With the massive evolution in the cybersecurity technology landscape, security teams are in a state of threat information overload. To handle cyber threats efficiently, security teams have to be more vigilant and proactive in defense. However, they are bogged down by various problems in SOC operations such as the lack of skilled workforce and budgets or the cumbersome job of manually sifting through a deluge of threat alerts from an ever-increasing set of security tools, or incoherent data handling processes. This not only impacts the overall Mean Time to Respond (MTTR) but also causes alert fatigue among security teams due to the mundane, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks. Security, Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) solves these distressing security operations challenges, especially the way security teams manage, analyze, and respond to threats, by orchestrating the threat data and automating the entire incident management and incident response lifecycle. The best SOAR platform is the one that helps organizations
realize a return on investment as it helps automate and streamline the threat detection, investigation, analysis, and actioning of threats without the need for any human intervention.
While investing in a SOAR solution is a wise and highly strategic decision to orchestrate and automate security operations, it is equally important for organizations and their security teams to evaluate the criteria and requirements to achieve the best results.
Market Definition of SOAR
SOAR solutions are actually the amalgamation of three distinct technologies that are designed to relieve significant amounts of manual labor for a number of security operations functions. These three technologies are Security Incident Response Platforms (SIRPs), Security Orchestration and Automation (SOA), and Threat Intelligence Platforms (TIPs)
Gartner defines SOAR solutions as those that fuse threat intelligence management, incident response, orchestration, and automation capabilities in a single platform. Given that numerous SOAR platforms have emerged in the market to offer the best of their capabilities, organizations need to understand the challenges and difficulties that they can face in later stages of the threat handling process if an adequate amount of research and evaluation is not done before investing in any SOAR platform. Without proper evaluation, there is a high chance that security teams can fall victim to common missteps, such as mismatch in implementation strategy, and ill-defined incident handling process, which becomes a cause for a weaker security posture. Moreover, choosing the wrong SOAR platform can result in scalability challenges with time.
Criteria for Choosing the Best SOAR Platform
To get the best of the Security Operations Center (SOC) processes and enhance the ability to deal with threats faster and efficiently, here are some of the strongly recommended requirements that must be looked at before choosing a SOAR solution.
Cloud to On-Premise Security Orchestration
When looking to compare SOAR platforms, look for a SOAR solution that connects and automates cyber, IT, and DevOps workflows across cloud, and on-premise environments. This flexibility enables seamless interoperability and bridges the gap in security workflows between cloud and on-premise deployed security tools and technologies. Moreover, having a cloud-based security orchestration capability has an added advantage as it's easier and faster to receive and deploy new upgrades issued by SOAR vendors.
Real-time Data Synchronization
A good SOAR platform must have real-time data synchronization capability that allows organizations to seamlessly synchronize huge volumes of data flow between disparate security tools and technologies used by IT, ITSM, DevOps, and SecOps teams. When data generated from different applications are synchronized in real-time, security teams can collaborate effectively and respond to threats faster— an important factor for efficient security operations. This also enables organizations to gain real-time insights into threats with regard to incident response and helps security teams and decision makers such as CISOs to identify the process gaps and align the necessary resources.
Centralized Detection, Analysis, and Response
TOP SOAR platforms must be capable of delivering centralized orchestration, improved automated workflows, and real-time response. In this way, security teams can get rid of tedious and disjointed manual workflows involving different tools and centralize their entire detection, analysis, and response architecture using a single console. Besides simplifying the daily mundane jobs, top SOAR platforms must be flexible to customization wherein security teams can design solutions that meet their security needs.
Low Code Security Automation
In the face of rising complex threats, modern-day organizations are keen on investing in a robust yet simple SOAR platform that offers endless integration of applications. As the applications are built on heavy coding languages, it increases the overhead cost as organizations have to hire more programming people. The emergence of low code security automation can prove a boon as it offers the ease to automate security processes and workflows without having to rely on advanced programming skills. Furthermore, given the shortage of skilled talent, organizations can leverage non-programming staff to easily build automations using features like pre-built playbook templates, drag-and-drop, and pre-built app integrations.
The scalability of a good orchestration solution depends on the ease with which it allows the integration of applications with other security tools so that an organization can continue with its existing security processes without having to build integrations from scratch. With pre-built integrations that top SOAR platforms offer, security teams can build automation workflows to execute actions that are configured for specific apps and tools.
One of the critical aspects to look for when performing a SOAR tools comparison is to check whether the platform is vendor-agnostic or vendor-specific. Vendor-specific or vendor lock-in Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) platforms limit the scalability of SOC processes by completely tying them to their products. On the other hand, a vendor-agnostic or vendor-neutral SOAR platform enables any-to-any integration of tools across different environments with automated playbooks, flexible APIs, and full customization features. When looking to compare SOAR platforms make sure to go for vendor-agnostic SOAR platforms as they are the key to ensuring scalability as your organizations' digital infrastructure grows and becomes more complex.
Bidirectional integration is crucial for security orchestration as it provides better visibility, coordination, and context by integrating and correlating data generated from tools and technologies used within an organization. A SOAR platform that allows bidirectional integration between tools centralizes security operations through a single console as it not only helps in the ingestion of data from different sources but can also trigger commands for updating data, investigating incidents, and responding to threats.
Threat Intelligence Correlation and Aggregation
Using SOAR tools, threat intelligence ingestion, enrichment, and analysis can be easily and quickly performed. IOCs can be automatically ingested, normalized, and enriched from multiple trusted external threat databases and internally deployed tools. The machine learning-driven threat intelligence correlation capabilities of SOAR platforms enable them to discover hidden threat patterns. Subsequently, security teams can perform automated confidence scoring, actioning, and sharing of intelligence and determine further actions to be taken. So when performing a SOAR tools comparison, choose the platform that enables threat intelligence aggregation and correlation at scale.
The effectiveness of a SOAR platform relies on the ease with which one can build orchestrations that connect the security workflows across cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments without coupling each automation workflow with the response. Independent, decoupled SOAR platforms separate orchestration from the response and enable security teams to build orchestration workflows across their SOC infrastructure as they please.
Unlimited Security Automations
The SOAR platforms that come with a limited number of playbooks or a pay-per-automation model lack scalability. This means organizations have to pay an extra amount to set up a new playbook for a new kind of threat or incident observed. On the other hand, the best SOAR platform is the one that offers unlimited automation with disparate tools and technologies. Such SOAR platform enables a hassle-free security automation process, without being heavy on your pockets.
Connect the Dots
Another important feature of the SOAR platform is the ability to connect the dots between incidents, vulnerabilities, malware, assets, and threat actors. This helps improve security teams' decision-making ability by offering contextual intelligence on intricate threat campaigns and potential attacker trajectories which has emerged as a critical factor for proactively neutralizing threats even before they impact.
Legacy SOAR platforms come with limited case management capabilities that limit it only to incidents. However, with security teams wanting to proactively neutralize threats, they must have capabilities to not only track and investigate incidents but also threats like malware, vulnerabilities, and threat actors. For proactive threat response, a SOAR platform must provide case management capabilities beyond incidents. It must deliver end-to-end malware management, vulnerability management, and threat actor management for security teams while allowing comprehensive tracking and investigation. While choosing a SOAR platform, case management capabilities must be given due weightage.
Cyware SOAR: The Best SOAR Platform in the Market
Cyware offers decoupled SOAR solutions comprising Cyware Orchestrate and Cyber Fusion and Threat Response (CFTR). Cyware Orchestrate is a vendor-agnostic orchestration platform that offers low code security automation and orchestration capabilities to establish automated workflows across cloud, on-premise, and hybrid environments whereas Cyware Fusion and Threat Response (CFTR) is an automated incident analysis and threat response platform designed to provide end-to-end threat visibility and collaboration between siloed security teams against malware, threat actors, and vulnerabilities by connecting the dots in real-time.
Unlike legacy SOAR, Cyware’s SOAR solution provides the flexibility to decouple orchestration from the response, whilst enabling SecOps teams to integrate and automate security, IT, and DevOps workflows using low-code automation. The uniqueness of Cyware’s vendor-agnostic SOAR solution lies in its capability to enable custom automations through 300+ pre-built integration apps and a low-code playbook editor. It also includes a whole set of ready-made playbooks for common use cases and features a Playbook Canvas for easy drag-and-drop custom playbook creation. These benefits are further augmented through Cyber Fusion Center which combines all security functions under one roof and provides a single pane of glass to analysts for advanced threat investigation, playbook triggering, better collaboration, and faster automated response.
Book a free demo to know more about Cyware’s SOAR Solutions!