NIST 800-172_3.6.1a

NIST 800-172



Establish and maintain a security operations center capability that operates [Assignment: organization-defined time period].

A security operations center (SOC) is the focal point for security operations and computer network defense for an organization. The purpose of the SOC is to defend and monitor an organization’s systems and networks (i.e. cyber infrastructure) on an ongoing basis. The SOC is also responsible for detecting analyzing and responding to cybersecurity incidents in a timely manner. The SOC is staffed with skilled technical and operational personnel (e.g. security analysts incident response personnel systems security engineers); in some instances operates 24 hours per day seven days per week; and implements technical management and operational controls (e.g. monitoring scanning and forensics tools) to monitor fuse correlate analyze and respond to security-relevant event data from multiple sources. Sources of event data include perimeter defenses network devices (e.g. gateways routers and switches) and endpoint agent data feeds. The SOC provides a holistic situational awareness capability to help organizations determine the security posture of the system and organization. An SOC capability can be obtained in many ways. Larger organizations may implement a dedicated SOC while smaller organizations may employ third-party organizations to provide such a capability. [SP 800-61] provides guidance on incident handling. [SP 800-86] and [SP 800-101] provide guidance on integrating forensic techniques into incident response. [SP 800-150] provides guidance on cyber threat information sharing. [SP 800-184] provides guidance on cybersecurity event recovery.


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