C-suite executives are pushing for digital transformation as they look to improve service delivery, empower employees and exceed consumer expectations: According to ZDNet, joint efforts from CIOs and CEOs now target myriad growth opportunities afforded by digital initiatives. 

The challenge? Increasing complexity. As noted by Business Wire, recent survey data found that 76 percent of CIOs believe “IT complexity could soon make it impossible to manage digital performance efficiently.”

 Cybersecurity forms the front line of this complexity concern; a recent CSO Online piece describes the current state of cybersecurity efforts as “a constant state of flashing red” as organizations attempt to balance speed, security, access and agility across continually-evolving IT environments. Add in the growing cybersecurity skills gap, and even tech-savvy enterprises may struggle to bridge the digital transformation divide.

The solution? It starts with centralization — providing tech experts a single point of contact for IT efforts. One popular iteration is the network operations center (NOC), which offers the potential to reduce total complexity and boost overall IT efficacy. Here's what C-suites members need to know about deploying, managing and reliably evaluating the impact of managed NOC security and operations.

NOC in a Nutshell

Network operations centers provide a way to streamline and simplify network management by consolidating both the processes and personnel necessary to ensure the continued availability of critical services and solutions. Typically, NOCs are tasked with handling software distribution, updates, performance monitoring, network asset discovery and policy enforcement.

Put simply? NOCs evaluate current operations, enhance IT response and empower operational uptime.

Operational Advantage

As noted by Channel e2e, NOCs simplify the analysis and processing of IT support tickets by unifying their destination — implementing automated solutions can help eliminate service requests that are redundant or don't require IT intervention. This advantage increases with managed NOC deployments which provide 24/7 access to expert staff and services without the need for large, up-front capital investments.,

Potential Pitfalls

No IT solution is perfect — no matter what marketers might want C-suites to believe — and NOCs are no exception. Potential drawbacks include:

  • Real-time Reporting — Traditional NOCs can effectively manage network priorities but cannot often document and report incidents in real-time. By pairing common NOC features with integrated security information and event management (SIEM) tools, it's possible to get the best of both worlds.
  • Perceived Knowledge Gaps — When using outsourced NOCs, it's critical for C-suites to find third-party providers with both industry expertise and hands-on experience. Why? Because if in-house IT teams don't trust outsourced solutions to handle network concerns, they'll spend time second-guessing critical decisions, in turn limiting value. Put simply, trust drives ROI.

Evolving Use Cases

Arms-length explanations of NOC benefits and drawbacks offer some value for IT decision-makers, but what's happening in the field that makes these deployments worthwhile?

Right now, two evolving use cases are shaping the future of NOC adoption: Managed NOC deployments and combined NOC/SOC cybersecurity.

  1. Managed NOC Deployments

IT talent is expensive — and hard to find. Even companies with robust IT departments have multiple, competing priorities that often push network operations to the bottom of “must-do” lists. Outsourced, expert NOC management lets enterprises focus on IT innovation by creating a reliable, robust network infrastructure to support day-to-day operations.

    2. Cyber Security NOC/SOC

As noted by Security Boulevard, many companies are now looking to combine the benefits of security operations centers (SOCs) and network operations centers (NOCs), in effect “closing the gap” between these two critical management strategies. By enhancing cross-functional visibility and streamlining IT workflows, these unified operations centers leverage the potential of “secure throughput” to improve both incident response and risk management.

The NOC Value Proposition

For C-suite executives, the managed NOC value proposition delivers in two key areas: Price and performance. By leveraging off-site expertise and resources to handle critical network operations, CIOs, CISOs, and CEOs can help shift IT budgets from up-front capital expenditures (such as hardware and proprietary software) to ongoing operational expenditures (such as monthly service contracts), in turn streamlining spend without compromising security.

Outsourced network operations can also improve overall performance — since network monitoring, analytics and discovery solutions don't rely on internal resources, managed alternatives can deliver improved reporting, notifications, and incident management without impacting local processes.

This value expands further once companies integrate both their NOC and SOC solutions, integrating the best security methodology with the best network capabilities into a centralized managed SIEM solution.

Armor Up

To effectively defend networks and deter attackers, organizations must combine both operational and security controls even as they look to limit complexity and streamline digital adoption.

ArmorPoint is a unified, managed NOC/SOC solution that empowers IT workflows with automatic security intelligence gathering to improve threat response, 24/7/365 support to free up internal IT teams and deep industry expertise to fill the gaps in your security management strategy.

Ready for the next step in managed NOC security? It's time to Armor up.

About ArmorPoint

ArmorPoint is a security information and event management solution that provides a cost-effective and reliable way to continually protect your business from emerging threats. Through its customizable service pricing model, ArmorPoint’s cost-effective packages and dynamic levels of expert management support the security strategies of all companies, regardless of available budget, talent, or time. And since ArmorPoint offers 24/7 security support with a team of dedicated specialists, they can provide you with the manpower you need to expertly manage all of your cybersecurity initiatives. See how ArmorPoint can make a difference in your security posture with a risk-free 30 day free trial