Why SOAR is a Good Bet For Fighting Mega Cyber Security Breaches

Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies make organizations most vulnerable, and the impact is invariably devastating. That is unless security solutions are as innovative and robust as the tech itself

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By Muhammad Omar Khan


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Few things keep business executives and heads of governmental agencies up at night quite like mega cyber breaches. Not only are they on the rise, but they are becoming increasingly expensive to manage. IBM found that a mega-breach costs an organization anywhere from $40 million to $350 million.

There are two factors that lead to mega breaches, and they are shared across most organizations these days:

1. Cloud computing making remote storage space available without substantial infrastructure investments.

2. The Internet of Things (IoT) collecting data and interacting with various sources, and organizations not being able to keep track.

As these technologies become more sophisticated and widespread, the only reasonable expectation is for the security approaches serving these technologies to be just as sophisticated.

The Dark Side of 4IR

Cloud computing and IoT are two of the major forces of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The former offers flexibility, smooth integrations, a dynamic development environment, while the latter is creating a world more connected than some could have ever imagined.

But these capabilities make organizations more vulnerable to mega breaches, as hackers have more points of access and weak into a digital infrastructure.

Across the world, we are more aware than ever of how hackers are able to bypass authentication on the cloud. And yet most cyber security solutions do not offer a sufficient level of automation to respond to all of the possible threats in the most efficient way possible.

SOARing Ahead

The incident response market is set to rise to $33.76 billion by 2023, from $13.38 billion in 2018. Some solutions are more effective than others.

SOAR (security orchestration, automation and response) offers the most comprehensive solution for organizations to respond to security incidents faster. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as well as drawing upon massive volumes of data, SOAR allows organizations respond to many threats without human intervention.

Here's what makes SOAR such an effective approach to cyber security:

Streamlined Ecosystem

Companies on average have 50 tools to manage their security infrastructure. It forces analysts to constantly monitor multiple tools simultaneously, with controls operating independently of each other. It creates uneven response mechanisms, including instances in which response times are greatly varied, and in the worst of cases, utter chaos.

SOAR solutions allow companies to integrate their entire security infrastructure into a single platform. This way, components are able to communicate and work together in a defense strategy. Not only does this mean greater network visibility, but it also means fewer and more strategic alerts pertaining to cyber security.

Orchestration and Automation

Cyber security threats come in varying forms, some more complex than others. The approach of SOAR is to identify all threats and automate response for as many of them as possible.

A classic example, among many, is email phishing: Whereas many systems require an analyst to manually flag all potentially threatening messages when a phishing attempt occurs, a SOAR allows organizations to automatically flag potentially nefarious messages without human effort.

Strategic and Actionable Insights

Even for the incidents that can't be fully automated, SOAR offers a leg up. Through ML algorithms, SOAR platforms not only provide organizations with actionable insights when an incident occurs, they can also help identify specific personnel in an organization who have encountered and resolved similar problems in the past. The efficiency that's created through these capabilities can be the difference of tens of millions of dollars when a mega breach occurs.

Leaner and Smarter Cyber Security Teams

The talent shortage in cyber security has been described as a "crisis," that is "getting worse". A SOAR approach to cyber security allows analysts to work smarter, enabling them to focus their time on the projects that require more intellectual energy and creativity. This means organizations can do more with less, and suddenly the cyber security talent shortage becomes a non-issue. On a SOAR platform, analysts are empowered with a comprehensive workspace and a variety of tools that can help them decide on remediation and escalation strategies.

No organization—private, public, or otherwise—is impervious to the threats posed by cloud computing and IoT. The longer it takes for an organization to respond to a mega breach, the more devastating the financial impact the breach will have.

It behooves all stakeholders to adopt security approaches that are just as sophisticated as the technologies they serve. "Sophisticated" and "complicated" are often conflated to mean the same thing, but this is far from the truth: that ultimately having more tools, more dashboards, and more alerts does not make a security approach more effective.

Muhammad Omar Khan

Co-founder, SIRP

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