When a cybersecurity attack happens, people may be tempted to react impulsively. Instead, security leaders should take a proactive approach. Carefully considering the long-term effects of actions on resources and security posture becomes easier with the right tools. Using a Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) platform from day one can help your organization be better positioned to respond to cyberattacks today and in the future. At the same time, it can mean a significant return on investment (ROI) for the security budget.

Security leaders should use the same short-term and long-term strategic lens to evaluate the right tools for their security operations center (SOC). Solve current needs and challenges, but at the same time, consider the strategic implications of those actions to deal with the growing number of threats. Adopting new security technologies can help get the job done more efficiently.

Explore the ROI of SOAR

Organizations tend to operate in disjointed security environments, employing an average of 45 different security tools, according to the Ponemon Institute. The complexity of managing that many security tools comes with a high price tag. It also adds to the burden on analysts, who may not be trained to use all of those tools.

Starting Fresh? Prepare Your SOC Early

If your organization is starting to build a SOC from the ground up, you should prioritize threat monitoring and detection technologies. Endpoint detection, response and security information and event management tools help you increase visibility in your environment and detect threats. Once you set up your threat detection suite, you will need to define and establish repeatable, measurable incident response processes.

Incident response boosts threat detection by taking actions to spot and fix uncovered threats. It provides your security team with a preparedness plan on how to investigate and resolve threats. Furthermore, it could also improve the efficiency of your SOC through tools such as a SOAR platform.

What is a SOAR Platform?

A SOAR platform uses automation and orchestration to accelerate incident response by combining multiple response tools. Preset incident response scripts are key to take full advantage of this streamlined tool kit. These processes are built into dynamic playbooks that use scripts and third-party tools to automate and orchestrate processes that would have otherwise been done manually. Because of this, they can reduce the time analysts spend investigating and fixing a problem.

Introduce Efficiency Into your SOC With a SOAR Platform

Once you determine that a SOAR platform is the next key investment for your SOC, there are multiple capabilities and business priorities that must be considered. A SOAR platform will become an integral part of your security infrastructure a workbench for your analysts. It is also important to note that a SOAR platform can provide value from the first day, but most of the benefits and efficiencies will be gained over time.

To explore further the benefits that a SOAR platform can bring to a SOC, IBM commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study of IBM Security SOAR. After interviewing different customers that use the SOAR platform and doing a financial analysis, the study concluded that by deploying the SOAR platform, an organization based on a composite, would experience benefits of $4.6M over three years and achieve a return of investment of 444% after incurring costs of $870K with a payback of six month or less. The study also identified quantified and unquantified benefits that customers gained from implementing the tool.

Read the study

Reduce Time Investigating, Containing and Resolving Cyber-Threats

A SOAR platform can accelerate your organization’s incident response by leveraging its automation and orchestration capabilities. Predefined incident response processes are key to take full advantage of these capabilities. These processes are codified into dynamic playbooks that leverage scripts and third-party integrations to automate and orchestrate previously manual processes and reduce the time that analysts spend investigating and remediating an incident. According to Forrester, the interviewed customers saw time reductions per incident that ranged between 66% and 97% from leveraging orchestration and automation. The study also modeled the potential savings of leveraging automation and orchestration for the composite organization, concluding that a similar organization could realize a benefit of $3.2 million over three years.

It is well known that there is a shortage of cybersecurity talent, and the use of automation can help alleviate this challenge. While automation will not replace the human element, it can certainly increase analysts’ productivity by eliminating manual and repetitive tasks. This allows them to focus on higher-value investigations and make decisions at strategic points of the incident response process. A SOAR platform can also improve collaboration and communication across team members through case management, which gives them the visibility and timely information they need to resolve the incident.

Minimize Tool Complexity; Maximize Security and IT Investments

It is challenging for SOCs to operate and maintain numerous security tools. As the industry continues to evolve to keep up with the growing number of threats, security vendors continue to introduce innovative new technologies to fight against those threats. A SOAR platform can help reduce the complexity that comes from many tools because it integrates and orchestrates with your existing security tools. It gives your security analysts a workbench from where to access the information that they need to resolve an incident, but they can also take action to remediate a threat from the SOAR platform without having to go into a different tool. Efficiencies can also be gained from streamlining communications and processes with IT by enabling integrations with other IT tools.

A SOAR platform also enables your team to track key security metrics over time and provide timely reports to leadership on SOC performance and productivity to guide business decisions. The combination of monitoring key metrics through dashboards and continuous assessment of your security tools can help your organization identify those tools that may be underperforming. In the previously mentioned TEI study, Forrester found that the composite organization could realize a benefit of $1.3 million over three years.

Support Regulatory and Compliance Audits

Another area in which a SOAR platform can add value to a SOC is by reducing the time that security teams spend in compiling the necessary information for regulatory and compliance audits. Different industries are subject to different regulations and standards, which may require them to adhere to certain audit protocols and provide information within a short window of time.

Compiling audit information manually can be a major burden for security teams. Therefore, a SOAR platform can ease the burden by making the process more efficient. The organizations interviewed by Forrester reported a time reduction between 67% and 86% to compile the necessary information for the auditors. Additionally, for the composite organization, Forrester modeled the potential economic impact concluding that audit efficiency gains could yield a benefit of $19K over three years.

Dive Deeper into Cost Savings

Find out how your organization can speed up its reaction time by deploying a SOAR platform while reducing costs, cutting down on risk and boosting SOC productivity.

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