- SOAR 101
Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) solutions are valuable for everyone on a security team, from people on the front lines to managers and executives tracking reports and metrics from a birds-eye view, or even compliance and legal personnel working outside the SOC.
Of all the roles that SOAR supports, security analysts see the most direct benefits, because SOAR brings orchestration and automation capabilities to many of the repetitive manual tasks that they would otherwise be required to do.
To illustrate how significant this impact can be, let’s take a look at a single security analyst to see how a SOAR platform like D3 can make them smarter, faster, wiser, and even happier.
We’ll call our hypothetical analyst Alex. Alex is a mid-level analyst in an enterprise SOC. A large part of Alex’s role is making decisions about what alerts pose real threats and how best to handle them. With a few years of experience, Alex has built up an ability to assess alerts effectively. However, with a SOAR platform in place, Alex’s skills and experience can be augmented by integrations with hundreds of threat intelligence feeds that provide valuable contextual information.
Alex can also use tools like link analysis to see visual representations of the connections between entities and incidents. No matter how skilled Alex is, having the full story of each alert will make them even smarter when making decisions, which will result in less dangerous incidents slipping through unnoticed or without being remediated appropriately.
With the pace at which cyber threats move, and particularly with the overwhelming incident volume faced by most enterprise SOCs, speed is of the essence for analysts like Alex. Fortunately, with SOAR, by the time Alex opens an incident report, it has already been enriched with the previously mentioned contextual data and threat intelligence. This enables Alex to assess every alert much faster by skipping the arduous manual steps of gathering data.
Alex’s SOAR platform also integrates with other security systems to take automated actions based on dynamic response playbooks. These actions might include closing a port or disabling a compromised users’ credentials. So once Alex identifies a genuine threat, it can be remediated at machine speeds.
Alex has plenty of experience and a good skillset, but there are senior analysts in the SOC who have been with the company for years, and have built up a deep understanding of the history and patterns of incidents faced by their SOC. This accumulated wisdom is something that Alex could benefit from.
With the right SOAR platform, Alex’s senior colleagues can share their experience across the entire team, in the form of customized response playbooks and guided investigation workflows, which can be configured over time based on lessons learned. Alex can also access historical data from every previous incident to see how comparable cases have been handled in the past.
It may seem trivial, but the happiness of analysts can have a significant impact on the functioning of a SOC. Without the right systems in place, analysts often get frustrated with the relentless pace of menial, repetitive tasks. With the growing cybersecurity skills gap, high turnover can be crippling for a security team, because it is hard to hire and retain talented employees.
SOAR platforms make analysts like Alex happier and reduce burnout. With automation and orchestration, Alex spends less time on menial tasks like copying and pasting hashes, looking up reputation data in third-party apps, and chasing after false positives. This lets Alex focus on meaningful tasks that require skill and protect the company from genuine threats. Alex gets more done, feels less overwhelmed, and has much higher job satisfaction.
Learn More About SOAR
If you have people like Alex in your organization, or want to learn about the many other benefits of D3’s solutions, check out our Cyber Incident Response Product Guide. It’s a great resource to help you get a sense of how D3 can help you solve the security and compliance problems that you may be facing.