Last updated at Tue, 26 Dec 2023 19:33:21 GMT

Security orchestration and automation (SOAR) refers to a collection of software solutions and tools that organizations can leverage to streamline security operations in three key areas: threat and vulnerability management, incident response, and security-operations automation.

From a single platform, teams can use automation to create efficiencies and stay firmly in control of IT security functions. SOAR solutions, like Rapid7 InsightConnect, also enable process implementation, efficiency gap analysis and incorporate machine learning to help analysts accelerate operations intelligently.

3 core competencies of SOAR

According to Gartner, these are the most important technological features of SOAR:

  • Threat and vulnerability management support vulnerability remediation as well as formalized workflows, reporting, and collaboration.
  • Security-incident response supports how an organization plans, tracks, and coordinates incident responses.
  • Security-operations automation supports orchestration of workflows, processes, policy execution, and reporting.

Your SOAR: Essential elements

A solution tailored to your team will yield the greatest benefits to the organization. With regard to the features mentioned above, security teams typically are looking at some key benefits as must-haves when planning a SOAR solution.

Redistribute brainpower with orchestration and automation tools. Teams build real-time triggers into workflows, which kick-start automation. Triggers listen for certain behaviors, and then initiate workflows when the required input passes through the trigger. Without orchestration from a SOAR tool, the security team would coordinate these workflows manually. SOAR integrates across security tools via APIs, with workflows across these tools detecting and responding to incidents and threats.

Execute security tasks in seconds versus hours by automating a series of steps that make up a playbook. Teams can monitor these automated processes in a user-friendly dashboard or in their preferred chat tools. While orchestration enables integrations and coordination across security tools, playbooks automatically execute the interdependent actions in a particular sequence—without the need for human interaction.

Once implemented, a comprehensive SOAR solution should help streamline and simplify. With InsightConnect, teams can customize workflows as much or as little as they like. Connect teams and tools for clear communication, deploy no-code-connect-and-go workflows, and put automation to work for your business without sacrificing control.

Rapid solutions

SOAR platforms are designed to accelerate response times. A quality solution should be easy to deploy and use; it should also be reliable, nonintrusive, and safe. Teams should tailor it to be as efficient as possible so that it doesn’t end up costing time. This also means enabling mobile device access and control so teams can run playbooks, review security artifacts, and triage events—all on the go. How else can SOAR solve your need for speed?

  • Scalability: Your automation engine will scale with your organization and the number of incidents it eventually incurs. Think about optimizing performance by designing your solution to allow for vertical (CPU and RAM increases) and horizontal (server-instance increases) scaling.
  • Dual action: Security teams receive an average of 12,000 alerts a day. Your SOAR solution should be able to quickly compile relevant context about security events so your team can focus on analysis and response. False positives and threats are resolved faster, and experts can hone in on tasks requiring intervention. With a quality platform, teams can exercise as much human judgment as they deem necessary and automate menial tasks.
  • Extensibility: Designing your SOAR for openness and extensibility will help optimize results. It should incorporate new security scenarios with ease, and ideally, it will integrate with third-party tools like SIEM, IPS, and IDS solutions.
  • Broad ecosystem: Orchestrate any piece of your technology stack with InsightConnect. You’ll spend less time assembling: Pre-built workflows easily integrate across a wide stack so you can more quickly innovate on the things that matter. Plus, create threat-specific workflows so everyone is notified faster, sees the same critical data and is able to take action across multiple technologies with rapid efficiency.

The real return on investment

Pricing models will always vary by tailored solution. For example, costs might be based on the number of users or the number of processes you want to automate or by the size of your environment. Begin your quest for value by searching for:

  • SOAR products that aren’t hiding costs. Your vendor should give a clear picture of charges related to configuration, deployment, and maintenance of the product.
  • SOAR tools with flexible options that work best with your budget. Make sure to accurately evaluate which features you need and those you can do without.

Also, consider the possibility of bringing greater collaboration to your team with features like chat tool integrations and workflow-notes documentation. Playbook and information sharing become easier and resolutions arrive faster. A SOAR workflow should ultimately become a community-based solution, with the potential to bolster your organization’s bottom line and prove out greater investments in security practices.