How SOAR can increase the value of your security team

Over the past few years, the cybersecurity industry has rapidly transformed. The exploding number and growing complexity of cyberattacks has forced organizations to spend billions of dollars annually on cybersecurity measures in an effort to keep pace with increasingly sophisticated threats and rising threat levels.

However, for many companies, recent research from ESG shows that cybersecurity represents the most significant area where organizations have a troublesome shortage of skills and tools as 51 percent claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills.

Making matters worse, ESG reports have witnessed an alarming and steady growth since 2014. In 2018, 51 percent claimed their organization had a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills.

The majority of cybersecurity professionals claim their organization is impacted by the skills shortage. Securities teams are being faced with hundreds of thousands of potential threats daily, and most security teams spend most of their time dealing with whatever vulnerability pops up that day, leaving little time for training, planning, strategy, etc.

Making matters worse, security teams waste the precious little time they do have analyzing and responding to alarms that may not actually be “real” attacks. When normal or non-threatening activity is mistakenly identified as anomalous or malicious, that false positive can result in thousands of alerts that need to be investigated. If your security analysts are constantly evaluating false alerts, they aren’t able to spend the proper time working to mitigate legitimate threats.

Based on ESG’s and other industry research, it is apparent that the cybersecurity skills shortage is only getting worse. Your security operations (SecOps) team needs to be be working smarter, not harder.

Today, threat detection is no longer where failures typically occur. There are myriad high-quality detection solutions available that are quite proficient at identifying vulnerabilities. Instead, security breaches occur most often because businesses haven’t had access to solutions that could occupy the space directly after SIEM or other detection solutions in the security ecosystem.

Detection solutions allow security analysts and IT professionals to know that a possible attack is occurring, but identification is only the first step in the incident response process. With hundreds or thousands of threat alerts with varying degrees of complexity occurring on a daily basis, it’s become nearly impossible for security teams to manually address each event in a rigorous manner. And because resource constrained security teams are only able to sufficiently investigate 25 percent of security alerts, “real” threats can quickly become real problems.

Considering the increasingly sophisticated and dangerous threat landscape as well as the growing cybersecurity skills shortage, the problems security teams face are a vital threat to countries relying on technology to support their economy, critical infrastructure and society at large. So how can companies across every industry address this challenge, increase the value of their security teams and better protect their most sensitive data?

Enter security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) technologies. SOAR creates a more streamlined method of detecting and responding to cyberthreats by integrating a company’s entire toolkit of security resources with its existing people and processes and automating time-consuming, manual tasks for faster, more effective incident response.

By augmenting threat detection solutions with automation and orchestration, organizations are able to increase the incident response capabilities of their security teams. This is accomplished by delivering access to centralized, enhanced event context using all existing tools and data sources, and rapidly resolving repetitive, manually intensive tasks. These can include actions like submitting data to threat intelligence platforms, sending out email notifications, generating incident reports, opening support tickets, etc., that consume a large percentage of a security operations staff’s time.

SOAR makes SecOps decision-making easier than ever, supporting vital security activities, including better prioritizing security operations activities, formalizing triage and incident response processes, and automating containment workflows. SOAR technologies can be used to create automated workflows that continuously search for potential threats throughout the network, automatically investigate alerts and centralize investigation findings for improved security understanding.

SOAR collects and centralizes a comprehensive set of data from security detection tools, threat intel feeds, third-party data sources and internal IT asset databases to deliver relevant event context to analysts so that they can quickly assess and determine the level of risk is when compared to other alarms in the queue. Through playbooks and pre-defined workflows, SOAR helps any security team more quickly investigate, triage and remediate security incidents based on best practices.

By automating the first, repeatable (and often tedious) steps in the incident response process, security teams can quickly make a decision based on the automated investigation. Not only do SOAR technologies significantly speed time to resolution, they allow SecOps teams to focus on more complicated and critical issues that require a greater level of domain expertise.

In the end, by helping SecOps teams to standardize and scale critical security processes, SOAR significantly improves incident response management, not only reducing mean time to resolution (MTTR), but also freeing up more time for security teams to concentrate on more critical tasks. Ultimately, SOAR improves the value of security teams and better protects organizations’ most sensitive data by empowering SecOps teams to implement better, faster and more effective security operations and incident response processes.