What is the Difference Between SIEM and SOAR?

IT experts in the cybersecurity field have more than likely come across SOAR and SIEM technologies. While the two technologies have many similarities, SIEM and SOAR differ in quantity, type of data, and response.

As security teams look to modernize their Security Operations Center (SOC) to meet the demands of cloud environments, automation is a key priority. Because today's threats continue to advance, security professionals need both SOAR and SIEM, as combining the two increases a security team's or SOC's effectiveness. This article will discuss how SIEM and SOAR are alike, what makes their roles in cybersecurity different, and what allows them to work in tandem.

What Is SIEM?

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a software solution that helps organizations manage and analyze security-related data from various sources in real time. SIEM systems collect, calculate, and correlate data from different sources to provide a centralized view of an organization's security posture. They use various techniques to identify and analyze security events, including signature-based, anomaly detection, and behavioral analysis. The systems can alert security teams about potential security incidents, provide insights into threat patterns and trends, and enable incident response and forensic investigations for data loss prevention, malware protection, and spear phishing emails.

SIEM systems are essential for organizations that must comply with regulatory requirements and can help organizations detect and respond to security incidents quickly and effectively. This reduces the risk of data and email security breaches and other cybersecurity incidents.

SIEM systems have several vital functions and uses, including:

  • Compliance: SIEM solutions can help organizations meet regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and GDPR. They provide tools for monitoring and reporting security events, ensuring that organizations meet security and compliance standards.
  • Incident investigation: By providing a centralized view of security data, SIEM tools can help identify the source of an incident and provide insights into the attack patterns and methods used.
  • Vulnerability management: SIEM systems can help organizations manage weaknesses by analyzing data from multiple sources to identify potential opportunities for email security breaches within the system. This allows organizations to mitigate risk before an attack occurs proactively.
  • Threat intelligence: SIEM tools can help organizations avoid potential threats and respond more quickly to security incidents by analyzing data from various sources, including threat intelligence feeds.

What is SOAR?

Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) is a security platform that helps organizations simplify their security operations by automating repetitive tasks and coordinating the activities of different security tools and systems. To collect and analyze security data, SOAR systems combine cyber security tools, such as SIEM, threat intelligence feeds, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions, and firewalls. They use this data to automate incident response workflows and orchestrate the activities of security teams, enabling faster and more efficient incident response.

Typical features of SOAR systems include:

  • Workflow automation: SOAR platforms immediately automate incident response workflows by performing tasks such as enrichment, triage, and remediation.
  • Security orchestration: SOAR systems coordinate the activities of different cyber security tools and systems to ensure they work together effectively.
  • Threat intelligence: SOAR platforms integrate with threat intelligence feeds to provide context for security events and enable faster threat detection and response.
  • Analytics and reporting: SOAR tools provide analytics and reporting capabilities, allowing security teams to measure their security operations' effectiveness and identify improvement areas.

SIEM vs. SOAR

SIEM and SOAR are security platforms with distinct functions and capabilities. While SIEM and SOAR are designed to help organizations manage their security operations, their approach and scope differ. SOAR and SIEM both collect security data from different sources. However, the source locations and amount of information are very different. SIEMs can ingest and log event data from traditional infrastructure component sources. SOARs prioritize alerts identified by cyber security tools such as SIEM. In terms of AI and automation, SOAR has the upper hand, as these systems

 draw in information from third-party sources, such as endpoint threat protection software, emerging threat intelligence feeds, and other third parties, to provide a complete picture of security within the network. SOARs elevate analytics by defining investigation paths based on an alert. Superior analytics can generate intelligence translated into tasks for the security team, increasing human analysts' efforts.

SIEM and SOAR help the security team stay aware of potential threats, respond to incidents more efficiently, and collaborate more effectively to keep the organization's systems and data safe.

Combining Platforms

According to industry standards, all aspects of an incident should be managed from one platform. A SOAR platform will allow you to manage each stage of the incident response lifecycle. The seven factors that constitute a quality SOAR platform include:

  • Penetration Integration Framework and Lateral Use Cases: the platform should be able to integrate with a wide range of cyber security tools and systems, including network and endpoint security solutions, threat intelligence feeds, and vulnerability management tools. It should also support lateral use cases, such as IT service, compliance, and risk management services.
  • Progressive Automation: the program should provide automation capabilities to progressively take on more complex tasks. It should also allow customizing automation workflows to fit the organization's needs.
  • Comprehensive Incident Case Management: the platform should ensure a centralized incident case management system that allows easy tracking and management of all security incidents. It should support collaboration between different teams within the organization and provide a clear audit trail of incident handling.
  • SecOps Dashboard and War Room: the program should provide a real-time dashboard that displays the status of all security incidents. It should also offer a "war room" feature that allows the security team to respond to critical incidents quickly.
  • Role-Based KPI Dashboards and Comprehensive Reporting Library: the platform should supply role-based KPI dashboards that allow different stakeholders to see relevant metrics and data. It should also offer a comprehensive reporting library allowing customized reports to be generated on demand.
  • Incident Detailed Reports are Automatically Created: the program should automatically generate detailed information on all security incidents, including root cause analysis and remediation steps taken. These reports should be easily accessible and provide valuable insights into incident trends and areas for improvement.
  • User-friendly Interface: the platform should have a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and use. It should also provide cybersecurity training and support to ensure all users can use the platform effectively.

Keep Learning About Cyber Threat Protection and Prevention

SIEM and SOAR connect different tools and use the aggregated data to provide insightful information to security teams, easing their job in incident detection, investigation, and remediation. Integrating SIEM tools with a SOAR solution creates a more robust, efficient, and responsive security solution.

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