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Your Next Move: SOC Manager

Your Next Move: Get the Inside Scoop on IT Job RolesThis article is part of an IT Career News series called Your Next Move. These articles take an inside look at the roles related to CompTIA certifications. Each article will include the responsibilities, qualifications, related job titles and salary range for the role. As you consider the next move in your IT career, check back with CompTIA to learn more about your job prospects and how to get there.

Once upon a time a security operations center (SOC) was only necessary for large enterprise organizations. But as today’s threat landscape continues to evolve, companies of all sizes are building SOCs – and they need qualified people to manage them. If you have a background in cybersecurity and a passion for leading a team, then SOC manager may be a good next move for you.

What Is a SOC Manager?

A SOC manager leads the security operations team and reports to the chief information security officer (CISO). They supervise the team, provide technical guidance and manage activities in the following ways:

  • Oversees hiring, training and evaluating SOC staff
  • Creates processes
  • Assesses incident reports
  • Develops and implements crisis communication plans
  • Creates compliance reports
  • Supports audits
  • Measures SOC performance metrics
  • Reports on security operations to executive management

The SOC is the hub of an organization’s IT infrastructure. Every event logged within the organization is monitored by the SOC. For each of these events, the SOC must decide how to act. Therefore, the SOC manager should have strong knowledge of incident management, problem management and change management best practices.

The SOC manager is responsible for leading a team that usually includes cybersecurity analysts, cybersecurity engineers and/or security architects.

How to Become a SOC Manager

The SOC manager is a senior-level management role that requires 8 to 10 years of experience. Most companies hiring a SOC manager are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, with some requiring a master’s degree or equivalent experience.

Employers will also be looking for a candidate who has proven knowledge of monitoring, detection, incident response and automation to support security operations.

Equally important to the technical skills, a successful SOC manager must also be able to effectively lead a team of employees. Proven professional skills like excellent communication, ability to handle high-pressure situations, and good analytical and problem-solving skills are essential.

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CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) covers these technical and professional skills – and more. CASP+ is the pinnacle of cybersecurity certifications and is intended for IT pros who wish to remain immersed in hands-on enterprise security, incident0020response and architecture.

CASP+ proves SOC manager candidates have the skills required to:

  • Architect, engineer, integrate and implement secure solutions across complex environments to support a resilient enterprise
  • Use monitoring, detection, incident response and automation to proactively support ongoing security operations in an enterprise environment
  • Apply security practices to cloud, on-premises, endpoint and mobile infrastructure while considering cryptographic technologies and techniques
  • Consider the impact of governance, risk and compliance requirements throughout the enterprise

CASP+ complies with ISO 17204 standards and is approved by the U.S. DoD to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements. The next version of CASP+ (CAS-004) will be available in October 2021. Updates will qualify the advanced skills required of security architects and senior security engineers to effectively design, implement and manage cybersecurity solutions on complex enterprise networks. A minimum of 10 years of general hands-on IT experience, with at least five years of broad hands-on security experience, is recommended for those pursing CASP+ certification.

In addition to the certification, CompTIA will release a full suite of training products to help you learn and practice penetration testing and vulnerability management skills and prepare for your certification exam.

The Details

SOC Manager Salary Range

The median annual wage for SOC managers is $103,590 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)).

SOC Manager Job Outlook

From 2020 to 2030, The BLS projects an increase of 33% for SOC manager positions, with 47,100 net new jobs expected during that 10-year period.

Job Titles Related to SOC Manager

Read about more IT jobs featured in Your Next Move.

Will your next move be SOC manager? If so, download the exam objectives for CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) to learn more.

About the Author

With more than 2,000 members, 3,000 academic and training partners and tens of thousands of registered users spanning the entire information communications and technology (ICT) industry, CompTIA has become a leading voice for the technology ecosystem.

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