What comes to mind when you think of hackers? Teens logging on from a basement in suburbia? Think again.
Cyberthreats are becoming more and more sophisticated every day, according to the recent “Microsoft Digital Defense Report.” Today’s hackers include nation-state actors and vast, well-funded criminal organizations using new techniques like banking trojans, spray attacks, and other high-powered brute force and machine-learning fueled strategies.
However new the techniques may be, the goal remains the same: leveraging your organization’s vulnerabilities to earn a big payoff.
The Microsoft report goes on to state that the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received almost 500,000 cybercrime complaints in 2019, costing over $3.5 billion in losses.
Your organization’s vulnerabilities are compounded by the complexity of today’s IT operations, the innate security drawbacks of VPNs, and the variety of remote access devices and endpoints. Not to mention COVID-19, which according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, has created “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
Seems impossible to stay afloat? Fortunately, a new approach, called SOAR, has emerged to respond to all these challenges.
SOAR to the Rescue
The term SOAR (security orchestration, automation, and response), has emerged to represent a more comprehensive approach to security that ensures nothing falls between the cracks. SOAR comprises a solution stack with built-in automation to collect information about threats and vulnerabilities (threat intelligence) and respond to minor security events without human assistance.
Through its integration of collaboration, incident-ticket and case management, automation, and threat-intelligence management, SOAR can improve security and incident response times while also combating alert fatigue by unburdening the security team.
Additional benefits of SOAR include improving the business value of security operations through dashboard-based reporting of security metrics and KPIs.
Gartner, in their 2019 SOAR Market Guide, reports that fewer than 5% of organizations currently use SOAR tools in their security operations. Yet they predict that more than 30% will have adopted this model by year-end 2022.
But there’s no need to wait. By taking a lesson from the principles of SOAR, any organization can start improving its overall approach to security today.
3 SOAR Best Practices & Concepts
SOAR’s primary benefits stem from integrating three areas: SOA (security orchestration and automation), SIR (security incident response), and TIP (threat intelligence platforms). Each area offers best practices you can apply without having to roll out a full-scale SOAR solution.
1. Security Orchestration & Automation (SOA)
Orchestration simply means collating processes across your entire security stack, breaking down silos, creating understandable, cohesive workflows and processes, and letting you pinpoint and eliminate threats faster and more easily.
Automation is another game-changer here, letting you leverage resources you already have; today’s best tools on this front incorporate machine learning capabilities to help you stay ahead of hacker organizations.
Best Practice: Where does your organization stand on patching? Many companies have to deal with hundreds of patches each year for an expanding number of endpoints and platforms. By seeking out tools that automate this part of the job, you’ll achieve tighter security with less work.
2. Security Incident Response (SIR)
What constitutes a security incident? This could be anything from an actual attack, such as DoS, to unauthorized access, malware infiltration, or inappropriate usage that triggers an alert. A timely, effective response to security incidents is absolutely essential, and SIR ensures the consistent application of a number of clear policies and procedures.
SIR also excels by creating a response timeline that can include formal stages for evaluation, response, recovery, and resumption of normal operations.
Best Practice: When did you last update your patch policy? Often, organizations are so occupied with the response phases to security incidents that they neglect to follow up and close the door to future attacks. By keeping patches up to date, ideally with tools that automate this process, you’ll be able to easily upgrade your entire security approach.
3. Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP)
If you’re like most organizations, you’re using multiple solutions to address the varied aspects of security, leaving your team occasionally overwhelmed with having to coordinate all the information that’s theoretically at their fingertips. Threat intelligence platforms excel by giving you a single pane of glass through which to view your entire security stack.
Instead of tracking this data through crude methods like email, spreadsheets, or even a makeshift ticketing system, TIP eliminates false alarms by showing your true security picture. You can gather data and insights to apply predictive insights, and even apply automation in certain cases for repetitive, predictable tasks.
Best Practice: Do your tools let you combine prediction and automation? It can seem tough or even impossible to keep up with all the vulnerabilities that emerge from a standard security scan. Learning from the TIP approach, you can choose tools that offer predictive insights, giving you a better understanding of where to prioritize your efforts.
Getting the Best of SOAR Today
The best practices of SOAR, as seen above, include insights in three key areas:
- SOA: Applying orchestration and automation to complex problems and repetitive tasks, such as patching.
- SIR: Incident response must include comprehensive remediation to ensure that problems won’t simply re-occur.
- TIP: Clear visibility is essential, combined with the ability to not only understand your assets and environment, but to also apply advanced prediction algorithms.
Tools that can streamline and automate tasks in these three essential areas will invariably help you work faster to spotlight and eliminate any potential threats or breaches and make your organization safer.
And as expected, each company takes a unique approach to executing SOAR functionalities, placing an emphasis on a certain key area, while ensuring that it offers the complete package nonetheless.
One such example is JetPatch that works hand in hand with your other security tools, taking the work of vulnerability remediation off your team’s shoulders. JetPatch’s strength is on the Response aspect of SOAR, or in other words: Remediation. Plus, it provides all the best practices of SOAR without the expense in an out-of-the-box solution that’s simple to implement:
- Easier management from a single integrated dashboard showing assets, patch status, endpoint readiness and more
- Less downtime thanks to intelligent remediation and patching automation across the entire process, including integrating with the security ecosystem
- De-risk work from home (WFH) and bring your own device (BYOD) thanks to JetPatch Remote Workforce Patching
- Patch success prediction that ensures the highest patch cycle success of the first go
You don’t need to adopt a full SOAR approach to get great protection. JetPatch is affordable and ready to use, letting you start leveraging SOAR best practices today—and more easily than you ever thought possible.