The essential goal of the Network Operations Center (NOC) and Security Operations Center (SOC) is to amplify the networks to enhance corporate infrastructure and prevent cyber attacks.

The Brief Difference

The network operations center maintains the performance of optical networks, ensuring network security against logical interruptions.

While on the other hand, the security operations center identifies potential threats, investigates them, and acts to eliminate cyber threats. Both enhance coverage and protect a company’s assets.

This article will help you dive deep into NOC vs. SOC.

What is a Network Operations Center (NOC)?

The Network Operations Center (NOC) ensures that the corporate network infrastructure can support the company’s demands. Each company utilizes the corporate network for specific reasons, and NOC optimizes and troubleshoots the network to make sure it can support the demands of the business. It also handles day to day activities of the IT department to ensure the streaming services.

The primary responsibility of the NOC is to offer the organization technical assistance. The NOC is the core of the information technology system needed to keep operations running and minimize downtime.

They are responsible for planning upgrades and patches and minimizing system failures that interfere with company operations.

What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

Similar to a NOC, a Security Operations Center (SOC) network is a centralized site where experts gather to control data security. However, this time, the goal is network security against cyberattacks rather than maintaining and upgrading technologies.

A SOC will often monitor a company’s security posture from various viewpoints, considering current and potential future threats.

As a result, security analysts employ tactics to aid in protecting their prospective customers or the companies in which they work. The threat detection center’s regular duties include keeping an eye on and analyzing servers, databases, websites, apps, and user outputs.

It tries to improve the efficiency of standard malware and security software by crunching statistics and looking for trends. It sends out skilled individuals trained to spot possible security breaches and swiftly respond to them.

When a security breach occurs, SOCs look into the cause and produce reports for accountability and problem-solving.

NOC and SOC challenge

Current IT teams working to integrate NOC or SOC services continue to feel the burden of today’s IT trends. When expanding either NOC or SOC capabilities, businesses need to take these difficulties into account.

Excessive IT to Cover

An alarming rate of new gadgets and demands are being added to the current system. The mainstream networks also contain an influx of linked devices like smartphones, laptops, and operating technologies in addition to the conventional endpoint PCs and servers.

The complexities of BYOD are further increased since the IT staff must confirm that the BYOD device complies with all business standards for updates, anti-malware, etc.

While this is happening, the demand for bandwidth and traffic is also growing along with the number of devices. Users require continual access outside the network for bandwidth-intensive audio and visual chatting or Software-as-a-Service applications.

Network operations centers teams struggle to adjust infrastructure designed for earlier demands to the ever-growing number of devices and bandwidth needs. SOC teams do not fare much better, as the number of linked devices and traffic streams increases the necessary monitoring and analysis.

Breakdown of Perimeters

The structure of networking is eroding and making monitoring more difficult, even as the number of devices and apps rises. Due to the migration to the clouds, many resources are now located beyond the corporation’s boundaries, thanks to cellular 4G and 5G connections that connect operational technologies that formerly sat alone on the factory floor.

Additionally, as more and more employees choose to work remotely, corporate networks are vulnerable to consumer-grade or unprotected public Wi-Fi. The NOC and SOC teams are under pressure from these external resources to manage the ever-growing scope of tasks.

Increase the Urgency of NOC and SOC

The value of interruption keeps rising, placing pressure on NOC teams to resolve network outages more quickly while covering more devices and greater physical and virtual distances, eventually hoping for better network performance and optimizing network infrastructure. The demand for SOC to act quickly to limit harm is growing as enemies continue to move quickly and attack more aggressively.

Thankfully, many solutions now use machine learning (ML) to undertake straightforward, repetitive analyses and speed up team reaction times. However, ML support also pressures the NOC and SOC teams to learn new tools and adapt their working practices to include ML support.

NOC and SOC Engaging Difficulties

When building teams of skilled IT and security professionals for a NOC or SOC, employers are up against a lot of competition from other businesses

Unfortunately, the supply still falls well short of demand, forcing businesses to hire inexperienced workers or keep positions open, which further burdens the current workforce.

NOC vs SOC—The Differences

Although the objectives of the NOC and the SOC are quite similar, and they are two teams inside an organization, there are several key differences across them, including the following.


The NOC and the SOC share a similar fundamental goal: to ensure the corporation networking system can support the company’s demands at the highest level. The specifics of these goals vary between the two, though.

The objective of the NOC’s emphasis is to ensure the network can achieve service level agreements (SLAs) during regular operations and handle natural interruptions, such as service interruptions, natural catastrophes, etc.

On the other hand, SOC analysts aim to safeguard networks and business processes against disruption by cybercrime operators.


To safeguard the business network against interruption, both the NOC and the SOC are at work. On the other hand, they are up against many foes.

The main objective of the NOC is to stop occurrences that are natural or unrelated to people from interfering with the network. For example, catastrophic events, lost Connectivity, and power cuts are included. On the other side, security operations centers analysts defend against disturbances that are caused by people.

They are responsible for recognizing, prioritizing, and reacting to cyberattacks that might affect the company’s operations or, in any other way, negatively impact it.

Skill Requirement 

Many of the abilities needed by NOC and SOC researchers are similar. In all situations, they must be able to monitor the network’s functionality, spot problems before they worsen or cause outages, and fix them.

However, NOC and SOC experts use their talents and have various areas of concentration in different ways.

A network operations center analyst will mostly utilize their expertise in network monitoring to identify and resolve “natural” issues with their infrastructure. The skill sets of NOC analysts will also be more focused on broadband network and endpoint optimization than their SOC colleagues.

SOC experts, on the other hand, are responsible for defending the company against risks that are brought about by people. To fix viruses that are purposefully created by humans to be hostile and avoid detection, it is necessary to comprehend how a cyber assault chain functions.

The skill sets of SOC analysts will be increasingly geared toward hardening and assuring the resilience and security of corporate IT assets rather than network and endpoint optimization.

Which One is Better for Your Organization: SOC or NOC?

The decision between a NOC and a SOC is not “either-or.” NOC and SOC are crucial for network management, network health, and normal business operations. Both are necessary for an organization to continue doing its regular business activities; none is superior or worse than another.

The NOC is in charge of making sure the organizational technology can support business activities, while the SOC is in charge of safeguarding the company from cyber threats that may interfere with those operations.

The network operations center and security operations center both focus on defending against various possible threats to network performance and business efficiency, which complements their respective functions.

Derik Belair

As President and CEO, Derik leads the vision, strategy and growth of Augmentt. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was the Vice President at SolarWinds, leading the digital marketing strategy for SolarWinds’ Cloud division. Derik has been working in the channel for over 20 years, starting his career as a channel sales rep at Corel Corp. and eventually becoming the first employee at N-able Technologies in April of 2000.
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