Combining SOAR and TIP for Intel-Driven SecOps
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Combining SOAR and TIP for Intel-Driven SecOps

  • Security Orchestration Automation and Response
  • Cyber Fusion
  • Cyber Threat Intelligence

Posted on: August 16, 2021

Combining SOAR and TIP for Intel-Driven SecOps
Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) and Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) are the linchpin of a robust security posture.  However, when used standalone, their true potential is difficult to unleash. Simply put, the fusion of these two technologies can help you scale up intelligence-driven security operations. For a modern-day security team, combining SOAR and TIP has become more of a necessity now because of the effective use cases it can provide. 

What is SOAR?

Although the concept of SOAR is not new, the term was first coined by Gartner in 2015. SOAR platforms are defined as, “technologies that enable organizations to collect inputs monitored by the security operations team.” SOAR is a technology that allows automated accumulation and flow of security threat data between disparate security and non-security technologies (such as SIEM, TIP, firewall, and incident response platform, IT/ITSM, and DevOps tools) deployed on different environments (cloud and on-premise) and facilitates automated responses to security threats. With the help of  SOAR, security teams can streamline their security operations.

What is TIP?

A Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) is a solution that enables security teams to collect, organize, and manage threat data and intelligence. Advanced TIPs offer the functionality of sharing and receiving intelligence from peers, threat intel providers, ISAC members, partner organizations, regulators, and subsidiaries. A smart, bi-directional sharing TIP enables security teams to more accurately predict and prevent attacks, and mitigate and respond to threats with smarter actions. 

Combining SOAR and TIP

Security teams often struggle to confidently and efficiently act on appropriate Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) with massive and irrelevant threat intel feeds. TIPs are of little use if analysts have to spend most of their time collecting data from several sources, manually entering it, and ultimately, processing and driving the relevant data to third-party enforcement tools. This is a tedious process and can drain precious resource time, increasing the Mean Time To Response (MTTR). Scalable teams are the need of the hour for defending against highly sophisticated adversaries.  

While TIP is a valuable solution, without context, security teams can be left grappling with an overwhelming torrent of data. A SOAR solution structures this data and intertwines it with security operations. It automates everything from threat intelligence ingestion to lookups for enriching alerts. With automated security workflows, SOAR platforms enable organizations to identify the issues, describe the solutions, and automate the response. Often, organizations adopt SOAR cybersecurity platforms to improve efficiency, building a security posture that’s more self-operating. With an integrated SOAR and TIP solution, automated contextual intelligence pushes intelligence-driven investigations that use connected indicators from an enriched entity to find other pertinent IOCs and deliver an automated response. 


Why TIP Needs to SOAR


Full control over threat data

Marrying TIP with SOAR offers analysts complete control over threat data management, along with the capability to add additional context. They can slice and dice data as per their requirements, bringing their skills and experience to programmatically design countermeasures across the organization.

Automated playbooks 

The siloed-yet-dependent nature of incident management and threat hunting operations wastes time. Use cases, including incident prioritization based on threat intelligence, may be difficult to implement in a way that is both scalable and accurate given the deluge of indicators and incidents.  SOAR playbooks unify threat intel feed ingestion, indicator enrichment and validation, and incident response processes to speed up security processes. These playbooks can integrate security tools and establish steady customizable workflows, thus, allowing security teams to automate mundane and repetitive tasks. This also ensures that human analysts are free to perform tasks that require their intelligence and decision-making skills.

Actionable threat intelligence 

Putting threat intelligence into action is a repetitive and time-consuming activity. When TIP is aligned with SOAR, the gap between threat intelligence generation and response automation is bridged. Analysts can automate the sharing and enforcement of threat intelligence across several enforcement points, such as SIEM blocklists and firewall external dynamic lists. 

Increase efficiency of security teams

Direct access to source materials provides security teams the context required for rapid action when making remediation decisions. The confidence provided by a combined solution of TIP and SOAR assists in determining the best way to proceed with containment, mitigation, and protection efforts. 

Faster incident response

Access to contextualized threat intelligence substitutes manual research that can exhaust IT resources. SOAR solutions when paired with the right TIP, can resolve incidents faster by diminishing research time and enhancing security team efficacy. 

Conclusion

The ability to make informed security decisions on potential IOCs is heavily reliant on the availability of actionable intelligence. By using an integrated SOAR and TIP platform, your security teams can automatically collect and analyze data accumulated from a variety of sources and deliver actionable threat intelligence to ISACs/ISAOs, clients, peers, and other key stakeholders. While it is unfortunate that one cannot call upon Batman and Robin to punch the cybercriminals, a combination of TIP and SOAR is the next best thing and presently it’s offered by Virtual Cyber Fusion Centers (vCFCs) that combine SOAR and Threat Intelligence to deliver a collaborative security strategy while enhancing threat visibility and cyber resilience.  

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