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CIRA: Bridging the Gap between SIEM and SOAR

Updated: Feb 5

Navigating the Missing 33% to Cybersecurity Excellence


SIEM + SOAR + CIRA = Full Security Stack

In cybersecurity, organizations are constantly seeking solutions that not only gather data but also offer much-needed insights to fortify their defenses.


To this end, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems provide log collectors that can handle vast amounts of data. The functioning of SIEM solutions is pivotal, as it aggregates data across the organization's network devices, servers, and databases, acting as a centralized point for detecting potential cybersecurity threats. However, the accumulation of data in SIEM solutions is just one weapon in an arsenal. The challenge for many organizations is not just in collecting data but in making sense of it, particularly in a cloud environment. SIEM solutions, for all their capabilities, provides a wealth of data but lack deeper insights necessary for a robust defense strategy.


Meanwhile, Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) solutions streamline security operations by integrating various tools and automating response to threats. It consolidates security alerts from diverse sources, enhancing efficiency and reducing manual errors in Security Operations Centers (SOCs). SOAR's orchestration coordinates different security processes for a unified response, while its automation aspect speeds up threat handling by executing pre-set actions for common scenarios. This rapid response capability lessens the burden on security teams and bolsters an organization's overall security stance.


A step further than SIEM and SOAR, Cloud Investigation and Response Automation (CIRA) is an emerging technology focused on automating the collection, analysis, and response to security incidents within cloud environments. It employs advanced analytics and machine learning to efficiently handle digital forensics and incident response. Most CIRA tools are designed to identify, collect, and analyze forensic data across various cloud platforms, enhancing the capability to conduct comprehensive investigations into confirmed threats. This technology, at its best, represents a shift towards more automated, efficient, and effective management of cybersecurity incidents in cloud infrastructures, addressing challenges unique to cloud environments.

The Missing 33%

Cloud SIEM and SOAR solutions present challenges in such complicated, rapidly evolving landscape are distinct from on-prem SIEM and SOAR. All SIEM and SOAR solutions, taken together, are a formidable precaution in the initial stages of threat detection and data collection. However, for organizations in the cloud and seeking the strongest possible cybersecurity, there is a gap, a final 33% of requisite readiness, beyond even the combined capabilities of almost any SIEM and SOAR.


This missing 33% represents CIRA at its best: the nuanced layers of security operations that require deep investigation, proactive threat hunting, reporting on chain of custody, and rapid response mechanisms. SIEM and SOAR together cannot cover the entire gap. CIRA solutions transform raw data into actionable intelligence and are needed at organizations to not only identify potential threats but also understand their context, anticipate their trajectories, and neutralize them before they can cause harm.

Investigation and Hunting: Beyond the Alert

Investigation is the meticulous process of dissecting each alert to filter out false positives, understand the nature of a threat activity, and determine its severity. SIEM and SOAR collect and analyze data, but the real-world application of this data is where hunting and investigation come in. These require a blend of machine learning, AI-driven analytics, and human expertise to identify patterns that could suggest a sophisticated cyber-attack.


The response to a threat actor is where the battle for the 33% begins. It's one thing to know an attack is happening, but another entirely to stop threats in their tracks. Speed and precision in remediation are of the essence. An effective response can be the difference between a minor incident and a catastrophic breach.


Threat hunting, an aggressive approach to CIRA that doesn't wait for alerts, takes SIEM and SOAR to 100%. It is a proactive quest for anomalies that could evade traditional detection methods, often relying on hypothesis-driven inquiries and advanced analytics. It is about searching for the needle in the haystack, not by sifting through each straw, but by using a magnet that's attuned to the specific metallic signature of the needle organizations are after.

The Role of Specialized Tools

To complete the missing 33%, CIRA solutions must be integrated with SIEM and SOAR to enhance their capabilities, but not just any CIRA solution will suffice. The choice of CIRA must come with advanced features for deep forensic analysis, custom threat intelligence feeds, sandboxing for suspicious files, and automated response actions – all while retaining the entire chain of custody as an outcome of the investigation procedure.


The complexity of deploying CIRA solutions can vary based on the existing IT environment. While the deployment may sometimes exceed the expected time frame, especially in intricate setups, the value they add in achieving a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy is undeniable. One such CIRA solution, Cyngular, can be deployed in cloud environments a matter of hours.


The integration of CIRA with SIEM and SOAR has been a revelation for many organizations, especially in cloud environments. Through this integration, cybersecurity teams are not just reacting to threats but are also equipped to predict, prevent, hunt, and remediate them. The insights gained from CIRA solutions like Cyngular have proven invaluable to organizations. Cyngular, in particular, illuminates the dark corners where threats lurk, providing clarity and actionable intelligence that SIEM alone are highly likely to uncover.


Perhaps the most compelling aspect of integrating CIRA solutions like Cyngular with SIEM and SOAR is the final reporting. With Cyngular, these reports crystallize the added value of the last 33%—the insight that turns raw data into actionable intelligence. It's through these comprehensive reports that technical teams become convinced of the necessity for the best of CIRA solutions, seeing the tangible benefits of enhancing threat identification, investigation, and remediation.


In essence, the missing 33% represents the frontier of cybersecurity—a place where data meets discernment, where alerts transition into insights, and where threats are not just identified but understood and vanquished. The deployment of CIRA solutions into SIEM environments is not just an enhancement of a system; it is the completion of a vision of public service, the fulfillment of the ultimate goal of cybersecurity: to ensure resilience in the face of evolving threats, protecting organizations and the world at large.


When selecting SIEM and SOAR solutions, or even when they are already in place, organizations must consider several factors, such as the size and complexity of their cloud environment, existing infrastructure, budget, and specific security needs. Organizations leveraging SIEM and SOAR solutions often find themselves at the precipice of cybersecurity excellence, having achieved about 67% of their goals through data collection and initial analysis. Yet, the most critical 33%—investigation, threat hunting, remediation, and reporting—remains elusive without choosing the ideal CIRA solution. It is in this last third, as the vital battle is waged, where CIRA solutions like Cyngular's ClouDFIR comprehensive solution come into play and win, providing effective, essential cyber defense. -

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