How SOAR Enhances
the Vulnerability Management Process


When thinking about SOAR, it’s easy to get hung up on a single function.

For example, many people think of SOAR platforms primarily as a way to empower incident response.

Others think of it as something to help security operations centers handle an ever-increasing volume of alerts.

And while neither of these preconceptions is “wrong,” they also don’t fully encapsulate the benefits SOAR can provide for the security function.

In this post, we’re going to look at how SOAR platforms and methodology can empower the entire security function. We’ll do this by looking at the top four use cases.

Not All Vulnerabilities Are Made Equal

In the past, vulnerability management has often been treated as a numbers game. So long as lots of vulnerabilities had been patched, security leaders and their boards were happy that things were progressing well.

But in the real world, not every vulnerability poses the same threat to an organization. In fact, many are obscure, difficult to exploit, and pose little (if any) direct threat. Others, meanwhile, are actively being exploited by threat actors in the wild, and/or included in exploit kits that are readily available on the dark web.

Strong vulnerability management, then, depends on one thing: A security team’s ability to identify and patch the most critical vulnerabilities first.

This is where SOAR platforms come in. SOAR platforms like SIRP incorporate real-time threat intelligence, which—combined with the result of a vulnerability scanner—enables security teams to quickly identify which vulnerabilities are most urgently in need of their attention.

Naturally, this has a profound impact on an organization’s level of residual cyber risk.

Patching Isn’t a Binary Process

Despite what many people seem to think, patching a vulnerability isn’t as simple as pressing a few buttons. There’s a process to successful patching that (at an absolute minimum) includes:

  • Scanning for vulnerabilities
  • Categorizing results based on risk
  • Identifying any patches that need to be applied urgently (i.e., before the standard patching window)
  • Identifying available patches
  • Patching within a test environment to check suitability
  • Patch rollout
  • Patch auditing (i.e., did it work as intended?)
  • Reporting

That’s a lot of steps to go through for every single vulnerability. Keep in mind that a typical organization could need to patch hundreds or even thousands of vulnerabilities each year.

Playbook functionality in SOAR platforms aids this process by enabling security teams to create a model process for patching, which vulnerability management practitioners will follow every single time. This helps ensure that no steps are missed and that even new recruits can patch vulnerabilities with the same level of effectiveness as an experienced veteran.

Taking things a stage further, SOAR platforms also incorporate powerful automation functionality. Once solid processes are in place, security teams can replace time-consuming, manual processes with automated systems that can be initiated at the click of a button. Not only does this further reduce the potential for human error, but it also drastically speed up the patching process and frees up security personnel to focus on other tasks.

Speed is Everything

Once a vulnerability is being actively exploited, the level of risk associated with it rises sharply. At that point, if your security team hasn’t applied the relevant patch, your organization is directly in the firing line.

To find out how SIRP can help your security team remediate critical vulnerabilities quickly and effectively, get in touch today to arrange your personalized demonstration.

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