Crucial SOAR insights executives must be aware of

January 25, 2024

TLDR: SOAR (security orchestration, automation, and response) platforms are designed to improve organizations’ overall security posture by allowing them to quickly respond to cybersecurity attacks and prevent future incidents. Gartner coined the term “SOAR” in 2015, and these platforms leverage automated processes called playbooks to orchestrate incident response. However, it’s important to note that a SOAR platform is not the only tool a company needs for security management. Executives considering adopting SOAR should focus on integrating existing security tools and simplifying processes to achieve the desired scalability and efficiency.

A SOAR platform brings automation to security operations

SOAR platforms are designed to orchestrate the response to cybersecurity incidents by leveraging automated processes. These platforms use playbooks, which are lists of tasks, data, and implications required to respond to specific incidents. Playbooks can be automated for routine tasks such as creating a ticket, gathering preliminary data, notifying involved parties, and comparing the incident to known attacks.

SOAR was born out of the need to secure growing amounts of data

The concept of SOAR emerged as businesses embraced virtualization, containerization, and cloud technologies, leading to an explosion of data, assets, applications, and services that needed to be secured. SOAR aimed to bring automation to this growing need for security coverage.

SOAR eases the pain of event and incident overload

One of the primary advantages of using a SOAR platform is to address the overwhelming number of events and incidents that security programs face as businesses expand. By automating event analysis and response, SOAR platforms enable security teams to manage a higher volume of events and incidents, reducing the risk of manual error and accelerating incident response.

Avoid overreliance on SOAR and ensure simplicity in implementation

While SOAR platforms offer significant benefits, it is crucial to avoid overreliance on them and understand that they are codependent on other security tools in an organization’s arsenal. SOAR should be seen as one tool in a comprehensive security strategy, rather than a standalone solution. To ensure successful SOAR adoption, integration with existing security tools should be simplified and robust, and the focus should be on removing complexity and streamlining processes.

Key questions for executives considering SOAR adoption

Executives looking to adopt SOAR should ask themselves several key questions, such as:

  • How would the security operations center (SOC) maintain our security posture without increasing worker count if the business were to double in size?
  • What routine processes and workflows can be automated to improve security integrity?
  • Which systems and security-specific solutions need to be integrated into the SOAR platform, and how difficult will it be to achieve full integration?
  • What other operations within the organization can benefit from the SOAR platform, and how can they be enabled?
  • How quickly can operations teams understand, create, and update playbooks and case management systems, and how much product and coding knowledge is required?

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