October 26, 2023
The rising cybersecurity threats in today’s digital landscape directly cause an increased workload for many security analysts. This increase in threats can cause security alert fatigue and, in some cases, burnout among analysts. To combat this, businesses are looking for more efficient ways to manage and protect their digital information without burdening their teams with additional tasks and data to sift through.
Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) is a software solution that enables organizations to coordinate and automate their cybersecurity responses without increasing headcount. SOAR programs incorporate threat intelligence by linking security orchestration and automation (SOA), security incident-response platforms (SIRPs), and threat-intelligence platforms (TIPs).
In a 2022 report from Orca Security, 56% of security teams surveyed reported spending more than 20% of their time reviewing alerts and prioritizing them1. SOAR implementation aims to decrease this review time for professionals, freeing them up to focus more on strategic work and handling urgent security threats.
While teams may use many security tools to detect threats, connecting these resources is key to providing teams with a holistic view of the security landscape. SOAR collects alerts and data from different security tools, including firewalls, DLP, endpoints, vulnerability scanners, and physical security reports so that security operations centers (SOCs) have context when looking at individual reports and can spot cybersecurity trends.
Orchestrating the connection of relevant information into one singular platform allows workflows to be established by the SOC. This is key to implementing wide-scale automation rather than only automating a particular task.
The automation capabilities within SOAR rely on playbooks. A playbook details the security team’s process or workflow, ensuring that automated tasks and alerts are dispatched when an incident or rule is triggered.
Automation, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, plays an increasingly pivotal role in how SOCs reduce response time, streamline security operations, and fight burnout in the workplace. By automating routine tasks, teams are given time back in the day to focus on high-priority risks and enhance their security practices.
Once a security threat has been responded to, SOAR will measure how the organization responded to that threat. The goal is to use that information to increase the security team’s effectiveness.
By integrating the SOC’s cybersecurity tools into a streamlined command center, SOAR increases efficiency for commercial businesses through cyber automation. However, it is worth noting that SOAR is not a replacement for human analysts but rather a tool to help them prioritize where their expertise is most needed.
Cyber automation is pivotal in responding to the increasing volume and complexity of cybersecurity threats in today’s digital world. SOAR technologies represent a shift in how organizations use automation to tackle cybersecurity incidents.
Automated processes can sort through and analyze large amounts of security data to identify anomalies and generate alerts. By automating repetitive tasks such as these, teams can reduce the risk of human error, ensure consistency, and allow for quick scalability as threat volumes increase or decrease. Additionally, this frees up security professionals to focus on strategy and complex security issues. According to Markets and Markets, the SOAR market had an estimated value of $1.1 billion in 2022, and it is expected to grow to $2.3 billion by 20272. This growth is attributed to the recent increase in phishing emails and ransomware that many SOCs are combating.
With its integrated approach to orchestration, automation, and response, SOAR optimizes businesses’ cybersecurity investments. Automating routine tasks and orchestrating responses reduces the time and resources needed to manage increasing cybersecurity threats.
These programs ensure that critical actions are consistently executed in a timely manner. This efficiency extends to threat detection, incident analysis, and response, providing real-time threat visibility and enabling proactive threat hunting.
SOAR technologies help ensure security teams have a comprehensive, holistic view of the security landscape. They integrate threat intelligence feeds and automated threat analysis to better identify and address vulnerabilities before they escalate into critical threats.
Implementing a SOAR solution should complement your cybersecurity tools, not replace them. Likewise, it is not a replacement for human analysts, and the value of having in-house experts should not be underestimated.
The goal of SOAR implementation should not be to automate every task within a SOC. Some tasks will require security analysts, but the key to a successful SOAR solution is knowing what tasks should be automated to best streamline security workflows.
As the threats evolve and change, so should your security plans. By continuously monitoring your automated playbooks and running tests, you can stay ahead of these changes and adjust accordingly.
SOAR solutions may be cost-prohibitive for some organizations.
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