Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR)

Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR)

Security teams need automation and threat intelligence solutions like SOAR’s to stay on top of an ever-increasing alert volume, increasing scalability, efficiency and effectiveness in their security practices.

When selecting a SOAR solution, look for one with wide out-of-the-box integrations and low/no code playbook fields. Also take into consideration learning curve and support requirements of each platform.

What is SOAR in cybersecurity?

SOAR is a set of technologies designed to manage, track and coordinate security operations (SecOps) workflows in an automated and repeatable fashion. By collecting data and automating processes related to its aggregation and prioritization it reduces alert fatigue while speeding detection and response times.

SOAR solutions serve as the hub of all security tools in your SOC, using APIs, prebuilt plugins, or custom integrations to connect them and unify their capabilities into repeatable SecOps processes. In addition, these solutions automate and orchestrate these security processes using playbooks that respond automatically when alerts occur.

When selecting a SOAR solution, keep user experience top of mind when making a selection. Find something that ingests and correlates alerts from multiple security tools – firewalls, threat intelligence platforms, endpoint protection and antivirus software are among those typically monitored – while automatically taking actions such as auto-isolating devices or scanning for malware using latest heuristics can quickly and securely mitigate threats.

How does SOAR work?

SOAR solutions ingest alerts from security tools and then make automated or orchestrated responses in response. It uses threat intelligence enrichment to prioritize the most severe alerts for human investigation so no attack goes undetected – helping reduce mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR).

SOAR tools enable SOC teams to mitigate the cybersecurity skills gap by increasing productivity with limited resources. Automation and playbooks streamline rote processes, freeing analysts up for investigation of higher-level threats. Furthermore, standard protocols are followed by security analysts of any experience level which increases both efficiency and effectiveness.

Integrating all your security tools through one SOAR platform enables you to leverage bidirectional integrations among threat intelligence, firewall, IDS/IPS solutions, endpoint protection systems and IT operations management tools, among others. This unified approach facilitates faster incident response times while offering more informed decisions with useful dashboards for informed decisions – ultimately leading to faster responses with greater accuracy resulting in enhanced overall security posture.

What Is SIEM?

Smart SOAR enhances the capabilities of SIEM as an essential security solution, by centralising data collection, aggregation, correlation monitoring and alerting – as well as streamlining workflow processes – into one cohesive platform.

Firewalls, intrusion detection systems and other tools in your IT ecosystem generate vast quantities of log data every month. Navigating that deluge of log information manually to find events suggestive of breach is no small undertaking.

SIEM tools rely on rules, filters, and models to detect anomalous activity and trigger alerts, but their effectiveness depends on being tailored appropriately to an organization’s threat landscape. SOAR takes an alternative approach to incident response by employing playbooks and automated workflows to investigate and remediate threats based on predefined scenarios.

Security teams can leverage this solution to expand their response efforts without compromising intelligence, analysis, and investigation efforts. Request demos, trials or sandboxes to explore and compare both solutions against your environment.


SOAR and SIEM are two security tools essential to the success of any SOC. Both offer an integrative and proactive approach to cybersecurity by automating response workflows and decreasing incident response times, while simultaneously decreasing false positives or repetitive tasks which eat up security analyst time.

SIEM systems focus primarily on data collection and threat identification, while SOAR solutions go one step further by streamlining security processes for better management and action to be taken quickly. SOAR solutions typically ingest alert data and trigger playbooks which then orchestrate automated responses – they can even identify threats across multiple tools, environments, and systems.

SOAR tools use MITRE’s ATT&CK Matrix to gain an insight into the nature of threats, automatically flagging and prioritizing incidents that need further investigation. This helps SOCs avoid alert fatigue while focusing on those threats which present the greatest risk to the organization. A unified security console enables viewing alerts all in one place to accelerate incident response times while decreasing Mean Time To Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time To Remediate (MTTR). Standardizing investigation processes while honing analysts’ skills further enhances overall SecOps efficiency.

What Are Security Orchestration and Automation?

Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) software capabilities enable Security Operations Centers to manage incidents more effectively. A SOAR platform typically features a central dashboard, standard security automation steps and incident response workflow with tracking and auditing features.

SOAR tools are designed to integrate multiple components from various vendors into one cohesive tool for security operations centers (SOCs), helping them streamline operations in areas such as threat management, incident response and automation – thus improving collaboration and automating redundant tasks.

Security automation and orchestration differ primarily in that security automation entails automating an individual task to run without human interference, while orchestration involves combining several automation functions into an overall workflow with beginning and end points for optimal security teams to focus on more value-add activities.

Security orchestration platforms enable security teams to connect multiple tools from different vendors in order to synchronize processes and data, offering the scalability required to grow along with their organization. They also offer a centralized dashboard which helps security operations center staff monitor alerts collaboratively.

Difference Between Automation and Orchestration

Security orchestration entails automating multiple tasks at the same time to replace manual workflows and decrease human intervention, distinguishing it from XDR solutions which typically automate single actions based on analysis of incoming data.

SOAR platforms integrate alerts from various tools and use them to trigger playbooks that orchestrate response actions, similar to how an orchestra conductor leads hundreds of musicians in perfect unison and sync. They then assemble these into complete workflows with beginning and ending points – similar to how orchestra conductors guide hundreds of musicians performing in harmony together as one unit.

SOAR also offers alert triage and risk scoring via threat intelligence enrichment, helping identify which alerts are the most severe and prioritizing them for investigation by humans. This helps reduce mean time to detection (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR), softening the impact of breaches.

SOAR platforms also enable security teams to manage diverse tech stacks from one central dashboard, enabling them to meet key cybersecurity objectives such as preventing breaches, improving SecOps KPIs and minimizing analyst burnout.

What Is Threat Intelligence Management TIM?

Security Orchestration’s aim is to decrease mean time-to-detect (MTTD) and response (MTTR). To accomplish this, alerts from multiple tools are combined together for analysis by security orchestrators; any tasks that can be automated are done so; this frees analysts up to focus on solving issues, improving practices, or hunting down threats.

SOAR solutions collect data from threat intelligence platforms, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and SIEM technologies into one single view of all activity within an organization. Built-in or customizable playbooks then automate or orchestrate processes and responses in response to known scenarios – freeing up time for security analysts to investigate and respond appropriately for more serious incidents like phishing attacks.

When selecting a SOAR vendor, make sure it offers features like flexible deployment options and a comprehensive set of pre-built integrations to speed implementation and adoption. Also look out for case management capabilities that make investigations simpler by helping teams conduct investigations without switching interfaces frequently.

Why Is SOAR Important?

SOAR can ease the load on security teams by automating repetitive and redundant tasks, collecting data from various systems, and unifying processes and tools into one central platform – helping security teams avoid alert fatigue while focusing on more critical work.

Security operations become more efficient with an incident response plan by providing a framework and standard process, enabling teams to more effectively resolve issues, enhance practices and mitigate risks.

SOAR solutions also improve time to detect and respond (MTTD and MTTR) by eliminating false positives and repetitive tasks that typically occupy analysts’ time. SOAR solutions also offer automated playbooks that adhere to best practices that guide security team members through the incident resolution process, freeing up more time for more valuable tasks. When choosing a SOAR solution, pay close attention to its ease of use and integrations; be sure to pick a solution with multiple pre-built integrations that support short-term and long-term security operation use cases.

The Benefits of SOAR

Engineers spending too much time planning and orchestrating responses to threats will extend their mean time to remediate (MTTR). A SOAR platform helps engineers reduce MTTR with automated processes and threat intelligence integrations.

SOAR platforms equipped with cyber fusion technology also bolster security teams’ investigative abilities by feeding high-fidelity threat context into detection tools and providing incident response faster without manual intervention.

1. Processing more alerts in less time

SOAR solutions help security teams remain productive amidst ever-evolving threats, staff shortages and overwork by using automated playbooks that reduce alerts requiring human interaction; freeing analysts to focus on higher level threats.

SOAR platforms that utilize Artificial Intelligence for incident reporting simplify the assessment and prioritization process for phishing incidents, for instance. Instead of manually scanning each email attachment for malicious intent, such software automatically runs them in an integrated sandbox before notifying authorities who then escalate them accordingly.

SOAR platforms that integrate with SIEM and other detection tools serve as the connecting thread between them, eliminating any need to depend on a particular vendor for certain functions and helping SOCs reduce their tool stack. A vendor-agnostic SOAR platform like Swimlane may serve as an all-encompassing single pane-of-glass, which reduces interoperability issues as well as vendor fatigue.

2. More consistent incident response plans

With a SOAR solution that supports unification of security tools, threat intelligence and automated response playbooks, organizations can streamline how they handle alerts. This improves consistency while decreasing human errors.

Security teams receive hundreds of alerts daily that require manual responses or are false positives, often taking too much of their analysts’ time and making no difference to tier 1 cybersecurity analysts’ work. With an SOAR platform like SOAR, analysts can devote their energy more effectively, investigating alerts that present a genuine risk and looking out for patterns indicating attacks that pose real danger.

Efficiency within a SOC benefits all members from analyst to senior management, from analysts and administrators alike. Dashboards provide clear context that enable everyone from product/IT departments to legal departments and CISOs to make better decisions based on pertinent information – leading to measurably improved KPIs, breach prevention measures and reduced overall risk levels.

3. Enhanced SOC decision-making

SOAR automates the process of documenting and forwarding alerts when threats are identified, helping teams reduce manual response and save both time and resources by decreasing alert volume.

SOAR not only streamlines alert response processes but also provides insight into SOC operational efficiency by offering visibility into mean time to response (MTTR) and mean time to resolution trends. Many SOAR tools offer automatic reporting that eliminates manual efforts and allows teams to measureably improve security posture over time.

Organizations looking to maximize the value of SOAR should first determine what goals and objectives they wish to advance and how these align with their overall cybersecurity roadmap. Short-term, SOAR can relieve overworked SOC staff by offering less tedious, repetitive work. But long-term, its real potential lies within being integrated into existing security systems with comprehensive workflows for responding to common threats.

4. Improved SOC collaboration

With cybersecurity skills at a premium, security teams need to operate smarter. SOAR helps them do just that by unifying tools under one interface for quicker data transfers between systems and codifying best practices through playbooks that enable less experienced analysts to perform at higher levels. Finally, SOAR’s automated reporting provides business leaders with full transparency into incident response efforts.

Smart SOAR takes it a step further by operationalizing the MITRE ATT&CK framework to assist SOC teams in correlating alerts, validating threat intelligence and prioritizing it with actionable information like phishing vectors, attack timelines and kill chain details to significantly decrease response times and become more resilient against cyber attacks. This ultimately strengthens resilience within teams to combat potential attacks more efficiently.


With security teams overburdened with alerts and facing an ever-evolving threat landscape, quickly identifying and responding to incidents quickly is of utmost importance. SOAR and XDR allow these teams to process more threats in less time by automating lower-level tasks and standardizing response plans.

First-generation SIEM solutions excelled in collecting and analyzing logs, but lacked automation features. For the second-generation tools, machine learning and behavioral analytics plugins were added to enrich event data and expedite detection of critical incidents.

However, the volume of alerts still overwhelmed SOC teams. To meet this challenge, SOAR tools emerged as solutions by integrating with all security tools in one platform and offering actionable outcomes. The top platforms serve as connective fibers between detection, enrichment and response tools in order to provide visibility and automation at once.

Final Thoughts

At its core, SOAR provides multiple advantages by shortening both mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR). By standardizing and automating SOC processes, SOAR provides context-rich details for each alert, arming security analysts with all of the tools they need for combatting cyberattacks.

SOAR helps SOCs take advantage of automated threat intelligence enrichment, sandbox integrations and an automatic workflow for analyzing and responding to incidents – features which allow SOAR to free Tier 1 security analysts from repetitive manual tasks so they can focus on investigating threats that pose real risks instead.

Once your SOAR analysis is complete, it’s time to put your strategic plan into motion. Set SMART goals and track performance metrics regularly in order to stay on the right path; additionally, don’t forget to revisit it frequently in order to account for new opportunities, threats, or successes that arise.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.