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What is Security Orchestration, Automation and Response?

Written on: Oct 25, 2022 11:34:01 AM

Written by: Elizabeth Reed


[COOLSPIRiT, Cyber Security]

What is Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR)?  

A SOAR software stack ingests and consolidates inputs from disparate security technologies, leveraging automation to analyse security incidents and perform triage. By utilising the power of AI and machine learning to decipher and adapt insights from security analysts, SOAR technologies are able to generate automated workflows. Overall, they serve to help organisations define, prioritise and drive standardised incident response activities. 

Components of a typical SOAR solution

SOAR solutions are comprised of three main components: security orchestration, security automation and security response.

Security Orchestration: This refers to the collation of data from disparate internal and external tools into a single interface. These includes tools such as vulnerability scanners, endpoint protection products, end-user behaviour analytics, firewalls, intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and security information and event management (SIEM) platforms, as well as external threat intelligence feeds. The consolidation of all these different inputs provides better context, better analysis and up-to-date information for enhanced threat detection. 

Security Automation: The collated data is ingested and analysed by the security automation software which uses  AI and machine learning to decipher and adapt insights from security analysts to generate playbooks containing predefined automated responses to replace manual processes. These manual processes include tasks such as vulnerability scanning, log analysis, ticket checking and auditing capabilities which would be typically be performed by security analysts. If, for example, a malicious Uniform Resource Locator was identified in an email delivered to a user's inbox during a scan, the SOAR automation software would institute a playbook that blocks the email, alerts the employee of the potential threat and blocks the IP address of the sender so they can't send any more emails to users within the organisation. However, the automation software can escalate security incidents if human intervention is needed. In the example provided, the SOAR may then trigger follow-up investigative actions such as searching other employee inboxes for similar malicious emails. 

Security Response: Security response provides a holistic view of the workflows performed to mitigate a threat, including the planning, managing, monitoring and reporting of actions carried out once a threat is detected, as well as post-incident response activities, such as case management, reporting and threat intelligence sharing.

How can your organisation benefit from a SOAR solution?

SOAR solutions ultimately help security operations team to become more effective and efficient. This results in benefits such as:

Faster incident detection and reaction times: The enhanced threat context and automation provided by SOAR solutions brings about a lower mean time to detect and mean time to respond. The faster a threat is detected and mitigated, the lesser its impact on the organisation. This is especially valuable to security teams who are struggling to keep on top of the increasing volume and velocity of security threats, an issue that is exacerbated as organisations continue to grow and scale. Fortunately, these demands can be easily met as a SOAR's orchestration, automation and workflows can scale up or down as needed.

Increased productivity: By consolidating the dashboards of various security technologies into a single interface and automating responses to lower-level threats, SecOps are able to prioritise tasks more effectively and respond to the threats that do require human intervention faster. The centralised dashboard also enhances communication and collaboration by improving information sharing between teams and departments.

Lowered costs: Augmenting security analysts with SOAR tools can lower operational costs as it reduces the burden of performing all threat analysis, detection and response efforts manually. 

How COOLSPIRiT can help

We strive to help our customers save valuable time, money and resources which is why we have partnered with industry-leading SOAR solution providers to offer a range of products suitable for organisations of all sizes.

Contact our expert team today to learn more at 01246 454 222 or hello@coolspirit.co.uk.

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