Here at Jigsaw one of the greatest features we can bring to customers is coverage for whatever need they may have. From coordinating with local law enforcement to working with FEMA and DHS during disasters, our SOC (Security Operations Center) does more than just ensuring the cyber security posture of our customers. Just this week our engineers and analyst have been busy coordinating relief efforts for getting supplies and handling medical flights in and out of the Houston area. In fact several of our team members will be heading there to assist once transportation improves allowing movement. So you may be asking yourself why this post and why now? Let's get into what we view a SOC and why we say you should do more than just cyber.
Many companies these days concentrate on cyber security because that's what hurts their reputation. When breaches happen or information is leaked, company profits suffer. We believe that you should be monitoring your cyber security but if your familiar with the Jigsaw Protection Model you may also be familiar with the fact that we cover everything security related and more to include technical eavesdropping, insider threat detection, access, facilities assessments, computer and network security as well as safety issues. We believe a SOC is for more than monitoring security camera's and cyber threats. After all threats come in all shapes and sizes to include man-made threats as well as natural threats to security.
Your SOC should cover the safety of your employees not just at the workplace but in their homes. When security issues arise your SOC should notify your end users of security threats that may cause loss of property or life even when away from the office such as when they are at home or taking part in travel away from the office. Travel briefings should alert travelers to threats in the areas of travel, have communications plans to ensure the safety of the traveler and plans to execute should something go horribly wrong.
A look at Hurricane Harvey
Over the last few days the Jigsaw Security team has been watching the hurricane in Texas (and monitoring the movement of the storms up the east coast) because our intention is to gather a team and render aid. However as we were watching Irma in the Atlantic gained significant strength very quickly and may also be a problem for the east coast. With flooding and heavy rain covering large areas in TX, LA, GA, SC, NC, TN and a few other areas in VA we starting taking a close look at Irma. If the models are correct we may have significant flooding on the east coast around the 8th-10th of September and keep in mind we are already seeing flooding from the remnants of Harvey currently.
With an already saturated ground it won't take much to cause additional issues in areas already being hit by Harvey's rain and moisture march through the Southeast. The point here is that people need to be aware of what is going on and take precautions well in advance. Running for gasoline and emergency supplies after a storm hits is too late. In many cases service stations that flood must discard fuel and restock when heavily impacted.
How Jigsaw monitors more than just security
We wanted to give visitors to our page a sneak peak at how we monitor events at the Jigsaw SOC. The first thing to note is that our "SOC" is located in many geographical areas with various employees and staff members working from different areas. Our SOC concept allows us to monitor regardless of what is happening because we will always have staff members in different locations. Affected employees can take care of immediate needs while the remaining staff can support them through emergency services, communications, getting supplies or evacuating team members if needed and safe to do so.
As we said we are watching Irma and tracking progress and path as you can see. The Jigsaw Big Data Platform allows us to embed content of many different types and also to consume the data from those pages such as news and weather sites useful in intelligence and decision making. In the image above you can see we are using a popular weather site to track tropical storms and rain.
In this screen you can see how we track critical items such as tornado's and flooding activity. By having all of your data sources already in your platform, your SOC staff can be proactive instead of reacting to fast changing situations.
Here you can see an analyst working with DHS to get updates on Hurricane Harvey response. We will be fully using services provided to help with the recovery effort and to volunteer and render assistance in the weeks to come.
The biggest point in this post is to ensure that your SOC is looking at all security issues not just cyber. Making sure your people and resources are available, safe and able to respond is critical in any organizations safety plan.
How you can help
As you may have seen the Red Cross is very active in the recovery efforts. If you want to volunteer to help you can contact the Red Cross or you can volunteer with VOAD which is coordinating the response effort in coordination with the state of Texas. Click here to get registered as a volunteer, the VOAD site will connect you with organizations that will provide assistance once the state starts asking for help.
Some things to think about in writing a safety plan
There are many resources out there to help you prepare for natural or man made disasters. Here are some resources and ideas that can help you and your team create a safety plan before you will ever need it.
Some valuable information is available at ready.gov and prepper websites. A few years ago people would laugh at the people stockpiling food and water but not anymore. As time has proven it's always a good idea to prepare to the best of your ability and budget. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to be prepared, you can prepare for situations over time and then hope you never need to use your stockpile. The big thing is knowing where to go and how you will get there in the event of a disaster.
If anybody would like to volunteer to go with the Jigsaw team to Houston please call 800-447-2150 Ext. 6 and leave your name and phone number. Thank you and remember to donate if you can't help in person!