SOAR vs ASPM: Security Acronyms Explained

Urvi Mehta
June 20, 2024
SOAR vs ASPM: Security Acronyms Explained

The world of cybersecurity can feel like navigating an alphabet soup of acronyms. With so many advanced solutions out there, choosing the right tool to protect your organization's assets from threats, vulnerabilities, and risks can be a challenge. 

Two such acronyms you might encounter when looking to reduce risk are SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response) and ASPM (Application Security Posture Management). Let’s explore each in detail to better understand their specific use cases and how they can benefit your organization.

Understanding SOAR

SOAR stands for Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response. It combines three software capabilities: threat and vulnerability management, security incidents response, and security operations automation. SOAR is primarily used by security operations and incident response teams. The three core components of SOAR are:

  • Security Orchestration: Integrates different security technologies and processes to orchestrate triaging and incident response.
  • Automation: Uses predefined workflows and rules to automate repetitive and time-consuming operations tasks.
  • Response: Facilitates swift and efficient responses to security incidents through coordinated actions.

Use Cases for SOAR

The following are the most common use cases for SOAR:

  1. Incident Response: SOAR automates workflows, speeding up response to security threats. It can isolate machines, block attacks, and free analysts for complex issues.
  2. Threat Hunting: SOAR actively hunts for suspicious activity across security tools, helping identify potential threats before they strike.
  3. Vulnerability Management: SOAR prioritizes vulnerabilities from SIEMs and other security technologies, and automates tasks like patching, ensuring systems stay protected.
  4. Phishing Defense: SOAR automates responses to phishing attempts, containing threats and protecting users.
  5. Security Efficiency: SOAR streamlines workflows across security tools, allowing security teams to work faster and smarter.

Understanding ASPM

ASPM stands for Application Security Posture Management. ASPM is a new security approach that enables organizations to manage risk comprehensively across everything that makes up an application (code, infrastructure, cloud, containers, APIs, third-party software, etc) and the software delivery lifecycle. It is used primarily by application security teams, developers, and vulnerability management teams. 

The key components of ASPM include:

  • Unified visibility - A consolidated and normalized view of risk across an organization's entire ecosystem. 
  • Prioritization - Prioritization of security vulnerabilities based on their level of risk, business context, and threat intelligence. 
  • Remediation efficiency - Orchestrates triaging and remediation workflows to help developers focus on critical issues. 
  • Scalable automation - Automates known security tasks and workflows, including CI/CD guardrails and automated checks. 
  • Real-time monitoring and reporting - Allows you to gain real-time insight and reporting into your application security posture. 

Use Cases for ASPM

The following are the most common use cases of ASPM:

  1. Application Security Posture: Understand and improve the state of software risk across the application portfolio.
  2. Risk-Based Vulnerability Management: Continuously assess and mitigate risks associated with vulnerabilities across applications and infrastructure.
  3. Software Supply Chain Monitoring: Assess and manage the security risks associated with open source and third-party applications and services integrated into the organization's ecosystem.
  4. DevSecOps: Embed security into the development process to identify and fix vulnerabilities early.
  5. Compliance Management: Ensure that applications adhere to security policies and regulatory requirements, and prove the state of compliance.

Key Differences: SOAR vs ASPM

SOAR primarily focuses on security operations teams and response after code has been developed and deployed. Whereas ASPM focuses on creating governance and guardrails across the SDLC for application security, vulnerability management, and development teams.

SOAR does support automation, but it is hard-wired. It provides automated and coordinated responses to security incidents. ASPM focuses on proactive identification and remediation of application vulnerabilities. With ASPM, you can automate the tasks as per requirements without requiring extensive expertise and coding. 

SOAR integrates with various security tools, such as SIEM, firewalls, endpoint detection, threat intelligence platforms, and other security technologies, but doesn’t cover application security. ASPM integrates with all security technologies related to applications and infrastructure, including CI/CD pipelines, code repositories, application scanners, cloud scanners, infrastructure scanners, ticketing systems, configuration management systems, and messaging tools.

ASPM facilitates collaboration between development, security, and operations teams (DevSecOps), ensuring security is an integral part of the application development process. On the other hand, SOAR enhances collaboration among security operations teams, incident responders, and threat analysts. 

While SOAR remains a valuable tool for automating security tasks and accelerating response times (think shift right security), the game changes in modern application development. Here, the focus shifts left, prioritizing security throughout the development lifecycle. ASPM's strength lies precisely in this area. By continuously identifying and managing application vulnerabilities, ASPM empowers developers to build secure applications from the ground up, ultimately reducing the burden on security teams later on. 

ASPM with ArmorCode

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, and new acronyms are likely to emerge in the future. However, the core objective remains the same: to fortify your application security posture. To stay ahead of the curve, thorough research is crucial. Identify the solutions that best align with your specific organizational needs.

For a deeper dive into ASPM, explore ArmorCode. If you'd like a personalized demo to see how ArmorCode can empower your application security, feel free to request a demo!

Urvi Mehta
Urvi Mehta
Technical Content Writer
June 20, 2024
Urvi Mehta
June 20, 2024
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