In order to protect the organization and its customers, SOCs and other security teams must process an enormous amount of data as quickly as possible. Analysts sift through events and emails at a rapid-fire pace to determine which information matters and which can be disregarded — all with the end goal of identifying and resolving potential incidents. As in any job, having the right tools ensures that the objective is reached quickly, cost-effectively and more safely.
This is where the SIEM tool and SOAR solution step in.
What is a SOAR Solution?
SOAR stands for security orchestration, automation and response. Software that acts as a SOAR solution aids security analysts in processing security related information. As the acronym implies, it:
- Orchestrates security-related tools. It integrates with security tools so that they are being used at the right times and in the right ways in order to evaluate events and resolve incidents quickly;
- Automates security-related processes.
Processes are critical in a fast-paced security environment because they speed up work and make sure critical steps are not missed. They provide a roadmap for ensuring that all stakeholders are informed and involved as appropriate, necessary steps are taken to resolve incidents, and proper documentation occurs. SOAR software is used to automate process steps, making them faster and less prone to error;
- Facilitates security response. From merging reported events to categorizing which are most critical, SOAR solutions give analysts more insight into their data so that they can speed up time to resolution. For even more utility, teams will often look for a SOAR-C solution: This offers all the functionality of SOAR software, but also incorporates secure communication tools so that notifications and discussion can all be managed as part of the response.
What is a SIEM tool?
Another critical tool in the security analyst’s arsenal is SIEM software. SIEM stands for security information and event management: This is the discipline of examining all security related information to find patterns and build intelligence about possible threats.
The amount of data generated in the IT environment has long-since surpassed human ability to review and analyze it, so today we rely on SIEM tools. SIEM tools gather log files and alerts from applications and hardware. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning rules, SIEM tools consolidate and analyze incoming data to better identify threats, vulnerabilities, attacks or suspicious behaviors. It then alerts security analysts who can prioritize and respond.
If analysts today still had to manually review log files and event data, prioritize and consolidate it by hand, and then work on remediation in the case of an incident, cyber attacks would be too easy.
SIEM vs. SOAR: How do they work together?
These tools work together to process the immense amount of data being generated in the IT environment so that analysts can bring incidents to resolution faster.
By using a SIEM, analysts don’t have to invest time in consolidating data and individually reviewing log files. This is predominantly done for them. When a possible threat, vulnerability or incident is identified that requires human intervention, using an integrated SOAR solution means that the team is automatically alerted.
The SOAR solution then allows analysts to review incoming cases in an organized and structured way, complete with the ability to categorize and prioritize work. They track remediation efforts through the SOAR solution by automatically or manually triggering security processes and documenting their efforts. Typically, a SOAR offers added data intelligence which further facilitates resolution; and as mentioned above, a SOAR-C would also allow analysts to securely capture any related communication in central location.
Imagine how much time all of this automation saves. If analysts today still had to manually review log files and event data, prioritize and consolidate it by hand, and then work on remediation in the case of an incident, cyber attacks would be too easy. The speed at which a human can do all of the cross-referencing and visualization of data is simply too slow to keep pace with modern cybercriminals.
But, it’s more than just time saved. The integration of the two benefit the organization by:
- Improving efficiency and speeding up response times
- Minimizing threats
- Reducing the severity of breaches
- Ensuring appropriate documentation is retained
- Assisting with IT compliance
With the help of a SOAR solution and SIEM tool, analysts have the support they need to protect and defend the organization and its people, processes and tools.