It’s easy to get whiplash with the erratic pace of information security; part of what makes it both exciting and difficult to keep up with all of the latest industry trends and terminology. You or your team is trying to put out fires, stay up to date with the newest threats while also balancing other security and IT initiatives.
At the end of the day, it’s your job to protect, defend and respond – and how you do it is what can make a significant difference in how effectively or quickly you can put out those fires. If you’re running lean with a team of one or two split between both IT and security, you want to know how to consolidate and get visibility over many different security tools. You also need a way to automate the remediation process to contain or block threats.
There are many different tools to achieve these objectives, and they’ve evolved a bit over the years. Here’s a rundown of some basic detection and response terms you may run into during your research:
SIEM – Security Information and Event Management
SIEM solutions have been around for decades, with varying degrees of functionality based on which product or vendor you choose. This is the most recognizable term for a centralized log management tool that integrates with your different applications, systems, servers, etc. to take in data from each service.
SIEMs are used for real-time security event analysis to help with investigation, early threat detection and incident response. They also support compliance use cases, as many data regulatory frameworks require organizations to keep audit logs for up to one year.
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SOC – Security Operations Center
A security operations center is a centralized location run by a security operations (SecOps) team that continuously monitors, analyzes and responds to security incidents. It takes in data from an organization’s networks, devices, servers, etc., then it requires SOC analysts to determine next steps for remediation.
Many organizations can’t afford to keep an in-house SOC or SecOps team on staff, as it requires extensive training and hiring in a time of talent shortage. The infosec industry has responded by creating managed detection and response (MDR) services that are meant to enhance or replace a SOC.
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SOAR – Security Operations, Automation and Response
SOAR solutions evolved as a way to help SOC analysts become more efficient, allowing for more automated prioritization and processing of security events and incidents.
The key capabilities of SOAR solutions include threat management (help mitigate vulnerabilities), incident response (managing and coordinating response to a security incident) and security operations automation (overall orchestration of workflows, policy execution and reporting).
These types of tools allow organizations to create playbooks, or guides for response procedures and threat analysis to help reduce the amount of manual investigation and decision-making during stressful times. SOAR tools are often used to enhance traditional SIEM platforms that lack these types of capabilities.
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XDR – Extended Detection and Response
While similar to SIEM and SOAR tools, XDRs are differentiated by their level of integration at deployment and ability to address threat detection and incident response use cases, according to Gartner.
XDR products evolved to solve challenges that organizations have with traditional SIEMs – failed, incomplete or immature SIEM deployments (only using SIEM for log storage and compliance).
XDRs centralize normalized data, mostly focusing on products from their own ecosystem. They provide correlated data and alerts into security incidents, and they provide an incident response functionality that can be carried out via security policies.
Best Tool for Lean Security Teams
These days, consolidating your toolset while making the most out of your current investments is the best strategy for bootstrapping security and/or IT teams. Blumira combines the best of the above technologies to provide more value to lean teams, including:
- An easy-to-use cloud SIEM platform that reduces deployment times down to hours and days, not months or years
- Wide coverage for your existing tech stack with integrations for endpoint protection, cloud infrastructure, firewalls, identity providers and more
- Automated threat detection that includes ongoing parser development to centralize and normalize your data, saving you time and resources
- Prioritized security alerts with built-in detection rules and tuning by Blumira’s security analyst team
- Automated threat response with step-by-step playbooks that walk your team through next steps in remediation, whether to block or contain identified threats
- Honeypots to help you quickly detect lateral movement or unauthorized access attempts in your environment