How Much Does It Cost to Build a SOC?

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Pareto Cyber

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The average data breach cost in 2022 is $9.44 million, according to a report by IBM.

These reported data breaches are not slowing down. That means your organization’s need for Security Operations Center (SOC) services will increase in the near future.

To complicate matters, a Ponemon Institute study reports security analysts’ salaries are going up, while ROI for an average SOC is in decline.

To build a fully in-sourced SOC, you can expect to pay into the millions annually for salaries and training.

However, SOC-as-a-service now offers a different approach.

What Do You Need to Build a Modern SOC?

A Security Operations Center (SOC) works as a cybersecurity focal point within your organization. Organizations employ a SOC to safeguard assets, such as computer networks, sensitive data, and intellectual property.

To build a fully in-sourced modern SOC, your company must first determine its current level of SOC maturity, which can be divided into five levels:

  1. Threat detection and prevention
  2. Alert context and coverage
  3. Threat hunting and advanced persistent threats
  4. Response and remediation
  5. Deep threat hunting

Level 1: Threat detection and prevention

First, you need basic threat detection and prevention measures in place. Being able to collect logs, make sense of them, and detect issues and assaults is the essential duty of your SOC.

Level 2: Alert context and coverage

Collecting data allows you to receive more visibility into your security alerts. With more context, your SOC has a better view (coverage) of your company’s security posture.

To achieve this, you’ll need to invest in expert staff (such as a CISO) and the accompanying required technical infrastructure.

Level 3: Threat hunting

To manage and mitigate advanced persistent threats (APT) you’ll need to employ threat hunters as part of your SOC.

A skilled threat hunter does not focus on obvious or common cyber threats. They are instead tasked with seeking out novel threats to report within the SOC.

As assaults increase in complexity, so does the potential damage to your organization. Professionals not fully suited to the role lack the ability to organize, analyze, and predict cyber threats.

Level 4: Response and remediation

Once your organization has reached this level, you have the skills to not only detect dangers and try to avoid them, but also respond to more complicated incidents.

Level 5: Deep threat hunting

At this stage, your SOC’s capabilities have been expanded to perform even deeper threat hunting.

You have extensive technical capabilities for automated data collection and correlation, as well as expert-level threat researchers and hunters, to identify issues ahead of time.

SOC Pricing Factors

The following factors will give you a starting point to help plan and develop your company’s SOC budget.

If you’re unsure whether cybersecurity should be a priority business investment for you right now, here’s what we’d like you to consider.

Internal Structuring Timeline

Building an internal SOC can take years to fully develop and perfect. To start, consider hardware, software, and staffing requirements.

If you’re in the early stages, filling IT roles helps to reinforce your organization’s SOC foundation.

Talent Sourcing

The cybersecurity industry has a notoriously high turnover rate. It can take months for companies to find and onboard top talent.

If you’re a startup, you’ll need to deploy internal protocols for sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding.

Hardware Investment

As you revise software and incorporate new tools, employee training will require a significant investment in working hours. Less time becomes available to remediate active risks.

To combat this issue, your SOC needs hefty hardware infrastructure (and expenditures) to actively and reliably detect emerging attacks.

Scaling Strategy

Threat hunting must continuously expand in terms of coverage and complexity.

Given the increasing complexity of the global IT environment, your SOC and software platforms will eventually need to include full cloud functionality.

You must position your SOC to scale fast and with relatively little notice compared to other departments.

What Are the Different SOC Structures?

There are three primary SOC types to consider:

  1. Insourced – Also known as “internal,” your SOC is developed and fully managed in-house.
  2. Outsourced – SOC operations are handled by a hired third-party
  3. Hybrid – SOC operations are divided between your organization and an outside Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).


You can completely customize an in-sourced SOC. However, you’ll also be taking on all the expenses, steps, and obstacles that come with developing an SOC on your own.


Outsourced SOC skills, while not as tailor-fitted as in-sourced, can help your company grow security capabilities while sidestepping issues that come with an in-sourced SOC.


A hybrid SOC requires a portion of the resources a fully in-sourced does while leveraging outsourced expertise to offset select expenditures and skill gaps.

What Are the Challenges of Building an In-Sourced SOC?

In terms of staffing, most businesses employ between 11 and 20 security analysts.

On top of hiring and paying analysts, less than half of companies feel confident they can source qualified personnel.

Hardware and technology are other significant investments with outsourcing SOC capabilities.

To keep up with modern trends, you’ll need to continuously increase your technology’s capabilities.

What Are the Different SOC-as-a-Service Models?

Fortunately, your organization doesn’t need to develop its own in-house SOC to maintain a strong security posture.

SOC-as-a-service presents a viable (and vastly more affordable) alternative solution. However, it’s important to first understand your company’s needs to decide which model is the best fit.


An entry-level SOC is ideal for your business if you require only basic security monitoring.

Many companies in this tier use a combination of security services and resources instead of one overarching SOC.


A standard SOC is a step up from an entry-level SOC. It provides your organization with a much more comprehensive strategy for threat detection, prevention, and investigation.

This level includes a properly sized security team and supporting automation tools.

Dedicated (Best-in-Class)

A SOC employs full-time security professionals who work around the clock to detect and prevent network attacks.

Analysts actively seek out threats and identify network gaps, making it the ideal SOC for eliminating threats before they can disrupt your business operations.

How Much Does SOC-as-a-Service Cost?

It depends on the size and scope of your organization’s network operations in terms of devices and digital assets.

The number of connected users and devices is the biggest factor. Monitoring user activity across several devices can be tough, especially as your team grows.

Tracking user activity on cloud servers is easier overall, but identifying vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure proves more difficult.

Outsourced SOC-as-a-Service Cost

Outsourcing the necessary expertise to house an effective SOC is a significant capital investment.

Outsourced SOC-as-a-Service does not require you to invest the time and money normally required to establish a SOC. However, with SOC-as-a-service, your organization will be equipped with industry-leading SOC capabilities and personnel.

It’s normally billed monthly as an operating expense based on usage.

Finally, SOC-as-a-service can cost your organization less than $100 per month.

Your 24/7 SoC-as-a-Service Provider

Round-the-clock threat detection and prevention are rapidly becoming essential to organizations that wish to stay in business.

The SOC-as-a-service innovation means cost-effective solutions for both your organization and its competitors.

If you want to know how SOC-as-a-service can help your team stay focused on essential business, schedule a call with us here.