If you’ve seen one security operations center, or SOC, you’ve essentially seen them all. Inside, analysts sit in front of rows of screens that monitor Target’s billion-dollar IT infrastructure. Government agencies often build their own SOCs, as do big banks, defense contractors, tech companies, wireless carriers, and other corporations with centralized stockpiles of high-value information. Retailers, however, tend not to. Most still focus on their primary mission, selling stuff—in part because their sprawling networks of stores and e-tailing entry points are difficult to lock down against incursions. A three-year study by Verizon Enterprise Solutions (VZ) found that companies discover breaches through their own monitoring in only 31 percent of cases. For retailers, it’s 5 percent. They’re the wildebeests of the digital savannah. Target was striving to be different.