Add It Up: What does building an in-house Security Operations Center really cost you?

Add It Up: What does building an in-house Security Operations Center really cost you?

June 30, 2023

Colleges and universities continue to grapple with the daunting task of fortifying their digital defenses. As the risks posed by threat actors continue to increase, the need for a robust Security Operations Center (SOC) has become undeniable. No matter the size of your campus and student body, the threat level of malicious threat actors and risk for attack remains constant.  This poses the question … should I build our own Security Operations Center on campus, or should I seek outside expertise for SOC support?

Creating an in-house Security Operations Center for your institution is no small undertaking. It comes with a hefty price tag that can send shockwaves through your institution’s budget.

We have outlined a few of the costly considerations your institution should be aware of when creating and maintaining your own Security Operations Center.

Infrastructure: If you haven’t already, you will need to invest in hardware, networking equipment, servers, storage systems, and other necessary infrastructure components. Depending on the scale and complexity of the center you’re running, costs could be significant.

Software and Tools: Acquiring the proper security software, monitoring tools, threat intelligence feeds, incident management systems and other essential security applications will drive your overall costs up. Once the software and tools are in place, you’ll then need to maintain costs for user licensing fees and ongoing monthly and annual subscriptions to keep these services in good standing.

Staffing: Not only do you need a team of security professionals to operate and manage your Security Operations Center effectively, but you will also need to make sure they are trained and stay up to date on the latest trends, insights, and industry threats. This team is typically made up of security analysts, incident responders, threat intelligence experts, and SOC managers. There is a good possibility your institution is presently looking to hire more security and IT professionals to support existing staff without considering an in-house Security Operations Center. When you think about the talent gap and the volume of vacancies higher education IT is currently facing, colleges and universities will struggle to hire full-time staff to maintain an in-house SOC. The ultimate hiring cost will lie in the number of staff members and their experience level – and if you skimp on either of these for your Security Operations Center, you risk paying a higher price to recoup potential damage from security oversight.

Training and Certifications: On the heels of ensuring you have the qualified manpower to run your Security Operations Center, you must then provide ongoing training and certifications for everyone in your SOC team to keep skills and knowledge up to date. Additional costs include training courses, workshops, industry conferences, and of course the price tag associated with the actual certifications themselves.

On-Site Security Measures: From access control systems, surveillance cameras, alarms and other physical security measures, technology is needed for an effective on-campus Security Operations Center. And depending on existing infrastructure capabilities and even needed security upgrades, your team must budget for these additional costs to ensure optimal security is maintained.

Integration and Automation: Setting up security tools, integrating security information and event management (SIEM) systems, and implementing automation and orchestration solutions will improve the efficiency of your Security Operations Center. These costs will vary based on the complexity of integration and automation requirements.

When you add up the numbers, you are bound to reconsider your approach to safeguarding your institution’s digital assets. Depending on the size and unique needs of your institution, it could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars up into the millions to establish a Security Operations Center of your own. And in the current economic landscape with budget cuts and leaner teams, the cost of long-term maintenance can seem unattainable, especially for small to medium-sized institutions.

OculusIT can help minimize the financial burden associated with setting up and maintaining your own Security Operations Center. We take pride in our commitment to providing cost-effective and reliable solutions tailored to your institution’s unique security needs. Through OculusIT EYE, our SOC-as-a-Service offering, you can redirect internal resources toward priority initiatives while maintaining a robust security posture.

Through OculusIT EYE, higher education institutions can be confident in their security posture with our top-of-the-line Security Operations Center that won’t break the budget. With 24x7x365 staffed monitoring, an advanced SIEM, security analytics, intrusion detection, real-time vulnerability checks, regulatory compliance, and more, it has never been easier to protect your institution from malicious threat actors.

If you’re ready to take your institution’s security to the next level with the Security Operations Center that was designed exclusively for higher education, let’s chat. Contact us today and learn more about how OculusIT EYE can support your institution.