Skip to main content
Splunk Lantern

Automating incident response

Security analysts must fend off cyber attacks and data breaches with alarming frequency. Understaffed, under-resourced, and overwhelmed security operations teams are often poorly equipped to handle growing rates of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. Even getting to this stage of the security journey can be challenging.

Your security team needs a powerful, well thought out, and timely process to respond when security incidents occur. Automated incident response tools like Splunk SOAR are ideal to improve your cyber defense posture.

What are the benefits of automating incident response?

By building security automation into the incident response process, you let your system monitor, review, and initiate a response, rather than having people monitor your security posture and manually react to events. Incident response teams see hundreds of alerts per day, and if analysts continue to respond to alerts in the same way, they risk alert fatigue. Over time, analysts can become desensitized to alerts which can lead to mistakes when handling ordinary situations or overlooking unusual alerts that need to be reviewed.

Automation via SOAR helps avoid alert fatigue by using workflow actions, or playbooks, that process the repetitive and ordinary alerts, leaving analysts to handle the most sensitive and unique incidents. Purpose-driven dynamic playbooks allow you to adapt quick, decision-based practices on new incidents and focus on high-level investigations while reducing repetitive investigative tasks.

You can achieve the following benefits through SOAR automation:

  • Triage alarms more effectively.
  • Respond to critical events faster.
  • Seamlessly integrate your existing security solutions into a more efficient and comprehensive incident response program.
  • Centrally automate retrieval, sharing, and response actions for improved detection, investigation and remediation times.
  • Improve operational efficiency using workflow based context with automated and human-assisted decision making.
  • Extend new insights into threats by leveraging context, data enrichment, and adaptive response.

What are automated incident response best practices?

You can become more efficient by programmatically automating steps within incident response processes.

First, identify the remediation pattern to an event or use Splunk Enterprise Security notables, and then codify those items into actionable logic using the visual editor, or through the integrated development environment.

Responders can then execute playbooks to triage, escalate and remediate issues. Over time you can automate more and more steps, and ultimately automatically handle common incidents, freeing up your analysts to focus on critical threats.

You can also use Splunk Security Essentials (SSE) to easily identify content where there are recommended SOAR playbooks available, and access guidance on how those playbooks can help to address threats through automation.

During an incident, timing matters, and analysts need to zero in on the evidence that leads to resolution. Implementing content-based processes to quickly tap into correlated security incidents and events helps you achieve your mean-time-to-recovery (MTTR) goals.

What Splunk SOAR playbooks are available?

The Splunk Security Content site has a number of playbooks available for automation. You might want to start with the following:

  • Malware hunt and contain
  • Start investigation

What automated incident response processes can I put in place?    

These resources will help you implement this guidance: