope of the policy. This eliminates any confusion when the time comes to enforce such a policy. Roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined in the SOC policy. The incident response team’s authority to disconnect equipment and monitor suspicious activity, the requirements for reporting certain types of incidents, the requirements, and guidelines for external communications and information sharing including the handoff and escalation points. These items should all be included in the organizational structure along with the definition of roles, responsibilities, and levels of authority in the event of a cybersecurity breach.
The third foundational building block of an effective SOC is the standard operating procedures (SOP) performed during and after a cybersecurity breach. These SOPs are a list of the incident response team’s specialized technical processes, techniques, checklists, and forms. To guarantee that the OEMs’ priorities are represented in response operations, SOPs should be appropriately broad and precise. Furthermore, adhering to standardized responses should reduce errors, especially those induced by stressful incident handling scenarios. SOPs should be validated for accuracy and utility before being issued to all team members. Users of SOPs should be given training, and the SOP documents can be utilized as a teaching tool.
Simply put, a SOC is a group of professionals who proactively monitor a company’s ability to operate safely. Entrusting this task to third-party specialists will greatly improve an OEMs capability to detect and react to cyber intrusions and breaches. The fact of the matter is that the time which passes between a breach and its resolution is more valuable than most organizations care to admit. Having a well-oiled machine to deal with this kind of crisis is priceless.