SOAR is a security orchestration, automation, and response framework that is quickly becoming adopted by security operations centers (SOCs) around the world.

This framework for IT security management was developed as a result of 5 key issues SOC administrative teams face when attempting to manage, triage, and resolve the influx of alerts received as a part of their security management protocols. The five major concerns presented by security teams were as follows:

  • Problem 1: Organizations are doing more work with less manpower due to increased workload and limited availability of qualified security professionals.
  • Problem 2: Security analysts must sort through an ever-increasing number of alerts when they need to focus their efforts on higher-priority issues. Triaging alerts that could have been developed into an automated workflow takes time, opening up the opportunity for real security threats to become overlooked and remain sitting in the queue.
  • Problem 3: Security issues are increasing in cost. Problem resolution involving analysts focused on all of the security issues instead of just those that matter most results in time longer resolution times for priority incidents.
  • Problem 4: It’s becoming more challenging to measure security management metrics. These objectives are more abstract than other departments, and there is no clear way to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Problem 5: Lack of clearly defined procedures for triaging and resolving security issues results in employee frustration and personnel turnover. Security analysts who stay with the organization long enough pick up a “tribal knowledge” on how to manage their infrastructure pass along the information to newer staff. When these employees leave, so does the wealth of information they’ve collected.

The Benefits of the SOAR Framework

These problems are common across many SOCs, and the drive to find a better way of managing incidents paved the way for SOAR. The SOAR framework addresses these five core issues by aligning all alerts from disparate sources into a single platform, automating key workflows, and housing Incident Response runbooks with clear, concise, actionable steps for triage and remediation.

The SOAR framework provides SOCs to save money and resource time by focusing their energy away from the mundane review of general alerts and put that towards critical security alarms. Reducing the average time to problem resolution for high priority incidents is the path to reducing expenses associated with cyber security incidents.

Because SOAR solutions offer automated reporting, it provides businesses to finally see metrics that they previously couldn’t tap into, allowing executives to be able to truly see the current state of risk/exposure and the ROI of their security initiatives.

Finally, a SOAR solution provides a standardized method for Incident Response handling across organizational response teams.  This communication can extend to resources both in and outside of the organization. A SOAR solution offers a way of initiating and tracking status on all correspondence within a single database, storing it for future review should a similar issue appear.

The standardized methods of Incident Management is represented in SOAR by a valuable runbook for employees to initiate.  This common process method cuts down critical triage time and the training of Incident Response involved employees.

How Cisco SecureX Fits Into the SOAR Framework

Cisco SecureX is an open-source platform that integrates your entire security infrastructure into a single management platform for easy access. The solution comes built into every Cisco security product, spanning across your network, endpoints, cloud, and applications.

It strengthens your security infrastructure through increased collaboration between teams, unifies all products into a single dashboard, and can automate critical security workflows, saving your team precious time.

SecureX offers a comprehensive platform-based solution for security management that not only works for Cisco shops but those utilizing a hybrid of Cisco and third-party applications as well. It successfully addresses each of the five issues SOCs face without the use of a SOAR solution.


With Cisco SecureX, analysts can do more with less time thanks to a host of intuitive automated workflows. The drag-and-drop model SecureX utilizes offers a way to automate the response and triage of the more common, mundane alerts security technicians face daily. These workflows extend across much of an existing network thanks to Cisco’s 50+ adaptors, allowing analysts to connect everything from your network, cloud, data centers, and more.

Intuitive Runbooks

The SecureX solution offers numerous canned runbooks developed by the experts at Cisco aimed at addressing many common security concerns right out of the box. These pre-designed runbooks can be enhanced by your security team and customized to fit your specific business needs. Responses to security threats can be automated to follow the runbook for a specific event.

Enhanced Collaboration Capabilities

Thanks to the unified platform, all your security team members can collaborate as one with SecureX. The cloud-based platform allows visibility into your network, applications, and endpoints, creating a single location for your SecOps and NetOps team to work from. The SecureX ribbon allows cross-functional teams to view incidents, create tickets, and keep updated notes that are visible across the organization.

Final Thoughts

Are you tired of struggling to administer multiple solutions to effectively manage your entire security infrastructure? Let Cisco SecureX simplify your SOC with its open-source platform approach to security management.

For more information on how Cisco SecureX can help you increase productivity and reduce confusion across your SOC, download our comprehensive guide: Get Off the Security Treadmill with Cisco SecureX.

If you’re skeptical about how Cisco can leverage all of your existing security investments with their platform-driven approach, download our guide: From Complex to Cohesive: How a Platform Approach Can Solve Today’s Security Conundrum.