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Importance of SOAR in SOC

On September 10, 2020

What is SOAR and how is it different from SIEM?

SOAR (Secure Orchestration, Automation and Response) is an integral part of the SOC. It works in partnership with SIEM (Security Information and Event Management). Although both these are important cybersecurity tools, they cannot be used interchangeably.

Like SIEM, SOAR too helps SOC handle countless alarms and threats. The main difference is where SIEM helps in collecting and storing data at a central server; SOAR goes one step ahead and integrates security tools, applications, and systems. This enables the SOC team to automate most of the mundane tasks that are often time-consuming and repetitive.

Role of SOAR in SOC

The main role of SOAR is to improve efficiency of cyber security by allowing data collection of security threats and responding to low level threats without human intervention. As the name suggests, SOAR technology covers:

  • Threat and Vulnerability management - Orchestration
    It enables a smooth workflow and helps amend cyber threats within the security system by using a procedure to handle the security events manually and / or automatically.
  • Automate Security Operations - Automation
    Automation reduces the need for human intervention, and also significantly reduces time consumption through the use of machine learning.
  • Security Incident Response - Response
    It helps in strategizing a method to respond to threats i.e. how to plan, manage, coordinate, and execute a strategy.

Benefits of SOAR

SOAR is fast becoming a widespread and popular cyber security tool to enable effective and efficient incident responses. Here are some of the advantages of using SOAR.

  • Quick Response Time
    Security orchestration aggregates alerts from separate systems into a single incident. Due to the automated systems in place, the alerts are responded to with no human intervention.
  • Increase in Automation
    The SOC team analysts are relieved of mundane and repetitive tasks due to the security automation installation. As it handles many low-level threats, it leaves more time for the analysts to spend their time and effort on tasks that require human intervention.
  • Minimal Cyber Attack Impact
    The time taken to detect and respond to a security threat often determines the effect it has on the organisation’s cybersecurity. Often referred to as MTTD (Mean Time To Detect) and MTTR (Mean Time To Respond), SOAR plays a major role in minimizing these metrics. This ensures that the security analysts spend less time on gathering information and more time on acting on the alert.
  • Seamless Integration of Technology and Tools
    A SOAR platform integrates various security technologies such as cloud security, data enrichment, email security, endpoint security, threat intelligence, IT and Infrastructure, vulnerability management, SIEM and data log management etc. Seamless integration of these technologies is as easy as clicking a button in most cases.
  • Low Costs
    Due to the increased level of automation, it increases the level of efficiency and productivity of the analysts. It further helps in reducing the operational costs of the security systems.
  • Streamlined Operations
    The three main aspects of SOAR - Orchestration, Automation and Response ensure the streamlining of operations. In simple terms, orchestration aggregates data coming in, automation takes care of low-level threats through automated playbooks, and response systems ensure less time is spent on dwelling and more time on investigating the alerts.
  • Optimized Threat Intelligence
    The SOC team is bogged down with enormous data and information overload. Threat intelligence further adds to this load. The ideal SOAR system takes in the threat intelligence and correlates it with events in real time. This helps in easing the burden off the SOC analysts and provides actionable information to the response teams.