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What is Security Orchestration?

by Chris Brook on Monday December 28, 2020

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Learn more about security orchestration, including how it works, the benefits, and how employing security orchestration tools can increase your organization's efficiency.

While you might think security orchestration is just another technical buzzword, it’s actually a useful technique that can help you when you need multiple security solutions to protect your organization.

According to the Infosec institute, “Security orchestration is the act of integrating disparate technologies and connecting security tools, both security-specific and non-security specific, in order to make them capable of working together and improving incident response.” Let’s discuss security orchestration in more detail and how it works.

What is Security Orchestration?

As markets shift, so do cybersecurity policies. There was a time when IT teams considered it a bad practice to run two separate antivirus programs on one device. Now, most IT teams make use of multiple security tools and solutions simultaneously.

When multiple security solutions are used, there is a need for a technology that can combine their protection and security capabilities. That’s where security orchestration comes in. It is used by organizations that want to deploy the best security solutions from different vendors. With security orchestration, all the security solutions can be integrated into one system for streamlined management.

Security orchestration includes:

  • Security solutions working together without hindering each other’s processes
  • Streamlining workflows to increase the efficiency of each component
  • Making the data export easier and more organized

How Security Orchestration Works

While cyber incidents are often complex, companies’ abilities to tackle the cases are generally inefficient. With the help of security orchestration, businesses can improve their incident response actions for cyber threats.

Slow and manual processes can be replaced by fast and machine-driven techniques. Let’s understand how security orchestration works with the help of an example.

Let’s say an employee reports a supposedly malicious link to the security operations center. The analysts will verify the link by either checking its URL reputation or by running it in a sandbox. If it’s malicious, it is destroyed.

All these processes can be done manually on one link. But if a company works with thousands of links (including those received by emails) every day, it’s not practical to do it manually, even with a large security team. With security orchestration, this process can be automated, and malicious links will get destroyed without causing any harm.

Benefits of Security Orchestration

There are several benefits of security orchestration. Here’s a look at a few of the biggest and most important benefits companies can gain from implementing security orchestration:

Streamlining IT processes

Managing the security systems across an organization is often a challenge for IT teams. With security orchestration tools, they can connect the disparate systems and tools and automate repetitive processes.

Responding to data breaches

With the help of security orchestration, businesses can not only  automate the security processes but also have a first-line of defense in case of a cyber-attack. With automated routine investigation processes, security breaches can be detected quicker and with more accuracy. It can also trigger the right action to be taken in case of a breach and correlate data to find patterns and suspicious activities.

Increasing efficiency

Security orchestration can increase employee efficiency as well. By applying this technology, security teams can have information faster and thus fix issues and address vulnerabilities faster. Bugs can also be detected and fixed automatically based on earlier issues.
While these are the major benefits of security orchestration, there are also many others advantages, such as:

  • Automation of malware analysis
  • Automation of threat hunting
  • Automation of IOC enrichment
  • Automation of VPN checks
  • Automation of assigning severity to incidents
  • Responding to phishing attempts
  • Automation of vulnerability management

Best Practices for Choosing the Right Security Orchestration Solution

Here are some essential features to consider when evaluating security orchestration solutions:

  • Scalability: When your company grows in size, your security solutions should grow with it. It’s best to get a scalable solution.
  • Ease of use: Going through big logs can be time-consuming. The data should be arranged so it shows a big picture but also allow you to drill-down when needed.
  • Versatility: The solution should support the operating system(s) you use and the programs you run on it. It should also be able to work with all the existing security software you use.
  • Compliance: It should comply with the standards and regulations that your organization needs to adhere to.
  • Response time: The software should let IT teams respond quickly to threats.
  • Real-time analysis capabilities: It’s best to get a software solution that lets you activities in real-time so your security team always knows what’s happening in the moment.
  • Threat analysis indicators: The solution should let you find out quickly if there’s a threat to data security.
  • Availability: While cloud-based platforms are easier to scale, some organizations prefer having full control of the environment and thus go for on-premises solutions.

As more companies rely on a multitude of tools and technologies to keep their sensitive data secure, security orchestration is a must to streamline your security management efforts and maintain a robust security posture.

Tags:  Data Protection 101

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