The MSSPs we speak to, especially mid-sized MSSPs, usually say that their primary challenge is keeping up with a high volume of security alerts. It’s a security operations challenge, but also a threat to the business. If your analysts are bogged down by time-consuming alerts, you’re wasting a lot of time and resources, which quickly cuts into your profits. It’s also harder than ever to hire and retain qualified security professionals, so if you want to grow your business, you need to find a way to waste less of your team’s time on repetitive alert-handling tasks.
If you’re in this predicament, you want a solution. If a tool can get results, you probably don’t care what the software is called or how the technology works. There are several categories of tools that help MSSPs handle alerts more efficiently, and you won’t be surprised to learn that we think the best choice is security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR). So, in this article, we’ll look at the outcomes that make SOAR the most effective solution to this common issue.
What are the Causes of Alert-Handling Problems?
The alert-handling crisis can be broken down into a few root causes. They include:
- Too many security tools. More tools mean more alerts, more data silos, and more interfaces to switch between.
- Low-fidelity alerts. A high volume of alerts would be a lot easier to deal with if they were normalized, enriched, and correlated against logs and historical data. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in most SOCs.
- The cybersecurity skills gap. A lack of access to skilled analysts makes it more difficult for MSSPs to stay on top of the alert-handling needs of their customers.
- Managing multiple customer environments. Without the right tools, it can be difficult to switch between the toolsets, workflows, and security needs of multiple customers without losing time.
What Tools Do MSSPs Use for Alert-Handling?
Before we get to SOAR, let’s touch on some of the other ways MSSPs have tried to streamline their tier-one alert-handling. Some rely on a SIEM, some use XDR or Open XDR. Some, particularly MDR providers, use proprietary tools. And believe it or not, some still do everything manually. These approaches all have their strengths and weaknesses (except doing things manually. That’s just crazy).
For example, a SIEM will be highly scalable, but not great for normalizing alert data. A SIEM also requires a large capital investment and will be difficult to configure effectively. XDR is usually based around a suite of products, limiting its ability to integrate with the full range of customer tools. This weakness is improved upon by Open XDR, which offers a wider scope of integrations.
Why SOAR is the Optimal Choice
As we said at the start of this article, you probably don’t care what tool you’re using, so long as it solves your alert-handling issues. So, to make the case for SOAR as the optimal route for MSSPs, let’s look at how it helps solve each aspect of the larger problem.
Too Many Tools
With a multi-year head start over Open XDR, SOAR platforms still offer the most integrations, enabling you to bring your entire detection and response stack onto one interface. SOAR can work in concert with SIEM, EDR, XDR, other detection tools, or all of the above in the same SOC.
While it might not be offered by every vendor, the best SOAR tools can deduplicate and filter alerts down to a fraction of their original volume, while automatically normalizing, correlating, and enriching to enable faster analysis.
Cybersecurity Skills Gap
In addition to increasing the efficiency of each employee, SOAR makes it easy to upskill security analysts and give more responsibility to junior team members. This is primarily because of playbooks that put processes “on rails” based on best practices and proven frameworks.
Managing Multiple Customer Environments
A fully multitenant SOAR platform will enable MSSP analysts to switch between client environments from a single interface, segregate alert queues, or manage one global queue—whichever suits your needs.
What if You Could Automate Your Alert-Handling Entirely?
D3 Security supports MSSPs in every corner of the globe and enables high-value services with our NextGen SOAR platform. D3 Security supports full multi-tenancy, so you can keep client sites, data, and playbooks completely segregated. Importantly, we’re vendor-agnostic and independent, so no matter what tools your clients use, our 500+ integrations will meet their needs. The NextGen SOAR Event Pipeline can automate the alert-handling capacity of dozens of analysts, while reducing alert volume by 90% or more.