SOAR stands for “security orchestration, automation, and response.” Gartner coined the term in 2017 to refer to security platforms that gather cyberthreat data from multiple solutions into one location for more accessible and more efficient incident response and threat management.

The threat intelligence fed to SOAR platforms can come from firewalls, vulnerability scanners, endpoint protection systems, threat intelligence feeds, and security information and event management (SIEM) platforms.

The rationale behind SOAR is similar to that of storing data in the cloud, such as syncing photos from different devices to iCloud or Google Photos. Instead of saving photos on each of the devices you own, you can log in to these cloud services and browse through them from there.

Other interesting terms…

Read More about SOAR

Now that you know what SOAR is, let us learn about its specific capabilities, benefits, and other relevant information.

What Is SOAR Capable Of?

From the name itself, we can deduce that SOAR platforms orchestrate various security tools and data sources, automate specific security processes, and respond to security incidents.

Specifically, a SOAR solution has three main functions that make it attractive to security operations centers (SOCs) and other security teams. These are:

  • Threat and vulnerability management
  • Security incident response
  • Security operations automation

SOAR platforms detect threats and vulnerabilities and help SOCs craft a standard incident response. Moreover, it can automate critical security operations, such as threat hunting, vulnerability scanning, asset discovery, asset validation, target prioritization, and log analysis.

Benefits of Using SOAR Platforms

Despite being relatively new, SOAR has gained popularity in the cybersecurity sector because it helps solve significant challenges. SOAR offers several benefits to SOCs, including:

More Comprehensive Threat Contextualization

Security teams receive thousands of alerts every day, so it’s crucial to provide correct and complete context behind these to ensure they don’t waste time on false positives or, worse, overlook dangerous incidents. With multiple data sources, SOAR platforms can give proper context to threats and vulnerabilities.

Faster Incident Detection and Response 

Because of SOAR’s innate automation capability, security teams can detect and respond to threats and vulnerabilities faster, reducing damage.

Streamlined Security Operations and Management

Security teams no longer have to check and validate data by jumping from one security solution to another. Multiple security solutions are integrated into SOAR platforms, so SOCs only need to look at their SOAR dashboard to see various data feeds from different sources.

Simplified and Standardized Incident Response

All security incidents that fall into a category are automatically treated the same way across the network. Since responses are automated, there is no need to spend extra workforce hours to mull over every single threat. 

To get a glimpse of how a SOAR platform can help security teams, check out the video below that shows how it is used in malware investigations.

SOAR versus SIEM

There has often been confusion between SOAR and security information and event management (SIEM). These security solutions are different, but they often cross paths. We previously talked about the capabilities of SOAR, but not of SIEM. SIEM solutions are designed to:

  • Store data
  • Aggregate threat intelligence
  • Detect threats
  • Notify SOCs about the threats 

You may have noticed an overlap since among the capabilities of SOAR is threat detection and management. For this reason, SIEM solutions are commonly integrated into SOAR platforms, as they complement each other.

As mentioned earlier, SOAR is relatively newer than SIEM and other security platforms. Still, the adoption of SOAR systems is gaining momentum. Market Watch reported that in 2020, the SOAR market size stood at US$766.7 million and is expected to reach US$1,430 million by 2027.

Key Takeaways