Skip to main content

Sonification in Security Operations Centres: What do Security Practitioners Think?

Louise M. Axon‚ Bushra Alahmadi‚ Jason R. C. Nurse‚ Michael Goldsmith and Sadie Creese


In Security Operations Centres (SOCs) security practitioners work using a range of tools to detect and mitigate malicious computer-network activity. Sonification, in which data is represented as sound, is said to have potential as an approach to addressing some of the unique challenges faced by SOCs. For example, sonification has been shown to enable peripheral monitoring of processes, which could aid practitioners multitasking in busy SOCs. The perspectives of security practitioners on incorporating sonification into their actual working environments have not yet been examined, however. The aim of this paper therefore is to address this gap by exploring attitudes to using sonification in SOCs. We report on the results of a study consisting of an online survey (N=20) and interviews (N=21) with security practitioners working in a range of different SOCs. Our contribution is a refined appreciation of the contexts in which sonification could aid in SOC working practice, and an understanding of the areas in which sonification may not be beneficial or may even be problematic.We also analyse the critical requirements for the design of sonification systems and their integration into the SOC setting. Our findings clarify insights into the potential benefits and challenges of introducing sonification to support work in this vital security-monitoring environment.

Book Title
Workshop on Usable Security (USEC) at the Network and Distributed System Security (NDSS) Symposium
To appear
Internet Society