British professional services giant Ernst & Young (EY) has opened a Security Operations Center (SOC) on its campus in Trivandrum, India, which will offer remote network security to clients around the world.

This is the first facility of its kind owned by the company - EY previously run a consultancy service that helped customers design, build and run their on-premise SOCs.

The firm has also promised to increase its SOC cyber security workforce from around 200 to more than 1,200 by 2020.

The facility in Trivandrum will cost $20 million over the next five years. Indian daily Business Standard reports that a similar facility will be set up in the US once the center in India becomes fully operational.

New frontiers

EY is primarily known for its accounting services - its history in this field stretches as far back as 1849. The cyber security business within the company is only about 15 years old - but it has major ambitions.

EY’s Global Information Security Survey 2014 revealed that 56 percent of organizations are unlikely to detect a sophisticated cyber attack and 53 percent lack the skilled resources to handle them.

The Managed SOC offers a hybrid approach to security: onsite monitoring analysts work within the client’s data center during business hours. The onsite resources are complemented by a team of remote analysts that are available 24/7 and 365 days a year - this service is provided from EY’s newly built SOC at the Kerala Infrastructure, Film and Video Park in Trivandrum.

Both onsite and remote staff use a combination of “off-the-shelf” log aggregation, monitoring and analytics tools to detect and respond to complex attacks, including those that utilize Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs).

“Through the Managed SOC, our mission is to provide organizations with a highly mature detection and response capability, tailored specifically for their businesses and designed to mitigate against threats from advanced, interactive attackers that put their critical business assets at risk,” said Ken Allan, Global Information Security head at EY.