A Security Operations Center (SOC) is a facility used to centrally monitor, detect, investigate, and respond to cyberattacks and other security incidents. A SOC may be a physical or virtual facility, and it may be operated by an in-house security team or a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). 

SOCs are designed to provide a comprehensive, proactive approach to security that can help organizations thwart sophisticated attacks and minimize the damage caused by security incidents. SOCs typically collect data from various sources, including security devices, applications, and network traffic, and use analytics and automation to identify and investigate potential security threats. 

SOC teams typically include security analysts, incident responders, and threat hunters who work together to investigate and resolve security incidents. Some SOCs may include incident management, vulnerability management, and security engineering teams. 

The goal of a SOC is to detect, investigate, and respond to security incidents in a timely and effective manner. By centralizing all security-related activity in one location, SOCs can help organizations improve their overall security posture and better protect their data and systems from attack.

Reasons to Become an SOC Analyst

  • There are many reasons to become a SOC. Still, some of the most common reasons include improving security operations, protecting organizational assets better, and improving incident response times. 
  • SOCs can also help organizations monitor and respond to security threats more effectively and provide insight into potential security risks
  • In addition, SOCs can help to improve communication and collaboration between different security teams and provide a central point of contact for all security-related issues.

How to Become an SOC Analyst?

SOC analysts play an essential role in cybersecurity, helping to identify and investigate potential security threats. If you're interested in becoming a SOC analyst, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of success. 

  • First, consider pursuing a degree in computer science or a related field, which will give you the technical skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the role.
  • Additionally, try to gain experience working with security tools and technologies. This experience will give you a better understanding of identifying and investigating potential threats. 
  • Finally, stay up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity news and trends, which will help you better understand the evolving landscape of cybersecurity and the threats that SOC analysts are tasked with investigating.

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Factors Affecting Salaries

  • The most crucial factor is experience; a SOC analyst with more experience will typically earn a higher salary than one with less experience. 
  • Other essential factors include:
  • Sometimes company size and location can also affect SOC analyst salaries. For example, SOC analysts working for large tech companies may earn more than those working for smaller businesses.
  • The specific duties of the position can also affect the SOC analyst salaries. For example, SOC analysts in finance or healthcare may make more than other industries.
  • The overall job market is a significant factor that affects the salary of any given individual. Employers have the upper hand in a tight job market and can offer lower salaries. In a more open job market, employees have more negotiating power and can command higher salaries. 

The job market is also affected by the state of the economy. A weak economy will lead to fewer job openings and more competition for available positions, driving down salaries. On the other hand, a robust economy will create more job opportunities and allow employees to command higher salaries.

Bifurcation Based on Experience, Location, and Skills 

Many different jobs are available worldwide, each requiring a different set of skills and experience. Likewise, SOC analyst jobs are also bifurcated based on experience, skills, and location.

There are three types of SOC analysts: entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level. 

  • Entry-level SOC analysts typically have 0-2 years of experience and are responsible for monitoring security tools and responding to alerts. 
  • Mid-level SOC analysts have 2-5 years of experience and are responsible for conducting investigations and overseeing entry-level analysts. 
  • Senior-level SOC analysts have 5+ years of experience and are accountable for leading inquiries, developing incident response plans, and training entry-level and mid-level analysts.

Experience- Experienced SOC analysts deeply understand the SOC and its inner workings and know how to use the SOC's resources effectively and respond to various incidents. However, experienced SOC analysts can be expensive and unavailable in all areas. So, senior-level SOC analysts earn more than mid-level and entry-level SOC analysts because of their experience.

Skills- SOC analysts have specific skills that make them valuable to the SOC. They may be experts in a particular type of software or deeply understand a specific type of incident. 

For example,

Some SOC analysts may have specific cybersecurity, forensics, or network security skills, while others may be generalists with a broad range of security knowledge.

However, skilled SOC analysts can be challenging to find and may have a different depth of experience than experienced SOC analysts.

Location - The location of SOC analysts in a particular area can be precious to the SOC. They know the local area and may be familiar with the incidents. However, they may need to become more familiar with the SOC's resources and may not be able to respond to incidents as effectively as experienced SOC analysts.

However, sometimes location also plays a crucial role in job settings. 

For example, some SOC analysts may work in a corporate setting and be responsible for monitoring internal networks, while others may work in a government setting and monitor critical infrastructure.

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Roles and Responsibilities of an SOC Analyst

The roles of a SOC analyst are many and varied, but all center around keeping an organization's computer systems and networks secure. 

  • A SOC analyst may monitor network activity for signs of intrusion or malware, investigate security incidents, and work with other security staff to resolve any issues. They may also be involved in planning and implementing security measures, such as installing firewalls or intrusion detection systems. In larger organizations, a SOC analyst may specialize in a particular area of security, such as network or application security.
  • SOC analysts are responsible for monitoring and analyzing network traffic for signs of malicious activity and responding to security incidents. 
  • SOC analysts also work to improve the security of an organization's systems and networks by identifying and addressing vulnerabilities.

Skills Required to Become an SOC Analyst

To be a successful SOC analyst, there are specific required skills that you must possess. 

  • You must have strong analytical and investigative abilities to identify potential security threats. 
  • And you must be able to communicate effectively with other members of the SOC team to collaborate on investigations. 
  • And you must have a good understanding of security-related technologies and be able to use various tools and techniques to analyze data. 
  • Added to this, you should possess phenomenal programming skills in multiple languages, like, 
  1. SIEM
  2. Information Security
  3. IPS
  4. Splunk
  5. Networking
  6. Arcsight
  7. Ceh
  8. Network Security
  9. Firewall
  • Finally, you must be able to think critically and solve problems quickly to respond to security incidents promptly.

SOC Analyst Salary (India and US)

SOC analyst is a promising career nowadays around the globe for its salary range. You can earn more salary once you are ready to work hard as a SOC analyst, and that's why SOC analysis is a demanding career among IT people. However, SOC analyst salaries can vary greatly depending on experience, location, and other factors. 

For example,

  • Entry-level SOC analysts may earn significantly less than experienced SOC analysts. 
  • Additionally, SOC analysts in high-cost areas such as New York City or San Francisco may earn more than SOC analysts in other parts of the country. Also, in India, more big-city SOC analysts make more money than other city SOC analyst employees.

SOC Analyst Salary in India

In India, 

SOC analyst salaries range 

₹ 3.0 Lakhs to ₹ 7.0 Lakhs  

The average SOC analyst annual salary

₹ 4.5 Lakhs

The average annual salaries of SOC analysts from different cities in India,

Mumbai

₹ 4.1 Lakhs.

New Delhi

₹ 4.2 Lakhs

Bangalore

₹ 4.5 Lakhs

Pune

₹ 4.5 Lakhs

Chennai

₹ 4.2 Lakhs

Hyderabad

₹ 4.7 Lakhs

SOC Analyst Salary in the US

On the other hand, the United States of America always gives a wide open for SOC analysts.

Average annual SOC analyst salary 

$81,897 to $115,175

The average annual salary at the entry-level

$96,154 

The average annual salary at the experience level

$1,10,758

The average annual salary of SOC analysts from different cities in the US,

Virginia

$95,577

Pennsylvania

$95,961

Alabama

$90,096

California 

$107,404

Texas 

$102,000

Florida 

$91,346

New York

$1,03,173

Arizona

$95,064

Washington

$1,02,692

Indiana

$93,942

Nevada

$98,588

Alaska

$1,07,788

Utah

$91,099

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Conclusion

Hope this article was able to give you a fair bit of an idea on how much a SOC analyst earns in India and the US. If you are looking to establish your career in this domain, we would highly recommend you check out Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Program in Cybersecurity. This program, designed in collaboration with MIT SCC, can help you hone the right cybersecurity skills and make you job ready in no time.

If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to post them in the comments section below. Our team will get back to you at the earliest.

About the Author

SimplilearnSimplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors