Many SOAR tools offer the ability to automate and expedite response actions. This can include triggering security playbooks to scan endpoints, analyze malware, and quarantine files. SOAR systems ingest alerts from multiple sources and enrich the data with contextual information. They then identify threats and automatically set them up as incidents for investigation.
Integrating SOAR Security Tools with SIEM
Combining SIEM and SOAR security tools offers significant benefits, including improved cybersecurity posture and faster response to threats. By automating manual processes, organizations can free their analysts from time-consuming tasks to focus on more important duties that will strengthen their defenses against cyberattacks. Although the two systems have similar features, it’s essential to know their differences before integrating them with your existing security tools. For instance, SIEMs collect data and send alerts to security personnel, while SOAR solutions activate automated responses to incidents using playbooks or workflows. A key benefit of SOAR is dedicating alerts from different security tools and platforms, making it easier for SOC teams to prioritize and respond to threats. For example, suppose an incident alerts the SOC team that an attacker has tried ten login attempts in less than one minute. In that case, the system may deactivate the account without human intervention. SOAR can pull information from other sources. The solution can access IPAM metadata and DNS data, user and device information, rich network context and more to enrich other security tools with that data so they can automatically detect threats, prioritize alerts and take action. In this way, SOAR can eliminate the need for humans to interpret and investigate alerts – a significant challenge many SOC teams face.
SOAR automates and orchestrates incident response workflows by ingesting alerts from multiple sources, including internal tools like SIEM, vulnerability scans and cloud security solutions. Then, based on predefined rules and automation functions, it prioritizes and investigates incidents. This allows the team to focus on high-priority threats and reduces time spent sifting through alerts. It also enables the team to use their specialized skills more meaningfully and speeds up MTTD and MTTR. Using threat intelligence, SOAR detects suspicious activities in the network and alerts security analysts when a potential threat is detected. The platform can then rely on human-defined playbooks and machine-learning algorithms to decide whether the threat is valid and then launch a response. This eliminates the need for a human to notice an alert, identify it as a threat and manually create an incident in the system.
After launching an action against the threat, SOAR gathers information about its impact and determines whether the move worked. This information is reflected in an incident status report, which the analyst can review and modify.
By streamlining alert triage and ensuring that different security tools work together, SOAR reduces the mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR), softening the impact of data breaches. A shorter breach lifecycle can save your organization millions of dollars in remediation costs, according to IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Breach report.
Security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) solutions ingest alerts from sources that a SIEM doesn’t — such as vulnerability scan findings or cloud security alerts — to help deduplicate and prioritize them. They then utilize automation and intelligence to qualify, investigate and remediate threats using standardized workflows. This increases SOC efficiency and decreases labor costs. For example, when an alert identifies a malicious file detected on an endpoint device by an EDR tool, the SOAR platform will query additional information, such as threat intelligence and past incidents, to determine how critical it is. Then, it can use an incident response playbook to automatically check the alert against other systems, such as endpoint security software for correlated IOCs and trigger other tools to take action if necessary. The SOAR solution can also be used to reduce operational costs by automating many of the tasks that require human intervention. For example, if an alert is triggered by a brute force attack on a login screen, the SOAR system can halt the attacker’s account access and disconnect any devices they use.
The platform can also perform a host-based analysis of the suspected malware to identify and block the execution of commands. This is possible because SOAR security tools can integrate with IT tools such as configuration management and helpdesk systems.
Responding to Threats
While SIEM focuses on correlation and data analysis, SOAR adds automation to the investigation and response process. When a threat is detected, the SOAR platform executes a predefined playbook to investigate and resolve it. The platform ingests alerts from security tools and translates them into standardized machine-driven actions performed on other security systems and devices, such as enabling antivirus software to find and detonate malware or extracting hyperlinks and attachments to run them in a safe environment. When a security team receives an alert, such as a brute-force correlation alert that indicates ten login attempts in one minute, it’s important to quickly determine whether the threat is authenticated and take appropriate action. This can help reduce the risk of a breach that can negatively impact business operations. Unfortunately, SOC teams are overwhelmed with hundreds of daily alerts, and many must be investigated. SOAR tools ingest and enrich alerts with intelligence from integrated threat intelligence feeds, allowing them to deduplicate and prioritize the most serious threats for further investigation and response.
Additionally, SOAR tools provide integration and orchestration to connect multiple security systems in a coordinated way for efficient incident response. This includes application programming interfaces (APIs), prebuilt plugins, and custom integrations to unify security tools in repeatable security operations (SecOps) workflows. This improves threat detection and response times by reducing manual labor, increasing the efficiency of security analysts and ensuring all critical steps in an investigation are followed.