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Glossary

Our Criblpedia glossary pages provide explanations to technical and industry-specific terms, offering valuable high-level introduction to these concepts.

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SOAR: Security Orchestration, Automation & Response

SOAR is a powerful technology that streamlines your security operations by connecting your tools, automating tasks, and guiding your team through incident response. In this glossary page, we’ll break down SOAR, explain its key components, and show you how it can significantly improve your company’s cybersecurity posture.

What is SOAR?

SOAR stands for Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response. It is a cybersecurity solution that integrates multiple security tools and processes to improve threat detection, response, and remediation. SOAR platforms automate routine security tasks, orchestrate workflows across different security systems, and provide comprehensive incident response capabilities. This enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of security operations, enabling organizations to respond to threats faster and with greater precision.

How does SOAR work?

SOAR works by integrating various security tools and processes to streamline and enhance cybersecurity operations. Established by Gartner, the term encompasses three main components:

  • Orchestration: This involves connecting and coordinating disparate security systems and tools to work together seamlessly. Orchestration ensures that data and actions flow smoothly between different security platforms, enabling a cohesive response to threats.
  • Automation: SOAR automates repetitive and time-consuming security tasks, such as data collection, incident triage, and initial response actions. Automation reduces the burden on security teams, allowing them to focus on more complex and strategic tasks.
  • Response: SOAR provides a centralized platform for managing and executing incident response processes. It enables security teams to quickly assess, prioritize, and respond to threats. This is achieved through using predefined playbooks and workflows, ensuring a consistent and efficient response.

By combining these components, SOAR enhances the overall efficiency, speed, and effectiveness of security operations, helping organizations better protect their digital assets.

Benefits of SOAR

Enhanced Efficiency
SOAR automates common security tasks like data collection and initial incident triage. This reduces the workload on security teams, allowing them to focus on more complex and strategic activities. As a result, overall operational efficiency is significantly improved.

Improved Incident Response
With SOAR, organizations can respond to security incidents more quickly and effectively. The platform enables faster detection, triage, and response to threats, minimizing their impact. Predefined playbooks and automated workflows ensure a swift and consistent response, reducing the time it takes to contain and mitigate incidents.

Consistent and Standardized Processes
SOAR ensures that security incidents are handled in a consistent and standardized manner. By using predefined playbooks and workflows, the platform reduces the risk of errors and ensures that best practices are followed. This standardization leads to more reliable and effective incident management.

Comprehensive Visibility
SOAR consolidates data from multiple security tools into a single, centralized platform. This integration provides security teams with a comprehensive view of the security landscape, improving situational awareness. Enhanced visibility allows for better monitoring, analysis, and decision-making, leading to more effective threat management.

Cost Savings
By automating tasks and improving the efficiency of security operations, SOAR can lead to significant cost savings. Organizations can handle more incidents with the same or fewer resources, reducing labor costs. Additionally, faster and more effective incident response helps minimize the financial impact of security breaches, leading to further cost savings.

SOAR, SIEM and XDR

SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response), SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), and XDR (Extended Detection and Response) are all critical components of modern cybersecurity strategies, each serving distinct but complementary roles. Let’s break them down:

How are they similar?

  1. Cybersecurity Integration: All three technologies integrate various security tools and data sources to improve threat detection, incident response, and overall security operations.
  2. Automation: They incorporate automation capabilities to streamline repetitive tasks and workflows, reducing manual effort and enhancing efficiency in handling security incidents.
  3. Enhanced Visibility: SOAR, SIEM, and XDR provide comprehensive visibility into security events and threats, facilitating better monitoring, analysis, and decision-making.

How are they different?

  1. Focus and Functionality:
    • SOAR focuses on orchestration and automation of incident response processes. It automates workflows and integrates with existing security tools to coordinate and streamline response actions.
    • SIEM primarily focuses on collecting, analyzing, and correlating security event data from various sources to identify threats and anomalies. It provides real-time monitoring and log management capabilities.
    • XDR extends beyond traditional endpoint detection and response (EDR) by integrating and correlating data from multiple security layers, including endpoints, networks, email, and cloud environments. XDR emphasizes detection, investigation, and response across these integrated layers.
  2. Scope:
    • SOAR is broadly applicable across incident response and security operations automation.
    • SIEM is specifically focused on log management, event correlation, and real-time monitoring.
    • XDR concentrates on unified threat detection and response across multiple security domains to provide a more holistic view of the threat landscape.

SOAR Use cases

Some common use cases for SOAR are:

  • Incident Response Automation: Automates incident detection, triage, containment, and remediation processes.
  • Threat Intelligence Management: Ingests and analyzes threat intelligence feeds to enhance threat detection and response.
  • Phishing Response and Remediation: Optimize response to phishing attacks, including email analysis and system quarantine.
  • Vulnerability Management: Streamlines identification, prioritization, and remediation of vulnerabilities across IT infrastructure.
  • Compliance and Reporting: Automates compliance management tasks, ensuring alignment with regulatory requirements and generating reports.
  • User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA): Integrates with UEBA platforms to detect anomalies and automate response actions.
  • Security Operations Center (SOC) Orchestration: Streamlines SOC operations, automating tasks and enhancing collaboration among analysts.
  • Cloud Security Automation: Extends automation capabilities to cloud environments, managing security posture and incident response across multiple clouds.

What to Look For in a SOAR Platform?

When evaluating a SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response) platform, focus on these five key areas:

  1. Integration and Compatibility: Ensure the platform integrates seamlessly with existing security tools (SIEM, firewalls, endpoint protection) via robust APIs and connectors. But don’t worry if your platform is lacking a bit here, as you can use Cribl as your data engine to effortlessly route any data between any of your existing (or future) tools.
  2. Automation and Orchestration: Look for customizable automation playbooks and workflow automation for repetitive tasks, and orchestration capabilities to coordinate actions across multiple tools and teams, enhancing response efficiency.
  3. Incident Management and Response: A centralized dashboard for real-time monitoring, comprehensive case management, and automated response actions are crucial for effective incident management, ensuring quick and coordinated responses. To get ahead, you can use Cribl to streamline and normalize the data sent to your SOAR platform to reduce the noise, improve incident accuracy, and accelerate response time.
  4. Threat Intelligence and Analytics: Integration with multiple threat intelligence sources, advanced analytics for trend and root cause analysis, and comprehensive reporting capabilities are essential for enriched incident context and strategic improvements. Plus, Cribl lets you aggregate and enrich threat data before it lands in your platform, providing even deeper insights for analysis.
  5. Scalability, Usability, and Support: The platform should scale with organizational needs, offer an intuitive user interface, and provide robust support services, including technical assistance, training, and a strong user community for knowledge sharing and extended capabilities.The best SOAR platform for you may likely change as your environment evolves and tools with the best of breed tech continue to shift, but with Cribl you can have the flexibility and choice to easily migrate SOAR platforms as your cybersecurity needs inevitably evolve.
Why is SOAR important?

SOAR is crucial in cybersecurity for its ability to automate and streamline incident response workflows. By integrating disparate security tools and automating routine tasks, SOAR accelerates threat detection and response times, minimizing the impact of cyber incidents. This efficiency not only reduces operational overhead and manual errors but also allows security teams to focus on strategic initiatives and proactive threat hunting. Additionally, the technology enhances collaboration and communication across teams, ensuring a coordinated and effective response to complex threats.

Overall, SOAR improves the effectiveness, speed, and resilience of cybersecurity operations, enabling organizations to mitigate risks more effectively in today's rapidly evolving threat landscape.

Want to learn more?
Watch our on-demand webinar titled Supercharge your Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) Solution with Cribl.

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