For most law firms, cybersecurity has become a top priority in recent years, and rightfully so. You need to be maintaining every aspect of your infrastructure and IT environment to be operating at peak levels to avoid cyberattacks and other unwanted disruptions.
If you’ve looked into technology maintenance and security at all, you’ve probably come across plenty of references to NOC and SOC. These terms can be confusing as different people, in different situations, may use them in different ways to mean different things.
However, both NOC and SOC are critical to maintaining stability and security at your firm. Here’s why.
NOC Service Benefits
The NOC is your network operations center – it doesn’t replace your network infrastructure; it watches over your network to ensure its health and stability. You can think of this as your firm’s first line of defense against network failures, crashes and disruptions. The NOC ensures that your firm’s network infrastructure is healthy and stable, allowing you to properly serve your end users and the firm’s clients in a consistent and reliable manner.
When it comes to system stability and business interruption, you don’t want to simply be reactionary. The NOC’s job is to catch developing problems before they become an emergency, not after they’ve already created a problem. If the NOC engineers can’t easily address an infrastructure issue, there should be a protocol in place by which the NOC notifies level 3 engineers of those issues.
Furthermore, the NOC ensures that all servers, networking components and malware filters are routinely patched and running the most current versions so you have the greatest possible defense against ever-evolving attacks. It also can oversee several critical IT management functions, including:
- Managing virtual hosts, cloud infrastructure and WAN/LAN infrastructure.
- Managing vendors, facilities and warranties.
- Managing user information in the active directory.
Through all these activities, the NOC team allows the firm to engage in informed planning when it comes to ensuring overall capacity, performance and compatibility.
The NOC should also work hand in hand with your help desk. You want there to be consistent and productive support and communication between the NOC, the help desk and your higher-level engineering functions so that you have optimal security on all fronts. Along with the help desk and the SOC (more on that next), the NOC provides one of three critical services that any firm needs for a secure and reliable IT infrastructure.
SOC Service Benefits
The SOC is your security operations center. At its core, the SOC is your center for ensuring a secure and safe operating environment for your firm. It is usually not a function within the NOC, but a separate entity specifically for this purpose.
It should come as no surprise that cybersecurity has become one of the most necessary components of any modern law firm’s IT reality. The SOC plays a central role in monitoring for potential threats and orchestrating your firm’s responses to these threats and intrusions.
Even when you have extensive security measures in place, security breaches may still occur because attackers are evolving their methods faster than most firms can keep up. A professional and focused SOC is best suited for detecting potential intrusions and other threats and is therefore essential in reducing the time, impact and cost of potential security breaches. It can also provide threat intelligence, incident reporting, weakness testing and assistance in remediation, which is critical for shoring up your security response going forward.
Both a NOC and a SOC are critical to your firm’s network reliability and overall firm cybersecurity. Having both ensures that your firm maintains consistent network performance in the face of unexpected and unwanted interruptions, while also having protocols in place to defend against cyberattacks and resolve threats when they arise. Failing to have both a NOC and a SOC in place can create serious gaps in security and continuity, increasing your risk of a breach or critical loss of sensitive information.
Additionally, NOC and SOC services, along with your help desk, require a 24/7/365 presence. As such, these functions are frequently the most appropriate and the easiest to assign to an external vendor. If you have questions about your firm’s current security position and what you could be doing to enhance it, contact Keno Kozie today.