The Ultimate Decision: Choosing Between an In-House SOC and Managed Security Services

By Eric Peterson, Director of Cyber Security Operations - 24 Apr, 2024
Cyber Security Security Services
6 Minutes Read

In the rapidly changing digital landscape, organizations must choose whether to manage security operations internally or outsource to a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). The impact of this decision on an organization’s cybersecurity efforts is substantial. We’ll go over the important elements that each company should consider while making this choice.


Establishing and sustaining an internal Security Operations Center (SOC) requires a significant financial outlay. It includes continuing costs for staffing, training, and upgrades in addition to the initial setup and equipment. On the other hand, MSSPs provide a more consistent cost structure, usually billed monthly, and handle every facet of security operations without the expense that comes with keeping an internal staff.

Cost Comparison: 

  • Average annual cost of running an in-house SOC: $2.84 million (Ponemon Institute)
  • Average annual cost of using an MSSP: $1.42 million (Ponemon Institute)
  • MSSPs can provide 24/7 security monitoring and incident response at a lower cost compared to building an in-house SOC.


An internal SOC must hire, onboard, and train competent cybersecurity specialists. This can be difficult given the current shortage of cybersecurity talent (though lately, there seems to be more cyber talent than available jobs). On the other hand, MSSPs give clients access to specialist teams that are well-versed in various security-related skills and receive ongoing training in the most recent methods for threat detection and mitigation. 

Talent Acquisition and Retention:

  • 59% of organizations report difficulty finding qualified security staff to staff an in-house SOC (ESG)
  • MSSPs have access to a larger pool of cybersecurity experts and can provide ongoing training
  • Attrition rate for in-house SOC teams is often higher compared to MSSP-provided security services


One organization is the exclusive focus of all efforts thanks to an internal SOC team, which could result in a more specialized security posture. On the other hand, this may also imply that there is less vulnerability to a range of cyberthreats. Because they handle a diverse range of risks for their clientele, MSSPs offer a comprehensive viewpoint to their security protocols.


For internal SOCs, scalability can be a problem, particularly for expanding companies or those going through quick changes. Without the practical difficulties associated with recruiting or downsizing, MSSPs provide clients with more freedom to scale security operations up or down in response to their demands.

Resource constraints frequently face internal SOCs, making it difficult for them to expand operations or swiftly implement new technologies. Typically, MSSPs have greater resources at their disposal, such as cutting-edge tools and technology that they employ throughout their clientele.

Round-the-Clock Monitoring – Constant monitoring may require a lot of resources. While large enterprises might be able to handle this internally, MSSPs are set up to handle 24/7 monitoring services more effectively and, because of their size, frequently at a lower cost.

Response & Recovery Time

Since MSSPs focus on security as a key business function and have economies of scale, they frequently offer faster response times to incidents. Although internal teams might be able to respond just as well, their options may be constrained by the staff and knowledge they have on hand.

Incident Response and Recovery:

  • 77% of organizations using an MSSP reported improved incident response capabilities (Ponemon Institute)
  • MSSPs provide 24/7 monitoring and can initiate faster response to security incidents
  • In-house SOCs may struggle with limited resources during a major security event

Threat Assessment

Thanks to insights gained from a wide range of clients, MSSPs have access to a greater variety of threat intelligence data. This may improve their security measures’ capacity for prediction. On the other hand, threat intelligence from an internal SOC may be less varied but more specialized.

Security Efficacy and Detection Capabilities:

  • MSSPs often have more advanced security tools, threat intelligence, and machine learning capabilities
  • 71% of organizations using an MSSP reported improved detection of security incidents (Ponemon Institute)
  • In-house SOCs may lack specialized expertise or latest security technologies


While MSSPs offer different levels of customization, in-house SOCs can be significantly tailored to meet certain organizational demands. The provider and the services agreement can have a substantial impact on the degree of customized service provided by an MSSP.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulation compliance can be supported by both internal SOCs and MSSPs. However, because they operate with numerous clients in various industries, MSSPs might have more experience with a range of compliance landscapes.

Data Privacy

Direct control over data privacy policies is possible with in-house SOCs, which may also be able to provide tighter security in accordance with organizational requirements. To protect client data, MSSPs are usually bound by stringent regulatory requirements, but they are also able to uphold high standards of data privacy.

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements:

  • 65% of organizations say MSSPs help them meet compliance requirements more effectively (Ponemon Institute)
  • MSSPs have deep expertise in industry regulations and can streamline compliance reporting
  • Building an in-house SOC to meet compliance needs can be resource-intensive

Vendor Connections

The management of vendor relationships by an internal SOC can be intricate and time-consuming. As part of their regular operations, MSSPs manage these partnerships, and because of their existing contacts and large purchasing power, they frequently obtain better terms.

Ownership of Incidents

The company maintains complete ownership and control over incident response procedures when it has an internal SOC. Even though MSSPs manage events on behalf of their clients, some companies would rather keep control over incident management to make sure that decisions are made in accordance with internal guidelines and corporate culture.

Final Thoughts

Considering your organization’s unique requirements, financial constraints, and cybersecurity objectives, weighing these considerations will help you choose between an in-house SOC and an MSSP. It is essential to carefully assess which choice best fits your operational capabilities and strategic objectives, as each has unique benefits and challenges.

New Era Technology & SecureBlu Can Help! 

New Era’s SecureBlu portfolio of Security Services includes a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service that maintains optimal security posture by continuously minimizing the attack surface and improving visibility via enhanced monitoring and response. If you want to learn more about how your organization can prevent, detect, and maintain threats through SecureBlu, please visit our MDR page for datasheets or email us at

Author: Eric Peterson, Director of Cyber Security Operations

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