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Collaboration and case management

Incident collaboration is the process of engaging and using the expertise of various teams to route and resolve incidents. Incidents are often events that your entire organization takes part in. With many eyes and hands working together, it's important to have a central place to record and share information related to the event.

By using case management in tools like Splunk SOAR, teams and security analysts who are engaged in incident response or threat hunting activities can effectively gather information on suspicious activity in their environment. Case-related records, such as security incident details, events, observables, and affected users or assets can be added to cases to accommodate broad and specific analysis. With the ability to easily pivot through records and related information, as well as perform actions using guided workflow, analysts can quickly and collaboratively assess what they are facing.

What are the benefits of effective collaboration and case management?

Case management functionality helps your teams become more collaborative by automating or easily engaging groups to perform their roles on a given incident. Playbooks provide workflows that can be run by an analyst, or codified to standard operating procedures, making the incident response and investigation process more efficient by scaling out repetitive tasks.

Using case management within your incident response process divides tasks into phases, assigns tasks to team members, and documents effort from trigger to root cause reporting. Case management can help you in the following ways:

  • Uncover areas of risk. Identifying patterns of behavior helps you target where problems can exist in your organization. As a result, you can focus on providing training, or reviewing policies and procedures to prevent potential issues.
  • Discover issues before they escalate. Many workplace incidents could have been prevented if they were caught early. However, companies often don’t notice something is wrong until a major incident occurs, which can cause both financial and emotional damage
  • Gain the larger picture. Miscommunication within your organization can lead to information becoming siloed, where related information isn’t shared between teams and patterns of issues go unnoticed and unaddressed. Problems can escalate until a major, costly incident occurs.
  • Measure organizational health. Analyzing your organizational health can help you prevent issues by highlighting inefficiencies.
  • Reduce repeat incidents. A quicker investigation and resolution reduces the risk of escalation and repeat incidents.

What are collaboration and case management best practices?

Some of the most effective incident management best practices are industry agnostic. You can rely on them to support your organization's incident efforts and practices. Here are some factors that you should consider to improve incident management collaboration within your organization.

  • Create teams with the right skills. Selecting the appropriate team members with the right skill sets is vital. Teams can include fellow team members, internal and external stakeholders, and even third-party service providers.
  • Clearly define the incident management vocabulary. Use predefined terminology that all team members can clearly understand.
  • Create robust workflows. Implement a dynamic work process to re-establish order rapidly. 
  • Establish communication channels. Create plans that contain contact information for each team member and details on how to engage them quickly and efficiently.
  • Practice your incident response. Test your plan. Simulating actual incidents is the best way to practice the incident response process and identify problems.
  • Conduct postmortem assessments. Find what went well and address gaps for improvement during this essential phase of your incident response plan.
  • Automation of processes. Streamline processes with case management and orchestration suites by gathering information even while the team focuses on handling the incident.

What collaboration and case management processes can I put in place?   

These resources will help you implement this guidance:

Use case: Managing cases in SOAR