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Why Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) Is an Essential Cybersecurity Tool?

The SOAR acronym first appeared back in 2017, and it stands for Security, Orchestration, Automation, and Response. SOAR represent a rise in automated incident response and management platforms. This technology allows organizations to collect relevant data regarding security operations by applying automation and orchestration. Gartner predicted that this technology will be a turning point in the cyber world, as more and more organizations have realized the immense value of SOAR.
With the evolution and increase in cyber attacks every day, SOAR gained popularity among security analysts for its core feature of handling repetitive tasks. By helping to plan and orchestrate responses to security incidents, SOARs offer critical functionality that extends beyond that provided by security incident and event management (SIEM) platforms, a more conventional type of security tool.


Security Orchestration, Automation and Response in detail

Let’s break down the term SOAR to get a better understanding of what it actually involves:

  • Security automation

This is the automatic execution of security operations-related tasks – such as scanning for vulnerabilities or searching for logs – without human intervention. Information is automatically retrieved from advanced detection systems and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM).

  • Security orchestration

This refers to the way all security tools are connected. Even disparate security systems are integrated. In this layer, SOAR streamlines all security processes.

  • Security response

This means automation helps to define, prioritise and execute default incident response activities based on predefined policy rules. Incident response processes may be completely automated, completely manual, or a combination of both to mirror an organization’s unique business processes.

Benefits of using SOAR as an Effective Cybersecurity Tool

  • Enhancing incident response

Rapid response is vital in order to minimise the risk of breaches and limit the vast damage and disruption they can cause. SOAR helps organisations to reduce mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) by enabling security alerts to be qualified and remediated in minutes, rather than days, weeks and months.

SOAR also enables security teams to automate incident response procedures (known as playbooks). Automated responses could include blocking an IP address on a firewall or IDS system, suspending user accounts or quarantining infected endpoints from a network.

  • Improve security operations center management with standardized processes

Using a centralized security operations center (SOC) management system, your organization can maintain better internal and regulatory compliance. Plus, using an automation platform specifically built with SOCs in mind, allows you to better prioritize and optimize alert remediation.

  • Faster detection and resolution of known and unknown threats

Responding to cyber threats in real-time requires a great deal of preparation, and with today’s evolved data threats, combating incidents without the help of AI automation is virtually unthinkable. In that regard, SOAR helps managed security service providers (MSSPs) respond to these threats quickly and effectively. Furthermore, AI-enhanced technologies are used to evaluate real-time threats, search for trends, utilize historical data to detect patterns, and isolate confirmed threats or any types of suspicious activities in a rapid-response fashion.

It’s very important to note that cyber attacks are moving at a rash speed, and cyber criminals are utilizing agile development and machine learning to strike any weaknesses and evade detection, and leaving traces. And only SOAR offers that kind of instant readiness that allows MSSPs to quickly respond in a preventive manner and learn consistent pattern behaviors.

  • Automated Security Reporting

In addition to automating security incident detection and response, SOAR platforms usually provide automated reporting features that record what happened, who did what and which steps ultimately mitigated the threat.

This data is crucial for tracking trends in security risks and response over time. It may also be useful for auditing and compliance purposes in cases where businesses are required to document their security operations.

  • Vulnerability management

SOAR platforms may also provide cataloguing of assets for a clearer visibility of their security. If any asset is vulnerable to a cyber threat, timely patching of vulnerabilities will reduce the risk of cyber-attacks on those assets. SOAR also offers integration with tools that automate the process of vulnerability management, in addition to directly fetching information about vulnerabilities by integrating with threat intelligence.

  • Unification of security tools

In order to achieve optimal efficiency, SOAR allows a swift integration of both workforce and tools, and that exact integration allows SOAR to handle tasks and processes without the need for human intervention. Machine learning is also applied to automate specific tasks, and that automation is usually applied via playbooks.

Is SOAR right for your organization?

To select a suitable SOAR solution for your business, you need to think about a variety of factors. Gartner advises that before choosing a SOAR solution, it is essential to make an assessment of the need of your security team, analyze which areas of your security operations need strengthening, and find out which SOAR solutions offer the kind of features that match your actual needs. Implementing SOAR can reduce threat response times, improve security performance and resource allocation, and create a more positive, productive environment for security professionals.

The Essential Role of Identity and Access Management in Remote Work

Since fast two years, the pandemic has pressured organizations of all sizes to embrace IT transformation at a rapid pace and to adapt to new models of business related to a transition to remote workforces.

Nowadays, streamlined accessibility of critical applications is top of mind for executive leadership than ever before. However, a company’s IT security posture and administrative governance remain vital, as cybercriminals see unsecured home offices as attack vectors to exploit for personal gain. The rapid evolution of work-from-home technologies highlights a need to validate full coverage and completeness of an organization’s IT ecosystem, operational impacts and cybersecurity foundation. Furthermore, a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity helps enhance end-user productivity and remove the barriers for further IT transformation.

Identity and access management are crucial starting points

For these reasons, Identity and Access Management (IAM) has distinguished more critical to IT departments and organizations overall. Identity and Access Management (IAM) both secures the work-from-home networks and enables employees to easily access the data and applications they need for their role.

A good Identity and Access Management solution helps to securely connect the right employees to the right business resources at the right time. From an end-user perspective, IAM enables an employee to log into a critical application as they normally would, but their sign-on would also apply to a whole suite of commonly used and IT-approved applications. Meanwhile, IT staff can monitor who accesses what application when, add or remove approved applications for sign-on, and adjust security controls across the IT ecosystem in one platform.

  • Least Privilege Principle

To better secure your data with employees working from home, your IAM solution should include least privilege access capabilities. This provides you the opportunity to customize each employee’s level of access, so they only have what they need and nothing more. In this way the companies have a greater level of control over who is accessing their sensitive data each time.

  • Secure Sharing

For remote teams, the easy and secure virtual collaboration is a necessity. When it comes to sharing access to accounts and data, teams need a way to share credentials without increasing the risk of cyberattacks and data breach. Enterprise password management provides central and safe storage of shared corporate credentials, so remote team members can access shared accounts, from anywhere, any time.

  • Secure Authentication

To alleviate cyber threats when working remotely, businesses should think about adding layers of security that slow down attackers – but not employees. Additional login requirements and behind-the-scenes analysis of many factors helps reduce the risk of a cyberattack. Multifactor authentication (MFA), especially a solution that incorporates biometric and contextual authentication, can significantly increase security in a way that is quick and easy for employees.

Building an Identity and Access Management Strategy for Remote Work

A lot of studies show how critical IAM is, especially as remote work becomes the new normal. Businesses need to prioritize their IAM strategy and ensure they are crafting one that supports the new normal of work-from-anywhere.

The enterprises should realize how critical IAM is, especially as remote work becomes the new normal. As employees work remotely, organizations will need to craft an IAM strategy that makes it easy for employees to connect to work resources, while maintaining a high standard of security.

  • Managing every access point

If secure access is a top priority, your IAM solution needs to combine SSO and password management. SSO simplifies login to many apps, and password management ensures any password-protected accounts are properly stored.

  • Sharing the secure way.

For remote teams, virtual collaboration is inescapable. Any credentials or sensitive information like credit card numbers that need to be shared among team members should be done in a way that is encrypted and private, while making it easy for team members to get the information when they need it.

  • Enabling MFA for additional protection.

Choose a solution that is simple for employees to use, and then turn on MFA everywhere you can (apps, workstations, VPNs, and more) for an additional layer of security across every employee login.

In the future remote work will continue to change as the companies develop new normal work routines for the employees. Identity and authentication methods must develop alongside those changes to ensure secure access and simplicity for both employees and companies.