MSP, Networking

NOCs Pave Way for SOCs (Security Operations Centers)

The NOC (network operations center) market remains deeply important to MSPs. But don't end your journey there. The next wave -- involving the Security Operations Center (SOC) moniker -- is building quickly.

First, a little background. For MSPs and their end-customers, NOCs continue to play key roles -- often ensuring quality of service (QoS) to customers and their end-users. Many MSPs build and run their NOCs in-house. But thousands of IT service providers also outsource their NOC services to companies like Continuum, GMS Live Expert, Inbay and Live Virtual Help Desk, among others.

And of course: Many outsourced NOC companies include security in their services portfolios. But in a world filled with cyberattacks, compliance regulations, ransomware and information leakage, the opportunity to monetize branded SOC services is growing each day.

Rise of Outsourced Security Operations Centers (SOCs)

SOCs certainly aren't new. They're just going mainstream amid the intensifying threat landscape. First movers included Northland Controls, which built SOC centers for some big name companies (Apple, eBay, etc.) before starting to offer managed SOC services on its own in 2014. Another key player, TrustedMetrics, was specifically launched to provide outsourced SOC services to government customers.

Big IT consulting firms also are embracing this new reality. Capgemini, for one, already evangelizes an outsourced Security Operations Center to its customers. And midmarket NOC veteran NetEnrich now specifically promotes SOC services.

Bottom line: The NOC market is alive and well -- and growing. But here comes the SOC market -- where the chess board is taking shape now, and multiple moves are coming soon...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.