At the SplunkLive! Conference in Washington, D.C., Splunk gave a presentation on Phantom, a Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) system. Splunk acquired Phantom this year for $350 million.
SOAR is becoming critically important as the number of security systems continues to grow. SOAR systems reduce the time needed to complete a Security Operations (SecOps) incident response by automating processes that a security engineer would take when an event occurs. This allows a SOAR system to quickly and accurately execute repetitive tasks much faster than a human. A group of related tasks can be incorporated into a playbook, which allows a SOAR System to respond to an event within a set of operational parameters.
To understand SOAR, it is helpful to compare security orchestration with musical orchestration. In SOAR, each automation tool can be compared to a musical instrument. Phantom has a respectable instrument collection – it currently integrates with over 200 security applications and over 1000 APIs. Orchestration combines all the individual automated instruments into a single, cohesive workflow using playbooks. A Phantom playbook can be compared to a musical score, where each instrument/tool is given directions on what to do and when to do it. And just like with musical scores, you can either write your own playbooks or install playbooks that others have created.
Playbooks can be triggered by a Splunk alert, an alert from a security tool, an email message, a message bus, or a REST API response. Once the trigger initiates a workflow, Phantom responds with the defined set of actions within seconds. What would take a security engineer minutes or hours to accomplish manually takes Phantom just moments.
Phantom is not your run-of-the-mill application that just sends you an alert in the late hours of the night. Phantom has an integrated collaboration suite, a case management ability to templatize and replicate your SOPs, and most importantly, a management dashboard for the powers that be.
As Oliver Friedrichs, former CEO and founder of Phantom, said in a recent interview, “Splunk has become a leader for ingesting, storing, and analyzing machine data. Similarly, Phantom has become a critical agent for taking action on that data.”
Coalfire has started to evaluate the power this can have for our customers. If you are interested in discussing further, please let us know.
Special thanks to Evan Merritt, Certified Splunk Architect II, for his help in writing this blog.