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.