Security automation and orchestration: Real-world use cases

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As enterprises confront the growing challenge of hiring enough qualified cybersecurity personnel for the endless barrage of security alerts they receive, the odds can seem stacked against even the best security operations (SecOps) teams.

Security orchestration, automation and response offers a solution. With SOAR, you can automate a significant portion of SecOps tasks and centralize all of your threat data to improve incident response. By utilizing SOAR, your team can handle more alerts in the same amount of time without adding staff, while decreasing mean time to resolution (MTTR).

Security automation and orchestration use cases

Although SOAR sounds good in theory, does it really work? Here are some real-world examples of how it can help your existing security operations.

Phishing attacks

The sheer number of phishing attacks that occur on a daily basis is growing. It’s simply impossible to investigate every phishing attempt. SOAR automates the investigation process and quarantines suspected emails so your SecOps team can focus on bigger threats that require more intense investigation.

Plus, when you use SOAR to combat phishing attacks your incident response processes are clearly defined and consistently executed. The solution can respond to threats at machine speeds with minimal effort. Then as threats evolve, workflows can be modified to incorporate new anti-phishing processes and technologies so you are always protected.

SIEM triage

SIEM solutions offer organizations useful tools to improve security but typically generate too many alerts without context. To handle alerts, SecOps teams rely on faulty SIEM triage techniques, which can result in less than 1 percent of severe alerts getting investigated. Every unattended alert has the potential to lead to a major breach.

Using traditional SIEM triage methods, less than 1 percent of severe and critical alarms every get investigated – leaving your organization at risk.

SOAR can automate most of the investigation process and provide your team with the context they need to complete additional analysis. Using SOAR, you can significantly improve security operations efficiency, while reducing risk and increasing threat protection.

Threat hunting

In today’s threat environment, it’s not enough to simply block threats—organizations must proactively identify and hunt for new types of attacks. If SecOps teams are overwhelmed with repetitive and time-consuming work, then they are unable to hunt for potential future threats.

SOAR helps centralize and integrate your existing technologies to provide you with a comprehensive view of all relevant threat data. These insights provide analysts with a clear picture of the threat landscape without having to hunt for the information in multiple tools. This leads to proactive protection to your organization.

Insider threat detection

The biggest sources of breach attempts come from malicious insiders, negligent employees and stolen credentials. Quickly identifying these insider threats is a major challenge that requires extensive manual effort using disparate tools. In addition, insider threats often emulate normal user behavior and spread across systems, which makes them even more difficult to find.

Security orchestration allows you to integrate your tools to identify these insider threats, even if the attack is spread across solutions. Automating components of the incident detection and response process helps keep things running smoothly without additional overhead.

Threat intelligence

Manually gathering comprehensive threat data across your entire IT infrastructure is inefficient and time-consuming. As threat intelligence feeds evolve to accommodate new indicators of compromise (IOCs) you need a solution that can scale with those changes. SOAR ensures your security infrastructure leverages the most current threat intelligence data at all times. This information helps analysts respond to threats faster, while significantly minimizing risk.

Identity verification and enforcement

The ability to rapidly verify privileged credentials is critical to maintaining good security hygiene. SecOps teams must ensure easy access to legitimate users while also defending against fraudulent users using stolen credentials. In large organizations, constantly validating user activity at all times may be impossible.

Organizations must have a way to ensure legitimate users can access what they need, while fraudulent users using stolen credentials are kept out.

SOAR provides SecOps teams the tools they need to quickly determine if activity is legitimate or malicious. SOAR can be set up to instigate automatic actions like disabling accounts or quarantining hosts based on detected behaviors. The tool can then alert appropriate parties to investigate and mitigate malicious activity as quickly as possible.

Endpoint protection

Endpoint alerts can overwhelm even the best security teams, resulting in ineffective alert response and a slow MTTR. SOAR can automatically triage endpoint-related alerts by enriching your data from your other security solutions and taking appropriate actions. This ensures that all security alerts are addressed and can help organizations prevent smaller incidents from turning into major security breaches.

Forensic investigation

Manually gathering forensic data post-incident is time-consuming and error-prone. SAO automatically collects all the contextual information you need from your disparate tools, providing your SecOps team with everything they need to rapidly conduct an investigation. This allows your analysts to spend more time analyzing and making proactive security decisions rather than performing administrative tasks.

Security automation and orchestration with Swimlane

security automation and orchestration - sao - eBookThe SOAR solution from Swimlane integrates all of the tools within your existing security infrastructure to help you:

  • Automate incident response
  • Prioritize security alerts
  • Centralize threat intelligence data
  • Decrease MTTR
  • Maintain real-time oversight

All while maintaining a clear picture of the state of security within your organization.

Want to learn more? Download our eBook 8 Real World Use Cases for Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) including detailed workflows on how SAO can help with each of these tasks.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Swimlane (en-US) authored by Sydni Williams-Shaw. Read the original post at: