January 20, 2019 / by J Burks / In soar /

Five Benefits of Implementing Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR)

Security orchestration, automation and response — often shortened to SOAR — is a term for modern security solutions that enable you to analyze security information from a range of sources and define how that information should be used in order to respond to security events. Today, SOAR is becoming more widespread as businesses discover the many ways it can enhance their security response strategies. Read on to discover some of its benefits for yourself.

1. Comprehensive integration

The O in SOAR stands for orchestration, which refers to the concept of getting other IT security solutions to work together. SOCs often use a range of security tools from different vendors, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and threat intelligence reports. While useful on their own, these tools lack interoperability. That means that in order to see the big picture, analysts must manually piece together the information from these tools like a jigsaw puzzle. This takes time and draws analysts’ attention away from other important tasks.

By contrast, a SOAR solution can put together the puzzle on its own, so to speak. This saves analysts time, since they don’t need to manually gather information from several tools and figure out how to combine it into a useful, actionable overview. Besides saving time, this also means that your SOC will have more resources to devote to issues that actually require its attention and action.

A comprehensive list of SOAR integration plugins can be found here.

2. Rapid response

Going beyond data acquisition and analysis, SOAR solutions can be configured to respond automatically to a range of situations. For example, consider an endpoint infected with malware that repeatedly attempts to connect to blacklisted domains. In a more traditional setup, even if these connections are quickly detected and flagged, SOC staff might not be able to intervene manually before the endpoint attempts a connection to a domain that isn’t on the blacklist. From this point, any number of events could occur: confidential information might be sent to an attacker, or additional malware might be downloaded and installed.

With a SOAR solution in place, an incident like this one can be interrupted much earlier in its development. As soon as the connection attempts to the blacklisted domains begin, a SOAR solution can automatically isolate the infected device from the rest of the network. Doing so not only drastically shortens the SOC’s response time, but also eliminates the pressure on the SOC team to respond manually. If there are other events that require immediate attention, the infected device can be dealt with later, since it no longer has access to the network.

3. Consistency and compliance

In addition to shortening response times, the automation features of a SOAR solution offer the benefit of consistency. Because automated responses are generated by sets of rules, you can be certain that all events of a given type will be handled identically. Automation eliminates the possibility of human error and reduces the number of judgement calls analysts are required to make.

Consistency can also be helpful from a compliance perspective. By properly implementing SOAR, you can automate many actions needed to ensure regulatory compliance. Mistakes and oversights in this area are often quite costly, so SOAR can help you avoid landing in an unpleasant, expensive situation.

4. Focused attention

Another advantage of SOAR solutions lies in their ability to automatically investigate many low-level alerts. In environments that deal with a high volume of events, analysts often spend a significant amount of time resolving these security alerts. Low-level alerts are frequently false positives, and those that are not may require only a trivial response. By automating the handling of these alerts, analysts can devote more of their time and attention to situations where human intervention really is required while the software handles the rest.

However, false positives aren’t the only drain on SOC teams’ time and attention. Routine tasks like updating firewall rules and adding or deleting user accounts offer another opportunity to save time. Reducing the number of mundane, everyday tasks like these that security staff need to perform manually is an excellent way to further improve SOC processes — and these tasks, too, can be automated with a SOAR solution.

5. Lower costs

Implementing SOAR has financial benefits, too. A SOAR solution reduces the amount of work in an SOC that needs to be done manually, increasing efficiency and productivity. You can take advantage of that efficiency and productivity to reduce some of your security-related operational costs.

SOAR higher with DNIF

DNIF’s modern approach to SOAR offers your organization all of these benefits and others. DNIF also incorporates machine learning techniques, making its security automation features more powerful and efficient than those of traditional solutions.

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