NOC vs. SOC: Everything You Need to Know

Network Operations Center (NOC) and Security Operations Center (SOC) services – companies and organizations need both to protect themselves against potential cybersecurity threats while keeping IT infrastructure fully operational.

The SOC and NOC help identify, analyze, prioritize, and resolve issues that may affect the availability and integrity of the information that organizations have. However, their roles are subtly but fundamentally different.

In this article, you’ll learn about the SOC and NOC, and how they complement each other’s functions.

What is NOC?

The NOC’s main job is to establish and maintain the health of an organization’s IT infrastructure, including servers, databases, websites, and virtual machines, and keep the networks up and running at peak efficiency. When there’s an application outage, for example, the NOC’s responsible for troubleshooting the problem to restore normal operations.

The NOC achieves this by keeping track of incidents that affect availability and performance. These incidents may arise as an organization manages, monitors, and controls the networks within their infrastructure to meet service-level agreements (SLAs).

Typically, organizations usually have a dedicated room set up to allow them to monitor and manage problems that may compromise the integrity of their IT infrastructure and lead to company downtime. Unplanned downtime can lead to loss of business but also hurt the reputation of the company.

An NOC is only as good as the personnel that run it. Staff trained in network, application, and systems engineering are required to run a successful NOC.

What is SOC?

Like people, many businesses constantly face the threat of cyber-attacks, such as ransomware, phishing, and spyware. Concerns over data loss and operational interference by criminal elements are legitimate and must be addressed before it’s too late.

Whereas the NOC focuses on performance and availability issues, the SOC concerns itself with incidents and alerts that may lead to loss of information assets and sensitive customer data. It achieves this by monitoring and managing the security health of an organization’s IT infrastructure, including firewalls, access controls, anti-virus, identity management, anti-virus, and more.

Besides monitoring security incidents and responding to them, SOC staff are also responsible for developing and enforcing security policies. These policies help to keep tabs on current and emerging security threats. It’s important to note that each organization is different, so there’s no such thing as the best SOC for all organizations. SOC must be tailored to suit the specific security issues that every organization faces.

NOC vs. SOC: Which is Superior?

Whereas the functions of the NOC and SOC are different, each plays an equally important part in protecting an organization against the possibility of cyber-attacks while keeping IT infrastructure sound and available for use.

Depending on your organization’s security needs, you can either merge these functions or execute them separately. Before choosing one approach over the other, make sure you review the pros and cons of each to determine the best choice for your situation. If you’re unsure about the best way to handle your NOC-SOC functions, talking to an expert in the field can help.

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