What are AI-enhanced Security Operations?

Security operations teams are struggling to detect and respond to increasingly sophisticated threats, to manage dozens of products and high volumes of alerts, to be effective in the face of  a longstanding shortage of talent. Luckily new AI-enhanced Security solutions are emerging to help level the playing field for SOCs.

What are AI-enhanced Security operations?

Gartner recently coined the term “AI-enhanced Security Operations” in their October 6th, 2023 report “Emerging Tech Impact Radar: Security.”

In the report, Gartner analysts conclude that “most AI development in security offerings to date has focused on detecting weak or anomalous signals missed by traditional methods.” AI enhanced security operations, however, are ”leveraged for postdetection actions, including alert prioritization, augmented threat detection and hunting, secure code assistants, playbook creation, and the automation of specific incident response (IR) processes.”

In practice, AI-enhanced security operations are those which embrace the use of AI to automate and streamline security operations processes like alert triage, incident investigation, root cause analysis, response plan generation and more. This comes in stark contrast to the prior generation of products that only use AI for behavioral profiling and anomaly detection. 

What are the key capabilities of AI-enhanced Security operations?

Automated triage and investigation

Modern security tools detect attacks. They also create a huge amount of false positives. No SOCs have the capacity to review all of the alerts they receive to find the “needles in the haystack”. With AI-enhanced security operations, SOCs can actually triage every alert, thus removing the haystack entirely in favor of a small needle pile. At first glance, this may not seem novel, but it’s exactly the opposite of the “filter-and-prioritize security alerts to get workloads manageable” approach taken by most SOCs today. It’s also impossible to do with human analysts. 

Automated, AI-based triage

Figure 1 – AI-based triage automatically determines alert maliciousness.

Decision Ready Incident analysis

AI-enhanced security operations tools can automate incident analysis tasks like determining the scope and root cause of an incident, such that when a human first sees an alert, all the information they need is ready for consumption. This keeps SOC teams moving fast and spending time containing and remediating the incident instead of digging for clues.

Decision Ready Incident Analysis
Figure 2 – An AI-generated Incident Analysis.

Response Plan Generation and Rapid Remediation

The biggest blocker to truly rapid containment and remediation is manual effort. As noted above, the amount of manual time consuming work involved in triage and investigation precludes rapid action. If days or weeks of work must happen before corrective actions can be taken, then it doesn’t matter how automated corrective steps are, they will come late.  However, because AI-enhanced security operations takes the manual work out of prior steps, an incident specific response plan can be generated in minutes and then executed (either with or without human approval, depending on preference) using automated, API-based response. This is game changing for response efforts. 

Repeatable incident analysis

Figure 3 – An AI-generated response plan including what happened as well as suggested containment and remediation actions that can be run at the click of a button.

Continuous learning

AI-enhanced security operations solutions must continuously learn in order to have the ability to come to accurate conclusions. There are various data sources which facilitate this learning, including but not limited to: environmental telemetry (i.e. data from security and IT point products like EDR, IAM, email systems, network security tools, and more), security knowledge bases (i.e. threat intelligence feeds, MITRE ATT&CK, CIS, etc.), security alerts, and even prior system output (i.e. past conclusions, attack trends, false positives and negatives, etc.) By continually training on these data sources, AI-enhanced security operations solutions are able to replicate much of the decision making capabilities of human analysts. 

What are the benefits of AI-enhanced Security operations?

Better attack detection

Looking at every alert is a surefire way to find the alerts that represent real threats. This is not possible with humans, even if you outsource to an MDR. 

Faster Remediation & response

Removing manual processes from triage, investigation, and response plan generation enables automated response to be rapid and for containment and remediation to happen in minutes, not days or weeks. 

Improved SOC productivity

Armed with an AI-assistant, SOC analysts become exponentially more productive. The nature of their work changes from “doing” to “validating” and thus they can accomplish much more with their time and shift much of their day-to-day focus to higher value tasks. 

Want to learn more?

Radiant Security is an AI-powered SOC co-pilot that helps detect more real attacks, drastically reduce containment and remediation times, and exponentially boost analyst productivity. 

To learn more, visit us at https://radiantsecurity.ai.