SIEM vs SOAR. What’s the difference?

Oliver Sears

There is a lot of discussion going into the SIEM vs SOAR debate at the moment and it is extremely important to understand the difference between these two cyber security tools. SIEM and SOAR have several common features, and do complement each other, but we cannot use these terms interchangeably.

So, what is a SIEM?

SIEM stands for Security Information and Event Management. SIEM platforms can collect and store all data relevant to the security function at a centralized point and then can convert it into actionable intelligence. Examples of security data that it can analyze is data from firewall logs, network logs, hashes and downloaded files as well as antivirus logs. As soon as the gathering of security data is finished, human analysts can then jump in and look for real threats.

What is a SOAR?

SOAR stands for Security Orchestration, Automation and Response. Similar to SIEM tools, SOAR solutions can help security teams who work in an organization’s SOC (Security Operations Centre) manage, and also respond to, a huge volume of alerts (over 10,000 a day). SOAR tools can take things to a new level by bringing together data collection, case management, standardization, workflow and analytics to help organizations implement defense-in-depth capabilities. According to market research giant Gartner’s Market Guide for Security Orchestration, Automation and Response Solutions, 15% of businesses with a security operations team with more than 5 analysts will leverage SOAR by the end of 2020

Which should you use?

Security teams suggest that SOAR and SIEM solutions can be adopted in unison and work seamlessly together to provide a parallel defense against cyber attacks.

How can we use both SIEM and SOAR in the same environment?

SIEM tools alert you when malicious activity is found and then notifies a security administrator to either respond or trigger an automated response previously defined in the SOAR workflows. SOAR solutions ultimately enhance a SIEM’s response and take its capabilities to the next level.

After receiving the alert from the SIEM, A SOAR platform will generate a ticket in the incident tracking system and talk to its emergency alerting system to let the security team know while automatically carrying out quarantine rules in a firewall.

By combining both SIEM and SOAR tools in your SOC you can save valuable resource and make for faster, smarter detection and response capabilities to ensure all valid alerts are strictly and swiftly dealt with.

Contact us or call us on 0845 625 9025 if you’d like to learn more about how you can use SIEM and SOAR to make your SOC team work more quickly and efficiently, leaving time for more important, skills-based SOC tasks.