Security operation centers (SOC for short) are cropping up in organizations around the globe and across just about every industry. Many large enterprises have already initiated their own SOCs while others are currently in the process. Smaller companies are turning to external resources for their security needs. In either case, the SOC function serves to consolidate and centralize the incident prevention, detection and response process as well as monitoring, vulnerability management and several other key functions. Along with the wider-spread adoption of these teams has also been a steady rise in the use of SOC automation.
The reason why SOC automation is gaining in popularity is multifaceted. Firstly, there is the very real challenge associated with the highly-tailored and extreme complexity of today’s modern cybersecurity attacks. Gone are the days when incoming threats could easily be identified and thwarted with little to no impact on the organization or its sensitive data. Today’s hackers are leveraging newer and better technology to initiate highly targeted and relentless attacks on their victims. Human security teams are simply no match for these advanced persistent threats.
SOC automation facilitates a much more streamlined and highly effective defense against APTs and other such incidents. These platforms serve as an ever-vigilant, well-equipped army that stands at the ready, round-the-clock, to detect and address potential breaches. When an alert is created, it is automatically assessed and either remediated electronically or escalated to the appropriate human party for immediate attention. In other words, SOC automation acts as a force multiplier, enhancing the monitoring function and creating a closed-loop process that is much stronger.
The second area in which SOC automation is helping security teams, both internal and external, do their jobs more effectively is the amount of time it takes to address and resolve successful attacks. Despite our most valiant efforts, there will almost always be some vulnerability through which cyber-criminals can achieve their goals. The amount of damage they are able to do, however, will ultimately depend on how quickly they can be identified and stopped. Obviously, the sooner a breach can be identified and dealt with accordingly, the more the organization can mitigate damages.
In this dynamic, demanding and critical environment, there is little room for error. SOC automation and orchestration tools are virtually transforming these departments into advanced command and control centers by integrating with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems and providing workflows and play-books that extend SIEM existing capabilities. Agent-less architecture allows for the execution of tasks over physical, virtual, and cloud environments via standard protocols to speed up security incident response and resolution while improving security operations efficiency.
Finally, SOC automation cuts the Mean Time to Resolution and eliminates manual, repetitive tasks by automating incident response playbooks, freeing up scarce manpower resources, and measurably improving service levels. This type of platform also enables the advanced scheduling of security procedures on a regular basis in order to identify and prevent security vulnerabilities. In other words, it allows you to cover all your bases – from prevention and detection to response and remediation. The result is a much more secure, efficient environment overall, which benefits everyone.