The Eight Questions – Security Operations Centers

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This issue of The Eight Questions addresses key elements of a planning a Security Operations Center (SOC); Global Security Operations Center (GSOC); or a Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) center.  Whether supporting a single location or global assets, clearing understanding objectives in both normal and crisis conditions will maximize success.   These questions get you started on a pathway to operational success!

We are often asked by senior business leaders: “What questions should I be asking when planning for a new or upgraded Security Operations Center?”

Although that can be a loaded question, here are eight questions we believe have merit and can be the starting point for an intelligent and valuable conversation.

  1. What are the key objectives for the new Security Operations Center: Alarm Monitoring, Continuity of Operations, Crisis Management & Emergency Response, Cost Reduction, Surveillance, Command & Control, Intelligence Analysis, Marketing & Public Relations, other?
  2. How will the center to deliver benefits to security and/or business operations, and how are those benefits measured?
  3. How will the Security Operations Center interact with other corporate resources: Process Control Centers, Network Operations Centers, Executive Crisis Rooms, Emergency Response Centers, and/or Media Relations Centers?
  4. What are the operational backup provisions if the new center is rendered unusable? What is the resulting activation timeline and effectiveness?
  5. How will you manage the staff level transition from normal situations to crisis situations? How long will it take to reach full staffing after an issue is identified? How do you determine that things are under control and staff down? 
  6. Will outsiders (government officials, media, the public, etc.) be allowed into the facility under normal or crisis situations?  How will this be managed?
  7. How will existing security capabilities and technologies function within the facility? How will enhancements and upgrades and be managed?
  8. How well-suited are existing operators to the new systems and what level of training will be required to achieve effective operations?

Butchko, Inc. can be an invaluable resource to proactively assess programs and assist leaders in answering these critical questions. We do this using the disciplined and success-driven Butchko Solutions Process.