Over the last decade, SIEM solutions have been the cornerstone of security operations.  As investments in detection rose, these systems were tailored and re-engineered to take on more and more data, alerts and logging capabilities. While a valuable and integral part of most enterprise security footprints, it has also shed light on critical dependencies. What is the limit of alerts an organization can triage? How many analysts are needed to truly manage a growing number of cases? And most importantly, how do we drive efficiency and productivity throughout security operations? The market is presently responding to this need by defining Security Orchestration as the next level of technological sophistication capable of maximizing SIEMs large installed base.

Why SIEM and Security Orchestration, Not SIEM vs Security Orchestration

Alerts generated from SIEM deployments have become overwhelming. Security Orchestration can now take that overwhelming data and push your security operations to an entirely new level in clear and decisive ways. As we said back in August, one of the greatest benefits gained from security orchestration is the compartmentalization of multiple tools that analysts and industry experts would previously have to obtain from disparate sources. Security orchestration complements SIEM by providing a dynamic framework, giving security teams larger, more thorough and honest assessments of the state of their current cybersecurity operations. As enterprises look to address these challenges, security orchestration provides a clear path to fully utilizing the confluence of analysts, processes and technology.

The trepidation around security automation exists because of a level of uncertainty. Totally removing trained incident response teams from the process is not a solution, but rather defining the points at which human beings collaborate throughout the threat management process, leveraging automation where appropriate, is what makes orchestration innovative and efficient.

By combining newfound security orchestration methodologies and established existing tools, analysts can consolidate, enrich, and contextualize cases to provide the needed visibility to triage the high volume of alerts. Here, dynamism is key to staying ahead of the curve. Given that the cybersecurity workforce is anticipated to be underemployed by over 1.5 million qualified analysts by 2019, orchestration and automation technology is essential.

Orchestration as a Centralized Platform

Ultimately what is being demanded is a centralized “workbench” for security analysts to drive efficiency. A centralized platform that provides the full scope of threat response, not just automation of selective tasks. When considering orchestration solutions realize that the biggest amount of pain lies in tier 1 analysts coping with the basic triage amidst a sea of alerts.  Providing solutions that integrate the broader threat storyline that accelerates tier 1 decision making is key to driving efficiency throughout Security Operations.

The Bigger Picture

As cyber security threats advance against a depleting workforce, employing the ideologies, tools to work in unison against a new-age of threats will massively decrease the opportunity for infiltrations to cause devastating damage. The implementation of SIEM and security orchestration tools together allows security operations teams to effectively address the biggest challenges threatening their effectiveness — volume of alerts, personnel shortage, and disparate systems and data hindering efficiency.

Rather than viewing the cyber security effort through the lens of “SIEM vs Security Orchestration”, it will be more beneficial for groups to put to use SIEM and security orchestration. As cyber threats continue to advance into unknown territories, so too must our methodologies of fighting them.