ICIT Certified Content: The 2021 Devo SOC Performance Report™ shows that security operations centers
— and those who work in them — continue to have a number of challenges to
overcome. Based on an independent survey of global cybersecurity professionals,
our third annual report examines current trends for those who lead and work in
SOCs. While there are some indicators of slight improvement, it’s clear that for too
many people, working in the SOC remains painful. The 2020 survey results told a tale
of two SOCs — high and low performers. High performers are those with the funding,
tools and staff to accomplish most of their cybersecurity goals. Low performers are
those SOCs lacking in some or all of the foundational elements required for success,
which is why they struggle in the face of myriad challenges. This year’s report
provides fresh insights about what separates high- and low-performing SOCs.

The 2021 report also presents a new perspective on the challenges facing SOCs and
those who work there by focusing on survey responses from SOC leaders and the
staff members who work for them. The results from the two groups often diverge
widely, which points to the vastly different perspectives of analysts and leaders
about how well SOCs are accomplishing their goals. There are more differences
than areas of agreement about what makes a SOC successful, especially in its
ability to gather evidence, investigate and identify the source of threats.

The report is based on the results of a comprehensive, independent survey Devo
commissioned and Ponemon Institute conducted in September 2021 of more than
1,000 global cybersecurity professionals.

The survey generated insightful responses about key challenges affecting SOC
operations, including:

• The continuing gap between high-performing and low-performing SOCs
• The ongoing pain driving SOC analysts to consider quitting their jobs
• The disconnect between SOC leaders and staff

In general, the year-over-year findings of SOC performance remain largely
consistent. Some areas show slight improvement while others indicate problems
have worsened. Overall, the results plateaued in 2021, which shines a spotlight on the
challenges for organizations’ cybersecurity programs and the job satisfaction and
mental well-being of SOC analysts.

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2021 Devo SOC Performance Report