Gartner Research

How to Plan, Design, Operate and Evolve a SOC

Published: 06 September 2018

ID: G00366326

Analyst(s): Anna Belak , Anton Chuvakin, Augusto Barros


Technical professionals working on security operations may decide to centralize all or part of these activities into a SOC to increase the maturity of their security practices. This guidance presents a structured approach to plan, establish and efficiently operate a modern SOC.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

  • Boundaries of a Modern SOC

The Gartner Approach

  • Scope

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • Validating Motivation and Drivers
    • SOC Prerequisites
    • Leveraging External Help
    • Mix and Match to Win
    • The SOC Business Case
  • Plan
    • Defining Your SOC Functions and Scope of Responsibility
    • Organizational Structure of Your SOC
    • Defining the SOC Hybrid Model
    • Organizational Links of a SOC
  • Implement the SOC
    • Implement the SOC Process Framework
    • Deploy or Integrate the SOC Tools
    • Assemble the SOC Team
    • The SOC Implementation Project
  • Operate the SOC
    • Running a 24/7 Operation
    • Workforce Management
    • Working With an MSSP
    • Measuring the SOC Performance
  • Improve the SOC
    • Evolve and Expand the SOC
    • Start Proactive Threat Hunting
    • Shift Away From the Alerts-Only Model
    • Implement Automation and Orchestration Tools
    • Introduce Deception Techniques
    • Evolve to Producing Your Own Threat Intelligence
    • Expand the Utilization of Advanced Analytics Tools
    • Keep Testing Your SOC
    • Improving SOC Maturity

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Related Guidance

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.