Cyberattacks have consistently caused innumerable data breaches, calling for more sophisticated security systems. But why sophisticated security systems?
Any type of cyber attack is extremely costly. For example, the US government lost over $70 billion between 2018 and October 2022 to ransomware attacks. These staggering figures highlight the significant financial consequences that can arise from such malicious activities.
Meanwhile, do we even talk about malware?
Picture this. Each day, an astonishing number of 300,000 new malware programs are released, leading to attacks occurring every 39 seconds and approximately 30,000 websites being hacked on a daily basis!
Hence, without the right security measures, your organization's systems are at a very high risk of compromise, and this will drain your business.
One of the modern cybersecurity approaches that is becoming increasingly prominent is security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR).
Being a relatively new technology, your starting point might as well be 'what are the best SOAR tools'. That's precisely what we have here — the top SOAR tools and why they have earned the top spot in our list.
You will also learn what to avoid when choosing a SOAR tool for your organization.
SOAR Tools market overview: quick brief
The market for SOAR tools is currently valued at USD 2.46 billion in 2023. It is estimated to grow significantly, reaching USD 6.14 billion by 2032, reflecting a notable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1% through the forecast period.
But what is driving this growth?
These are the key drivers for the soaring demand for SOAR tools:
Increasing incidents of ransomware and email phishing
In most cases, the attackers utilize a technique known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) or the use of false sender identities. They manipulate emails to make them appear as if they were sent by a colleague or a trusted brand you work with. However, the intention behind these deceptive emails is to trick the victim into clicking on them, ultimately leading to the compromise of devices.
Shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals
The cybersecurity industry is grappling with a shortage of skilled professionals capable of handling the increasing complexity.
Consider the case of the United States, which experienced a staggering 2.68 billion malware attacks in 2022. This signifies a substantial 61% surge in threats from 2020 to 2022. Surprisingly, despite this alarming increase, the country continues to grapple with 700,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions.
SOAR tools address this challenge by automating repetitive tasks, providing guided playbooks, and facilitating standardized incident response procedures.
Need for streamlined security operations
As organizations face a rising number of security alerts and incidents, there is a critical need for streamlining operations. SOAR tools offer a centralized platform that integrates various security tools, processes, and workflows. This then enables efficient incident response, automation of routine tasks, and improved collaboration among security teams.
We have a much more comprehensive article that talks about SOAR and all the significant items you need to comprehend it inside out. Please check it out.
Top 10 SOAR tools [+why we recommend]
While it’s not practically possible to discover all tools as new ones are constantly emerging, we went to great lengths to analyze a significant number of the SOAR tools in the current market.
We based the analysis on the unique features each tool presents in approaching threats. We also considered the ease of deploying the solution.
Based on this evaluation, here’s our top 10 SOAR tools list:
- Palo Alto Networks Cortex XSOAR
- Rapid7 InsightConnect
- ServiceNow Security Incident Response
- Heimdal Threat Hunting and Action Center
- Splunk SOAR
- IBM Security QRadar SOAR
- Chronicle SOAR
- Swimlane SOAR
- Demisto Enterprise security operation platform
- Manage Engine’s Log360
1. Palo Alto Networks Cortex XSOAR
Cortex™ XSOAR is an all-in-one SOAR platform designed to support security analysts during the entire incident lifecycle.
It combines case management, automation tools, real-time collaboration features and threat intelligence management in one comprehensive package.
Top features of Cortex XSOAR
- Over 1000 security actions for DIY playbooks.
- 900+ prebuilt integration and automation packs.
- Code-free automation with visual playbooks.
Why we like Cortex XSOAR
- Palo Alto Networks Cortex XSOAR is praised for its knowledgeable, quick-response customer support, onboarding support and remote user access provisioning.
- A user-friendly GUI allows security teams to easily navigate and customize the pre-built playbooks, automating complicated and repetitive tasks quickly.
- Very effective in responding to phishing attacks.
2. InsightConnect by Rapid7
The InsightConnect SOAR platform by Rapid7 helps reduce the security team's workload through seamless integration with existing IT and security systems, allowing them to focus their energy on more complex tasks.
It comprises collaboration tools, automated workflows, expert insights and response automation for threat identification and remediation.
Top features of InsightConnect
- Over 300 plugins for integration.
- A rich library of customizable workflows.
- Third-party integration option.
Why we like InsightConnect
- Users can automate and integrate with almost everything at the click of a button. It doesn't matter if one is a junior or senior-level security analyst.
- Security analysts can build on existing blocks to add custom scripts or steps to their workflows. It’s also possible to see what is happening with every change in variable. This makes it easy to troubleshoot or add more logic to the script.
- InsightConnect is well known for its effectiveness in investigating and containing malware.
3. ServiceNow Security Incident Response
Security Incident Response, powered by ServiceNow®, is a SOAR solution that enables businesses to centrally track the progression of their security incidents from detection and initial assessment through post-incident review, development of knowledge base articles and closure.
The application provides security analysts with efficient monitoring of a security incident's containment, eradication and recovery phases.
Top features of ServiceNow Security Incident Response
- Analytic-driven dashboard and reporting.
- Built-in integration with third-party cyber security solutions.
- Partner-developed integrations.
Why we like ServiceNow Security Incidence Response
- The system facilitates vulnerability auto-assignment by incorporating assignment and vulnerability group rules from all interconnected security systems.
- ServiceNow's risk and compliance analysis provides comprehensive information on criticality, along with cross-referenced contributing factors to the risk score. This creates a strong foundation for a thorough and auditable historical record.
We particularly recommend ServiceNow to organizations that have unstructured security operations teams and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs).
4. Heimdal Threat Hunting and Action Center
Heimdal Threat Hunting and Action Center is a SOAR tool that provides security professionals, operations teams, and managed service providers with a powerful toolkit for detecting and responding to modern security threats.
The toolkit allows users to create a visual storyboard of their entire IT environment or customer base to identify potential risks and take timely actions.
Top features of Heimdal Threat Hunting and Action Center
- Pre-computed risk scores, indicators and detailed attack analysis.
- Built-in knowledge base and forensics analytics.
- Single-click remediation commands.
Why we like Heimdal Threat Hunting and Action Center
- The tool leverages its XTP Engine to deliver advanced, multi-level security features such as Credential Access, Lateral Movement, Defense Evasion, Exfiltration, and more. This comprehensive approach enables a centralized, risk-centric view of the entire environment.
We recommend Heimdal Threat Hunting and Action Center to large enterprises having or planning to have two or more of Heimdal’s Next-Gen product modules.
5. Splunk SOAR
Splunk SOAR (formerly known as Splunk Phantom) is a SOAR platform that helps streamline detection, investigation and remediation of threats through automated machine-based program execution.
It combines playbook automation, security infrastructure orchestration and case management capabilities.
Top features of Splunk SOAR
- 100 premade automation playbooks.
- 350+ integrated third-party tools with over 2800 automatable actions.
- Built-in threat intelligence and insights by the Splunk threat research team.
Why we like Splunk SOAR
- The tool offers systematic log analysis by consolidating data from all interconnected security systems across multi-cloud platforms and devices. With a simple click of a button, users can generate default templates for each platform.
- While updating cases based on connected data points may initially require some time, the subsequent impact is significant. Splunk SOAR dramatically reduces analysis time by approximately 80%.
We highly recommend Splunk SOAR to organizations that possess a well-established knowledge base, as it’s effective in leveraging and enriching existing resources.
6. IBM security QRadar SOAR
IBM Security QRadar SOAR is a Red Dot User Interface Design Award winner. It features time-stamped actions, prebuilt connectors for over 300 different technologies, and a priority-based automated threat identification, cutting up to 85% response time.
Top features of IBM Security QRadar SOAR
- 180+ built-in privacy regulations.
- Single-dashboard alert, investigation and remediation response.
- Custom layouts, adaptable playbooks and tailored responses.
Why we like IBM Security QRadar SOAR
- Its evolving playbook offers threat enrichment at each stage, improving the level of automation and the ability to recognize complex cyber attacks.
- With IBM SOAR, you can tell how secure your systems are from the detailed mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to remediate (MTTR) metrics.
We recommend IBM Security QRadar SOAR to organizations with over 1000 system users distributed globally, owing to its remarkable ability to accurately detect security breaches including their severity levels in real-time and promptly notify relevant stakeholders.
7. Chronicle SOAR
Chronicle SOAR is a cloud-native SOAR solution that provides enterprises and MSSPs with a centralized analysis of data from different sources.
The platform combines sophisticated orchestration and automation capabilities, threat intelligence insights, and incident response tools to detect security threats and respond effectively.
Top features of Chronicle SOAR
- Built-in Python IDE for custom integrations.
- Interactive workspace for hands-on response.
- Threat-focused root cause analysis.
Why we like Chronicle SOAR
- Exceptional threat identification intelligence.
- Automatically correlates threat alerts contextually, grouping them into a single threat-centric case, which automatically handles false positives.
- The Explore Tab offers a comprehensive and actionable analysis by presenting event timeliness and highlighting the relationships between entities during incidents. This feature enables a detailed understanding of the context, which facilitates informed decision-making.
8. Swimlane SOAR
Swimlane is a leading security automation provider with an innovative low-code SOAR platform that streamlines and simplifies the security operations of organizations.
The platform allows teams to manage alerts effectively, stay ahead of emerging threats, and efficiently address complex security procedures.
Top features of Swimlane SOAR
- Human-readable playbook with triggers and actions for any workflow.
- Instant or on-demand connections to any API (autonomous integrations).
- Not resource intensive.
Why we like Swimlane SOAR
- Swimlane SOAR is highly effective at SIEM alarm ingestion. It achieves this through its automated threat enrichment, attack path analysis, risk and threat modeling capabilities. These features not only help system analysts trace the root cause of incidents but also enable automatic remediation and mitigation actions.
- The pre-packaged workflows, such as Malware Outbreak, allow automatic remediation of common use cases.
We recommend Swimlane SOAR to large enterprises and public administrators who encounter threat incidents originating from multiple business units.
If you are not familiar with SIEM, please check this comprehensive into what is SIEM.
9. Demisto Enterprise security operation platform
Demisto Enterprise is a SOAR platform that empowers cross-product workflows, facilitating seamless communication across diverse security tools in automated mode. It offers a built-in chat interface that enables security teams at all levels of experience to interact effortlessly. Moreover, the tool automates incident response, while maintaining a valuable audit trail for internal monitoring and compliance purposes.
The Platform was honored with the 2018 Info Security Products Guide Award for Most Innovative Security Software Product.
Demisto, the company, was acquired in February 2019 by Palo Alto Networks for $560 Million. This acquisition enabled Palo Alto to bolster its own AI and ML capabilities. After the acquisition, Palo Alto released Demisto version 5.0 in October 2019 with additional features, positioning it as a customizable solution that enables users to visualize and act on incidents. Over the years, the tool has been incorporated into the main Palo Alto SOAR platform, Cortex.
Top features of Demisto Enterprise security operation platform
- Automated malware sample analysis using WildFire.
- Automated firewall policy modifications using Panorama.
- Automated threat intelligence using Auto Focus.
Why we like Demisto Enterprise security operation platform
- All in one suite: Demisto Enterprise automates tasks related to security products while seamlessly incorporating any human analyst tasks and workflows.
- It offers a unified workflow, especially for server security, protecting the cloud environment through real-time threat reporting and analysis on a single dashboard.
- Demisto’s shared collaborative workspace allows security analysts to execute commands in real time and document all their actions for reference.
10. Manage Engine’s Log360
It automates log management and audit changes in Active Directory (AD) environments, monitors Exchange servers and public cloud setups, generates audit reports and raises real-time alerts for critical events.
The tool combines the power of ManageEngine's five most powerful tools, ADAudit Plus, M365 Manager Plus, EventLog Analyzer, Exchange Reporter Plus and Cloud Security Plus, to give users total control over the network.
Top features of Log360
- Unified security data analysis.
- Prebuilt workflows for common use cases.
- Immediate suspension of suspicious activities.
Why we like Log360
- Log360 is easily the most effective tool against DDOS (Distributed denial of service) attacks. It provides visibility across all systems, cloud infrastructure, networks and active directories.
- A centralized log management for workflows and devices consolidates detailed log-ins and failed login attempts into a single console.
How to spot a poor SOAR tool!
While there are dozens of considerations to make before acquiring a SOAR tool, here’s the kind you should avoid:
Limited automation and integration
You want a SOAR tool that provides pre-built integrations, RESTful APIs and plugins. It should also automate repetitive tasks and evolve with new remediation procedures through correlation analysis.
These features enhance workflow efficiency by seamlessly integrating with existing security infrastructure and tools, reducing manual effort, and enabling security teams to focus on critical tasks.
Without these features, your security teams may struggle with manual and inefficient data exchange, leading to increased workload and decreased productivity.
You want your security team to customize and configure installation and automation procedures, accompanied by well-documented guidelines and ample support resources. In other words the tool shouldn’t be so reliant on the vendor.
Over-reliance on the vendor for customization limits flexibility and may lead to inefficiencies when implementing critical security measures.
The absence of comprehensive documentation and support resources hampers the team's ability to troubleshoot issues independently.
Shallow threat reporting and analysis
From the notification of a potential threat to remediation, you should be able to tell what activity was performed by who, where and at what time, with real-time data and centralized reporting from all connections.
Without these essential capabilities, your teams may face challenges in understanding the full context of security incidents. The lack of real-time data and centralized reporting increases the risk of delayed or inaccurate decision-making.
In the absence of comprehensive visibility into activity logs and audit trails, your organization may struggle to meet compliance requirements and fail to maintain a robust security posture.
Time to make that critical decision
In an ever-threatening cybersecurity landscape, harnessing the power of effective approaches like SOAR becomes paramount.
Any of the tools here will serve as the linchpin connecting your people, processes, and technology. It’s what your organization needs to proactively mitigate threats.
But first, you need to make that decision and choose the most suitable tool for your environment. We hope that our list has made it easy or at least given you a good idea of where to begin.
If there is any tool that you believe we have overlooked but deserves recognition in this list, we invite you to kindly share your suggestions in the comments section.
Before you leave, you might also want to have a quick look at the top SIEM tools.
SOAR Tools FAQ
What are SOAR tools and why are they important?
SOAR tools, or Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response tools, are software products designed to help organizations streamline their security operations. They automate repetitive tasks, provide guided playbooks for incident response, and facilitate collaboration among security teams. Their importance lies in their ability to mitigate cyber threats, handle the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, and efficiently manage security operations.
What are some top SOAR tools available in the market?
Some top SOAR tools include Palo Alto Networks Cortex XSOAR, Rapid7 InsightConnect, ServiceNow Security Incident Response, Heimdal Threat Hunting and Action Center, and Splunk SOAR, among others.
How is the demand for SOAR tools changing?
The demand for SOAR tools is significantly increasing, driven by factors like rising incidents of ransomware and email phishing, a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, and the need for streamlined security operations.
What should I avoid when choosing a SOAR tool?
Avoid SOAR tools that offer limited automation and integration capabilities, limited control to your security team, and shallow threat reporting and analysis. These limitations can lead to inefficiencies and increased security risks.
How do SOAR tools help in managing cybersecurity threats?
SOAR tools help by automating repetitive tasks, providing guided playbooks for incident response, and allowing for the centralization and streamlining of various security processes. This increases the efficiency of security teams, enabling them to effectively address and mitigate cyber threats.