Modernizing Your SOC: Automation and Security Operations Platforms

A security operations center (SOC) is an essential line of defense in any organization, and a high-performing SOC requires streamlined security operations. Unfortunately, SOC analysts are often stuck in reactive mode due to the sheer volume of alerts they have to sift through. And the scale of data is only going to go up. Unifying disparate data streams, thereby boosting your visibility, and bringing in automation is the only approach to SOC modernization. With a security operations platform, you can present your analysts only with what matters, freeing them up to move to a proactive security approach and into a next-gen SOC.

According to a recent study from Enterprise Strategy Group, security operations are more difficult today than they were just two years ago. Respondents cited the reasons for this difficulty as:

  • The changing and growing threat landscape (41%)
  • Evolving attack surface (39%)
  • Lack of visibility due to the increased volume and complexity of security alerts (37%)

Current SOC Challenges

The attack surface has expanded with mobile workers, on-premises assets, and cloud services as enterprises continue their digital transformations. And adversaries are skilled at exploiting holes, while the telemetry to monitor and avoid those holes has grown in volume and complexity. Monitoring and responding to alerts requires people, but security operations is feeling the impact of the global skills shortage: 81% of respondents agree that their security organization is understaffed. Pair the increased workload with a short-staffed team, and that’s a recipe for burnout and attrition.

Then there’s the perennial problem of data proliferation. The same study reports that 80% of organizations use more than 10 data sources in their security operations efforts. Plus, collecting data from disparate sources, especially if they run across a gamut of vendors, necessitates parsing telemetry for each data source into something your tooling can understand and correlate.

All these factors combined create the perfect storm for SOCs.

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SOC Automation

Automation provides an answer to many of the ills in today’s SOC operating model. With automation, security teams have the opportunity to drastically reduce the number of alerts that cross their desks, leaving them fresh and prepared to focus on significant and emerging threats.

But implementing automation is much easier said than done. In the ESG survey, respondents cited a lack of development skills, immature processes, and lack of time and tools as significant barriers to improving automation.

Keep in mind that automation is a process rather than a destination, and you should carefully consider which areas and processes in your SOC might benefit from automation before you begin.

With the right platform, you can level-up your security operations and free your team from the drudgery of high-time, low-brain activities with automation.

SOC Modernization with a Security Operations Platform

Security operations platforms have already considered the best places to apply automation that yield maximum impact in streamlining security operations. They have hundreds of customers facing the same automation challenges and are constantly figuring out ways to automate operations. The best security operations platform should use automation and machine learning to speed detection, investigation, and response and allow your security organization to be more proactive, as well as deliver metrics so you can measure progress in improving operations.

The ReliaQuest GreyMatter Security Operations Platform

The ReliaQuest security operations platform, GreyMatter, pairs data collection and analysis technology with powerful automation, driving super-fast time to insight. Capabilities like GreyMatter Intelligent Analysis automate manual aspects of an investigation lifecycle to supercharge your SOC team. No more sifting through false positives and draining your analysts’ time. No more taking time to investigate threats within siloed technologies, or manually aggregating telemetry from disparate solutions that don’t mix.

GreyMatter uses data stitching and bi-directional integration to collect and translate data from your existing endpoint, network, and cloud security stack, no matter where those tools live. The platform allows you to detect, investigate and take action to respond, providing your analysts with the complete picture without tool hopping.

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