Given the sheer range of threats facing organizations has led to a growing number of organizations to partner with Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP). MSSPs effectively assist organizations by not only detecting potential threats but also help in incident response. However, they are often battling a major problem: falling to ensure that Service Level Agreements (SLA) with customers are met. MSSPs have to work within the confines of these SLAs and failure to meet these SLAs could result in penalties, loss of business, reputationational impact and even the potential for legal action.
So how can a Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) platform help MSSPs overcome these challenges?
This blog covers some of the current obstacles MSSPs face and capabilities that SOAR platforms provide to assist them.
A complete and unified visibility is critical for both MSSPs and their customers. With SOAR, MSSPs are provided with unified visibility of all customers through multi-tenancy, enabling security teams to manage multiple customers efficiently and reduce response time. SOAR also provides multiple dashboards and reports that allow MSSPs gain full visibility across all customer environments and generate metrics. This allows MSSPs to maintain SLAs and keep track of team performance to better fulfil commitments made with customers. SOAR can also act as a customer access portal that enables customers to view the status of their security operations and respond to cases raised by MSSP.
Many organizations rely on MSSPs to handle the entire incident response lifecycle through managed detection and response (MDR) services. A SOAR platform streamlines and enhances incident response processes, allowing MSSPs to go beyond Managed Detection & Response (MDR) services to offer enhanced Extended Detection & Response (XDR) services at scale. SOAR provides vendor agnostic integrations and playbooks capability which enables MSSPs to execute actions across a number of vendor technologies. This allows MSSPs to provide its customers with the confidence that their entire security stack is covered and every incident is handled consistently. SOAR also provides MSSP’s SOC teams with guidance at each stage of the incident management lifecycle through workflows that enables consistency across the entire team.
Unlike ad-hoc and siloed processes that rely on email, spreadsheets and ticketing systems, SOAR platform provides MSSPs with a unique ability to collaborate with their customers and internal teams to work from a unified platform which enables seamless communication for the most effective response and the best possible customer experience. All communications between the MSSP and the customer is performed within a single, secure communication channel.
Every MSSP customer may have a different technology stack which means either having experts for every platform in the team or turning down business. However, a SOAR solution acts as a force multiplier for MSSPs and integrates with diverse technologies so that SOC teams can take actions from a single platform without having expertise on multiple technologies. Without additional headcount or analyst ramp-up time, MSSPs can take new customers with various technologies onboard and significantly reduce onboarding time.
SOAR also provides multi-tenancy which enables MSSPs to onboard and manage multiple tenants effectively and permit complete segregation of data at the customer level, while allowing access control across all customers. SOAR allows MSSPs to have a master console integrated with a customer premises appliance, which enables MSSPs to have bi-directional integration from ingesting data from customer’s internal security technologies to perform response actions.
Playbooks are at the heart of the automation and orchestration activities. SOAR provides playbooks and workflows to help reduce the burden of repetitive tasks on MSSP’s security operations team. Based on the customer's environment and processes, SOAR supports mapping of use cases through playbooks and workflows by ensuring flexibility and customization to maintain almost any process, which may need to be followed uniformly. Playbooks support the use of both built-in and custom integrations, as well as the creation of manual tasks that need to be completed by a MSSP’s security analyst or customer’s team.
Security analysts are at the main force of the service MSSP customers expect to receive every single day. However, the nature of manually monitoring and triaging hundreds of alerts every day is repetitive work that can hamper the service delivery of even the best analysts. Through a SOAR platform, MSSP security teams can use playbooks to automate repetitive tasks and orchestrate use cases from a single console to reduce false positives and automatically close numerous alerts without the need for analyst intervention. This results in increased capacity of closed in, lower cost per analyst and better SLAs, and allows analysts to work on events that require deeper investigation and critical thinking.
“It is a common occurrence to hear the term SOAR in the context of managed security service provider (MSSP)-led services, and MSSPs have well-established security operations processes. Therefore, it is logical that they would be well-placed to leverage a SOAR platform for a wide range of tasks, increasing their ability to service customers in faster and more widely varied ways. This is of value to both the MSSP and the client, and therefore is useful.”
- Gartner - Make Sure Your Organization Is Mature Enough for SOAR
MSSPs facing significant operational challenges in managing multiple customers who need a faster and more productive way to respond to customer SLAs and want to reduce the amount of tools needed to do it, SIRP is a multi-tenant risk-based security operations platform that provides a comprehensive "one-view" of incidents, threat intelligence and vulnerabilities from multiple tenants to close operational gaps around investigation and prioritisation, resulting in a reduction of critical reaction time from hours to minutes. Unlike ad hoc and siloed processes that rely on email, spreadsheets and ticketing systems, our platform closes information and skills gaps to enable quick decisions in support of response; it also calculates a benchmark security score for which cyber hygiene can be calculated and acted upon through enhanced service offerings.