PODCAST: Arctic Wolf’s advances how MSSPs can help SMBs, with ‘SOC as a Service”

By Byron V. Acohido

Cyber attacks on small and midsize businesses are on the rise. To compound the problem, SMBs are becoming the favorite target of cyber attackers thanks to their lack of security protection.

The unpreparedness of small businesses makes for scary reading. According to SmallBizTrends:

• 43 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses
• Just 14 percent rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks as highly effective
• 60 percent of SMBs go out of business within six months of a cyber attack

Being able to protect themselves better is crucial for small and midsize organizations. Incidents that are self-detected actually get discovered, on average, 60 percent faster as compared to those found through an external party. The quicker incidents are discovered, the quicker they can be fixed.

But while small businesses face the same challenges as large organizations, they don’t have the budget or knowledge to implement their own security operation centers, or SOC. By providing this as a managed service, MSPs have a huge opportunity to bring real value and protection to their customers.

I had a chance to sit down with Brian NeSmith at Black Hat 2017. Brian is the CEO of Arctic Wolf, a SOC-as-a-Service company that aims to provide the same level of protection achieved by large organizations to smaller businesses. We discussed the importance of SMBs securing SOC-as-a-Service and the future of the industry. You can read the highlights of our chat below.

Small companies can’t protect themselves sufficiently. Small companies face exactly the same challenges as larger organizations. They have the same threat environment and the same people wanting to penetrate and compromise their infrastructure. Unfortunately, they can’t afford the breadth of talent and level of infrastructure required to implement sufficient protection. That’s why being able to leverage a managed service is so important.

SOC-as-Service helps organizations digest the data they already have. This is one of the major challenges facing smaller organizations. They may be able to generate the data, but they struggle to make sense of it. That’s the focus of SOC-as-a-Service. Companies don’t know why their security isn’t working, but by having experts analyze the data for them, we can help them find out why.

SOC-as-a-Service must be managed and customizable. Every company is different, but they all have a set of common things that everyone agrees is not good. That’s why at Arctic Wolf we built a product we can customize for each client. Everything runs on a common infrastructure, but it can be unique to each customer in order to suit their specific needs. But it isn’t enough to be customizable. The service has to be fully managed. That means a consultative aspect is required. At Arctic Wolf, we found that customers didn’t just want us telling them what was wrong; they wanted help evolving their infrastructure. By providing advice on what product to buy or how to structure their network, we become an extension of their in-house IT department.


The future of SOC-as-a-Service. SOC is about understanding when your defenses have failed. If you think you’ll never be breached, then you are living a lie. A breach itself is not the end of the world if you can remediate it. This is what the largest companies have learned and smaller companies must learn in the future. They can’t stop every breach, but what they can do is recognize when something is breached, with the help of SOC-as-Service, and get it remediated quickly and in a way that doesn’t create real damage. Security breaches are a cost of doing business, and the more small- and medium-size businesses realize that, the bigger the uptake in managed security operation center services.

More stories related to network security for SMBs:
Set up a VPN to protect your small or midsize business from a breach
More SMBs let their guard down on cybersecurity
Using WordPress? Security services can significantly ease worries about being hacked

This article originally appeared on ThirdCertainty.com

(Editor’s note: Last Watchdog has supplied consulting services to Arctic Wolf.)

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