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1 in 4 Security Operations Organizations Are Ineffective

Kerry_Matre ‎01-27-2014 09:36 PM - edited ‎06-09-2015 11:35 AM

First-of-its-kind report reveals common mistakes made by security organizations and how to avoid them


HP today released the State of Security Operations report which summarizes results gathered from 5 years of security operations maturity assessments.  The first-of-its-kind report includes findings from over 90 assessments performed on almost 70 security operations organizations world-wide. The data reveals that, while some organizations have advanced capabilities, most are falling short of the recommended maturity levels. This results in reduced security monitoring effectiveness and increased risk for enterprises.


HP has found that 24% of assessed security operations organizations do not meet minimum requirements to provide consistent security monitoring. Only 30% of assessed organizations are meeting business goals and compliance requirements.  Additionally, the report states that there is an over-reliance on technology and that process is the weakest element of security operations.


Download the full report:


So why are security operations failing?  Here are the top 5 mistakes, and how to avoid them:


#1 – Lack of organizational support.  SOCs do not operate in a vacuum.  They must interact with every part of the organization which they are protecting and all of the employees in those parts of the business.  Without an executive sponsor and support of the SOC’s mission from the entire organization a SOC will be ineffective at protecting the business.


#2 – Over-reliance on technology. Organizations often spend most of their security budget on technology, resulting in improperly staffed/skilled operations teams.  Staffing the proper skills is required to achieve the goals of the organization. Human analytical capability is required to detect and respond to modern threats.


#3 – Basics are overlooked. The basics of IT security are extremely important and commonly overlooked – Asset management, user ID administration, information classification and vulnerability management. Centralization and correlation of this data feeds in a SIEM is essential for basic capabilities of a security organization.


#4 – Assigning administrative tasks to a SOC.  Overall results of a SOC are degraded when they are assigned administrative tasks.  The mission of a SOC should be clearly defined and not diluted by non-core activities. SOC core activities should include security event triage, analysis and event escalation.


#5 – Focus on compliance.  Compliance does not equal security.  Compliance is a side effect of a highly capable threat detection function; effective detection does not result from compliance alone.


The comprehensive State of Security Operations report includes:

  • Key findings
  • Industry specific results
  • Customer examples
  • Breakdown of the Security Operations Maturity Methodology (SOMM) developed by HP for assessing security operations


Download the full report:


HP recommends organizations have a 3rd party security operations assessment performed once a year to benchmark current capabilities, ensure risk reduction is achieved by the organization and to show ROI on security investments.  Click here to learn more .

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About the Author


Richard Steven Hack
on ‎01-28-2014 10:07 AM

I suspect the figure should be 100%.  :-)  Depends on one's definition of "effective", doesn't it?

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