In the realm of cybersecurity technology, where constant evolution is the norm, security teams grapple with an overwhelming influx of threat information. To effectively combat cyber threats, security teams must assume a proactive and vigilant stance in defense. Yet, challenges within Security Operations Center (SOC) operations, such as skill shortages, budget constraints, and the arduous task of manually sifting through an expanding array of threat alerts from diverse security tools, undermine their efforts. This not only impacts the Mean Time to Respond (MTTR), but also engenders alert fatigue due to the tedium of time-consuming, repetitive tasks. Addressing these pressing security operation challenges is where Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) come to the rescue. SOAR tackles these issues, particularly how security teams manage, analyze, and respond to threats, by orchestrating threat data and automating the entire incident management and response lifecycle. The most effective SOAR platform is one that enables organizations to achieve a significant return on investment by automating and streamlining threat detection, investigation, analysis, and response without requiring human intervention.
While investing in a SOAR solution is strategically astute for orchestrating and automating security operations, it’s equally crucial for organizations and their security teams to evaluate criteria and prerequisites to attain optimal outcomes.
Defining the SOAR Market
SOAR solutions combine three distinct technologies to alleviate substantial manual labor across various security operation functions. These technologies encompass Security Incident Response Platforms (SIRPs), Security Orchestration and Automation (SOA), and Threat Intelligence Platforms (TIPs).
Gartner defines SOAR solutions as platforms that amalgamate threat intelligence management, incident response, orchestration, and automation capabilities into a unified framework. Given the proliferation of SOAR platforms in the market, it’s imperative for organizations to understand potential challenges they might encounter in later threat handling stages without thorough research and evaluation before investing in any SOAR platform. Inadequate evaluation can lead to common missteps, such as misaligned implementation strategies and ill-defined incident handling processes, which can weaken security posture. Moreover, selecting the wrong SOAR platform can result in scalability issues over time.
Criteria for Optimal SOAR Platform Selection
To leverage the full potential of Security Operations Center (SOC) processes and enhance rapid and efficient threat management, consider these essential prerequisites when choosing a SOAR solution:
Cloud-to-On-Premise Security Orchestration
When comparing SOAR platforms, prioritize those that connect and automate workflows across cloud and on-premise environments. This flexibility ensures seamless interoperability and bridges the gap in security workflows between various deployed security tools and technologies. Additionally, a cloud-based security orchestration capability facilitates rapid deployment of new upgrades from SOAR vendors.
Real-time Data Synchronization
A robust SOAR platform should offer real-time data synchronization capabilities, allowing smooth data flow synchronization between disparate security tools used by IT, ITSM, DevOps, and SecOps teams. Real-time data synchronization enhances collaboration among security teams, facilitating faster response to threats, and providing real-time insights for incident response and resource alignment.
Centralized Detection, Analysis, and Response
Top-tier SOAR platforms should offer centralized orchestration, improved automated workflows, and real-time response capabilities. This consolidation allows security teams to streamline detection, analysis, and response activities, eliminating disjointed manual workflows involving different tools.
Low Code Security Automation
In the face of complex threats, a simple yet robust SOAR platform with low code security automation is invaluable. This feature facilitates the automation of security processes and workflows without relying heavily on advanced programming skills, enabling non-programming staff to build automations easily.
Effective SOAR solutions should allow easy integration of applications with existing security tools, minimizing the need to build integrations from scratch. Pre-built integrations enable security teams to design automation workflows that align with their specific security needs.
Opt for a vendor-agnostic or vendor-neutral SOAR platform to ensure scalability and flexibility as your organization’s digital infrastructure expands. Vendor-agnostic platforms enable integration with tools across different environments through automated playbooks, flexible APIs, and customization features.
Choose a SOAR platform that supports bidirectional integration, enhancing visibility and coordination by correlating data from various tools and technologies used within the organization. Bidirectional integration streamlines security operations, allowing for centralized control and improved response capabilities.
Threat Intelligence Correlation and Aggregation
Look for a SOAR platform that offers automated threat intelligence ingestion, enrichment, and analysis. This capability aids in ingesting and normalizing IOCs from diverse sources, correlating threat patterns using machine learning, and automating confidence scoring and actioning of intelligence.
Select a SOAR platform with independent and decoupled orchestration capabilities that allow building workflows across cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments without coupling each automation with response actions.
Unlimited Security Automations
Opt for a SOAR platform that offers unlimited security automations, ensuring scalability and flexibility in addressing new threats or incidents without additional costs.
Connect the Dots
Choose a SOAR platform that facilitates the connection of incidents, vulnerabilities, malware, assets, and threat actors. This contextual intelligence aids in informed decision-making and proactive threat mitigation.
Prioritize SOAR platforms that offer comprehensive case management capabilities beyond incidents, including malware, vulnerability, and threat actor management, enabling proactive threat response.
Selecting the right SOAR platform involves careful consideration of these criteria to ensure optimal security operation outcomes and streamlined threat management processes.