Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) is a stack of compatible software programs that enables an organization to collect data about security threats and respond to security events without human intervention. The goal of using a SOAR platform is to improve the efficiency of physical and digital security operations.
Security orchestration connects and integrates different internal and external tools through built-in or custom integrations and application programming interfaces (APIs). Connected systems may include vulnerability scanners, endpoint protection products, end-user behavior analytics, firewalls, intrusion detection, and intrusion prevention systems, and security event and incident management (SEIM) platforms, as well as external threat intelligence feeds.
Security automation, fed by the data and alerts collected from security orchestration, consumes and analyzes data and creates repeated, automated processes to replace manual processes. Tasks previously performed by analysts, such as vulnerability scanning, log analysis, ticket checking, and auditing capabilities; can be standardized and automatically executed by SOAR platforms. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to decipher and adapt insights from analysts, SOAR automation can make recommendations and automate future responses. Alternatively, automation can elevate threats if human intervention is needed.
Security response offers a single view for analysts into the planning, managing, monitoring, and reporting of actions carried out once a threat is detected. It also includes post-incident response activities, such as case management, reporting, and threat intelligence sharing.
What does this mean for an SMB?
SOAR platforms offer many benefits for business security operations teams, including the following:
- Faster incident detection and reaction times. The volume and velocity of security threats and events are constantly increasing. SOAR’s improved data context, combined with automation, can bring lower mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR). By detecting and responding to threats more quickly, their impact can be lessened.
- Better threat context. By integrating more data from a wider array of tools and systems, SOAR platforms can offer more context, better analysis and up-to-date threat information.
- Simplified management. SOAR platforms consolidate various security systems’ dashboards into a single interface. This helps security teams by centralizing information and data handling, simplifying management and saving time.
- Scalability. Scaling time-consuming manual processes can be a drain on employees and even impossible to keep up with as security event volume grows. SOAR’s orchestration, automation and workflows can meet scalability demands more easily.
- Boosting analysts’ productivity. Automating lower-level threats eases security operations center (SOC) teams’ responsibilities, enabling them to prioritize tasks more effectively and respond to threats that require human intervention more quickly.
- Streamlining operations. Standardized procedures and playbooks that automate lower-level tasks enable security teams to respond to more threats in the same time period. These automated workflows also ensure the same standardized remediation efforts are applied organization-wide across all systems.
- Reporting and collaboration. SOAR platforms’ reporting and analysis consolidate information quickly, enabling better data management processes and better response efforts to update existing security policies and programs for more effective security. A SOAR platform’s centralized dashboard can also improve information sharing across disparate enterprise teams, enhancing communication and collaboration.
- Lowered costs. In many instances, augmenting security analysts with SOAR tools can lower costs, as opposed to manually performing all threat analysis, detection and response efforts.
Additional Security Recommendations
SOAR is not a silver bullet technology, nor is it a standalone system. SOAR platforms should be part of a defense-in-depth security strategy, especially as they require the input of other security systems to successfully detect threats. It’s important to also have CyberHoot’s recommendations in place, listed below:
- Adopt two-factor authentication on all critical Internet-accessible services
- Adopt a password manager for better personal/work password hygiene
- Require 14+ character Passwords in your Governance Policies
- Follow a 3-2-1 backup method for all critical and sensitive data
- Train employees on cybersecurity skills they need such as strong password hygiene and how to spot and avoid phishing attacks
- Test that employees can spot and avoid phishing emails by testing them
- Document and test Business Continuity Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plans
- Perform a risk assessment every two to three years
Start building your robust, defense-in-depth cybersecurity plan at CyberHoot.
To learn more about SOAR, watch this short 3-minute video:
Security Operations Center (SOC)
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