Is It Time for Sec-Ops?
February 23, 2012

Aruna Ravichandran
CA Technologies

If an attacker were bogging down your apps, how would you know? You wouldn't, unless you bridge the gap between ops and security.

Inspired by the teamwork that began with the Agile movement, IT organizations are tearing down walls in the service delivery process. DevOps is shortening release cycles by uniting development and delivery. But another wall stands in the way of an agile enterprise: the one between operations and security.

Most ops teams have no way of knowing when they’re dealing with an attack or a slow server. With the security and ops teams working separately, issues can take longer to identify, and longer to fix, compromising both operational performance and the security of the enterprise.

It’s time to demolish the divide between the Network Operations Center (NOC) and the Security Operations Center (SOC).

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Prioritize

Start with what matters most:

- Which apps or services are the most critical to your organization?

- Which ones can’t afford to have a security problem remain undiagnosed for even a few minutes?

Step 2: Collaborate with the security team

Because you’ll be shifting some responsibility from one team to another, it’s important to ensure that everyone understands why.

- Facilitate communication between the NOC and SOC teams about what they will gain by bringing security events into the NOC.

- Ensure the NOC team understands the importance of giving the SOC team visibility into certain aspects of NOC monitoring tools.

- Discuss the various tools you’ll need to accomplish this coordination and the processes you will need to create or modify.

Step 3: Identify the right monitoring tools

It’s important to look for a tool that won’t add new complexity to the NOC or its processes. The ideal tool would consolidate and correlate all events—security and operational—under a single pane of glass.

It also should:

- Provide real-time monitoring information.

- Allow for customization, so that both the SOC and NOC teams can see the information they need to see.

- Integrate security system events with the NOC's overall event management system.

- Connect security-related events with the business services they affect so you can prioritize problems when they arise.

- Identify a problem’s cause with little or no manual work.

This article is adapted from a longer article that appeared in the Discover Performance newsletter.

Aruna Ravichandran is VP, Product & Solutions Marketing, DevOps, CA Technologies
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