Scaling digital transformation and maintaining a strong security posture can be an arduous task. SOC teams are entrusted to address this challenge through an array of security technologies, processes, and human expertise for mitigating complex threats. It’s easier said than done. Attacks are happening at machine speed and with astonishing levels of sophistication. Most SOC teams aren’t equipped to handle the scale and volume of such threats. The challenges they face include lack of skills, a large volume of low fidelity alerts, absence of threat context, making them function at sub-optimal capacities.

Here are a few challenges faced by SOC analysts, incident responders, and threat analysts.

SOC analysts leverage Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) technologies, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) systems, and a host of other security tools to detect, investigate and respond to incidents. However, they struggle with alert fatigue, (more than 10,000 security alerts) as they do not have enough analysts to handle them. Lack of integration across tools and repetitive manual tasks slows down incident response. They also must deal with alerts with limited context, forcing them to investigate the context manually. This calls for the automation of manual tasks. Teams must be able to collaborate in real-time to stay in sync. They also need threat intelligence to investigate the potency of a threat.

Incident responders are on the lookout for breaches. If they find any, the incident is investigated, and the end host killed, preventing it from propagating within the network. They document the evidence and distribute it among stakeholders. By leveraging external threat intelligence, they can understand attacker profiles and techniques used by them with a good deal of precision. The challenge with them is poor case management, inability to gain context around external threats and lack of collaboration among teams. The incident response teams need context-driven threat intelligence to understand the attacker mindset and robust security case management to document their findings and collaborate in real-time with stakeholders.

Threat analysts look for potential security risks not yet detected across the network. They have the expertise to blend human intelligence, and threat intelligence feeds to generate context around probable threats. Threat intelligence teams share their insights and discoveries with incident responders to enable preemptive security measures. Some of the hardships they face include, inability to control threat intelligence feeds and complexity in driving threat intel to action. The analysts need total control over threat intel feeds to derive insights based on their business and effective collaboration with other teams to enable them with quality context.

Though SOCs are using SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response) to automate response, standardize processes, and manage alerts, there is still a lot to be done to enhance the way threat intelligence is collected and used.

The gaps faced by the three teams are significant. The immensity in the nature of attacks faced by these teams calls for a transformational approach to security operations.

Enhancing threat intelligence with extended SOAR

Threat intel management using extendable SOAR or XSOAR platforms is enabled by combining case management, real-time collaboration, threat intelligence collection, scoring, and sharing with automation driven by playbooks. XSOAR gives clarity on threats empowering the teams to drive the correct response.

Operational benefits of XSOAR:

  • Playbook automation to manage hordes of threat indicators across feed sources. Seamless scoring of Indicators of Compromise (IOC). Identify threat indicators relevant to your business environment.

  • Apply third-party intelligence layer with incidents to uncover critical threats and prioritize alerts to enable better responses. Hasten investigation with best-in-class, built-in curated threat intelligence through improved detection, monitoring, and response.

  • Quickly neutralize threats through automation actions and sharing threat intelligence across teams for better collaboration to expand the scope of the investigation.

Due to the lack of context, analysts find it extremely difficult to deal with large volumes of indicators collected for various threat intelligence feeds. XSOAR platforms with native threat intel management features provide control and flexibility, enabling integrating business logic into threat scores. With a built-in integration to more than 300 threat intel vendor feeds, XSOAR allows analysts respond in real-time to the threats.

XSOAR offers a single platform to break the silos between SOC and threat intelligence teams. When unified, SOC analysts, incident responders, and threat intelligence teams can collectively combat complex attacks through effective collaboration by gaining faster access to threat insights. XSOAR offers the much needed transformation in orchestration, automation, and response, empowering security teams to stay ahead of the intelligent attack vectors.


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