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SOC-as-a-Service for State and Local Governments

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent report, “Combating Cyberattacks: How SOCs Protect State & Local Governments.” Download the full report here.

When citizens give their data to state and local governments, they expect it will stay safe and protected from cyberthreats. But the list of cybersecurity challenges faced by state and local agencies continues to grow.

First, agencies have limited budgets and resources available for cybersecurity. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) reported in 2018 that only 1-2% of state enterprise IT budgets were allocated to cybersecurity. This suggests that yearly budget increases aren’t keeping up with increasingly sophisticated threats and new tools and solutions to stop them.

Next, state and local organizations often have trouble convincing their citizens and leaders that cybersecurity is a top priority worthy of major spending.

Finally, these agencies often lack the expertise and manpower to adequately address this issue. Collectively, these concerns put state and local governments at a huge disadvantage in their ability to thwart cybercriminals.

Fortunately, security operations centers (SOCs) can help state and local agencies advance their cybersecurity efforts. A SOC is a centralized unit that deals with security issues on an organizational and technical basis. Inside agencies, SOCs are hubs where IT staff can closely monitor networks for problems using the latest data processing technology.

Despite their usefulness, building and maintaining a SOC is often a non-starter for resource-strapped IT teams. SOCs require a major investment in money, personnel and time, all of which are often in short supply for state and local governments.

Thankfully, SOC-as-a-service can meet agencies’ needs without committing them to an on-premise SOC. SOC-as-a-service combines a subscription-based software solution with external assistance from dedicated security experts. This arrangement fiercely guards agencies’ data while filling in their asset and talent gaps.

GovLoop partnered with Arctic Wolf, a SOC-as-a-service provider, on a report about how SOC-as-a-service can strengthen agencies’ cybersecurity. The report explains how to maximize SOC-as-a-service’s potential. We also list best practices for improving agencies’ compliance with security regulations using SOC-as-a-service. For additional insights, we interviewed Dinah Davis, Vice President of Research and Development (R&D), at Arctic Wolf, and Benny Hsieh, Cupertino, California’s IT Manager, Infrastructure.

To get the full story on SOC-as-a-Service, read our entire report here.

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