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What is Security Orchestration?
Posted on: October 21, 2020
Orchestration is not a new concept. Its application in cybersecurity processes has long been known. Cybersecurity orchestration is a way of connecting security systems and integrating multiple security tools, improving incident response times. It is the connected layer that smoothens security processes and power cybersecurity automation.
Security orchestration is the method of bringing together several tools—both security and non-security—by integrating them. This means security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) platforms not only ingest and analyze data and alerts from security information and event management (SIEM) systems, but also from incident response platforms, threat intelligence platforms (TIPs), and others. Leveraging integrations with existing tools in this way allows security teams to implement security defenses employing internal as well as external resources.
Why is Security Orchestration Important?
The machine-based coordination among several interdependent security events across a complex infrastructure is referred to as security orchestration. It correlates incident investigation, response, and remediation. Moreover, it eliminates the need for security teams to traverse through multiple systems, arranging everything in one place.
A cybersecurity orchestration tool collects data from a wide variety of sources to offer in-depth insights into the threat environment. Security teams can stop handling alerts and start investigating the reason behind the occurrence of the incidents. SOAR security orchestration puts all the critical data at everyone’s disposal, making collaboration, problem-solving, and remediation processes more effective. Ultimately, cybersecurity orchestration enhances the integration of an organization’s security defenses, allowing security teams to automate intricate processes.
SOAR Security Orchestration Use Cases
When security teams receive alerts of suspicious behavior, they can’t provide much information without investigating the alerts, discovering patterns, and more. Manual triaging is cumbersome and can often lead to human error. This is where security orchestration helps.
SOAR solutions allow security teams to quickly apply context by extracting relevant data from disparate sources and enriching the alerts. This enables the teams to focus on deeper analysis and remediation of threats.
Often, security teams spend more time on responding to alerts than undertaking proactive threat hunting. Going through numerous threat intelligence feeds, connecting the dots, and catching threats before they impact internal IT infrastructure is a time-intensive process. A SOAR tool brings in threat data from multiple sources, correlates relevant threat intelligence, and makes it easily available to security teams while threat hunting.
Security orchestration helps incident response teams in strategic decision-making on the entire incident response process. Security teams can automate incident response processes by orchestrating their security tools and operations. SOAR orchestration improves an organization’s security intelligence and combines its security operations for robust automation.
Tackling today’s complex cyber threats demands a deeper understanding of attackers’ TTPs and an ability to identify IOCs. By collecting and validating data from multiple sources, SOAR platforms help security operation teams to become more intelligence-driven. This allows them to contextualize incidents, make strategic decisions, and expedite incident detection and response.
In larger organizations, often vulnerability management is a task carried outside the security teams, which leads to potential risk as they may not be aware of vulnerabilities existing within their infrastructure. A security orchestration solution can be used to ensure that the security team is aware of any vulnerability within their organization. This allows them to proactively examine the unprotected host, ensuring no evidence of exploitation and subjecting the host to severe monitoring until the vulnerability is mitigated.
Case management is a major part of an incident response process that SOAR security orchestration can help streamline. Many organizations grapple to manage the huge volumes of disparate information collected during a security incident. Not only do security orchestration platforms maintain all information and enriched data amassed from automated and orchestrated activities, they also keep a comprehensive audit log of all the actions taken during the incident response. A security orchestration platform with full case management functionalities can help streamline the incident handling process from identification to remediation, providing security teams the information they need at their fingertips.
Benefits of Security Orchestration
Reduced Response Time
SOAR connects a wide variety of tools and solutions, facilitating data sharing and enabling easier access to relevant intelligence, which results in quicker and more efficient incident response. A SOAR solution can be configured to respond to various security incidents. Such platforms can interrupt incidents before causing damage and can also isolate a system from the rest of the network, blacklist domains, and more.
Contextualized Security Alerts
The context in security alerts is the kind of information that needs to be accessible to security teams without them having to sift through different tools. A SOAR orchestrator informs security teams about their role in handling security alerts, helping them focus on important tasks, rather than scanning user networks.
Streamlined Investigation Process
A threat investigation process entails a background check, analyzing the scope of the incident, identifying vulnerabilities, learning whether cyberattacks were launched, and looking for evidence. Once the data is gathered, the impacted systems need to be examined. These steps can be streamlined, saving security teams’ time and organizations’ capital if improved with cybersecurity orchestration.
Several steps can be taken to mitigate and contain a threat. Security orchestrators can help prioritize remediation, make better decisions after the incident has occurred, and compute the success of the entire process, without using multiple security tools.
Incidents are often escalated from support to security teams, their managers, CISOs, and others in the chain. Every step uses different solutions for reporting and communication purposes, making information difficult to understand. Moving across all the sources to access information can be time-consuming, affecting the collaborative efforts needed to respond to threats. With soar orchestration, teams can quickly resolve an incident, ensuring better collaboration fighting against cybercriminals.
The firewalls, threat intelligence, or other tools utilized by security teams often do not talk to each other. Security orchestration brings all these tools together for security teams, providing them a holistic view of the threat environment.