By Angela Nolan
At the core of any organization’s security plan is where all the individual security elements come together. Some call this the security operations center (SOC), some call this a command center, but all of these have one thing in common: they serve as the nucleus of a security plan that brings multiple sensors, decision-making functions, and visual representations together into a single pane of glass view for operators and management. The most daunting task for a lot of these security leaders is actually bringing it all together.
There are a number of considerations that need to be made when a leadership team sets out to create a command center —or a SOC— in an effort to deliver the crucial details so that operators can make critical decisions in the event of an incident. Combined, these create a holistic approach to an updated command center:
Design and Development:
Typically, when a customer comes to the table with a vision of a new command center, it’s presented in a variety of ways – either the current setup they have isn’t working, they might not have a central command center at all, they have outdated equipment, or they need some renovation to update the space.
In any case, starting with a vision that the customer has, collaborating with a consultant partner or other collaborators, and laying out the best possible plan of attack is the first step in creating a command center that’s both effective and streamlined.
Control room conditions must allow operators to always feel happy, healthy, and productive in their environment since so much of their work is done while staying alert and cognizant of incoming alerts. One of the most significant elements contributing to control room comfort is a console.
A console is not just a piece of furniture; it’s the link between an operator and the technology he or she uses daily, therefore making it exceptionally important that operators utilize ergonomically correct consoles to ensure comprehensive physical satisfaction.
The lighting within the room is also critical, bringing elements of a person’s natural circadian rhythm into consideration to ensure operator fatigue is minimized.
When it comes to building a mission-critical SOC, there’s a reason why large-scale overview video walls that showcase a number of data points are dominant.
Uniform and integrated visual elements are imperative to the success of an SOC or control room, as operators and first responders require the most up-to-date and complete information regarding incoming security-related events. Ensuring that the technology of a video wall, coupled with the incoming sensors and data points, is easy to see and understand should be central to SOC functionality.
SOCs are a point at which alerts and emerging incidents are analyzed to determine a plan of action. Today’s security threats require a predictive and preventative stance and emerging technologies such as analytics and machine learning allow security operators to stay ahead of the game.
Artificial intelligence (AI) enables the ability to learn behaviors, making the detection and communication of anomalies easier and responsiveness more comprehensive. Tools that automate situational awareness and integrate platforms can provide operators with more timely and accurate information upon which they can base their decisions.
Bringing all of these elements together is the job of an integrator who can take the pieces of the puzzle and ensure cohesion in an SOC. As technology advances, and more of the work of the security team takes place both inside and outside of the SOC, it’s important to consider the comfort, design, and advancing analytical features as part of the comprehensive plan for an organization.
About The Author
Angela Nolan serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Vistacom, where she has worked for 33 years managing the company’s operations and marketing functions.