SOCs Redefine Missions with Staff Retention in Focus: Results of a SANS Survey

According to the latest SANS survey (to be released as a webcast in two parts on August 14 and 16, sponsored by DFLabs), security operations centers (SOCs) are forced to grow, as they’re pushed by the use of cloud, mobile, personal and Industrial IoT.

There’s a significant discrepancy in the pace of change, and improvements in security operations can’t seem to keep up the galloping SOC evolution. Furthermore, the top barrier is said to be the scarcity of skilled staff that could improve SOC performance. This shortfall will directly lead to issues with metrics and automation.

SANS Analyst and Instructor Christopher Crowley says: “hiring skilled staff is challenging and expensive, while the business culture at most companies is focused on reducing labor costs and shifting to consuming services. SOC managers need to focus on better recruitment and internal talent development processes to meet the challenge of securing appropriate staffing levels.”

Moreover, he adds that organizations should focus on improving metrics in order to better demonstrate the value of their organization. He’s quite optimistic regarding the future of SOCs that focus on “better orchestration both with the network operations center (NOC) and internal to the SOC using orchestration tools to drive consistency.”

The entire article can be read here.

DFLabs to Discuss How Orchestration Can Facilitate Knowledge Transfer and Improve Incident Response at SANS SOC Summit 2018

DFLabs’ Vice President of Professional Services, Mike Fowler will present a session on improving incident response capabilities and how to overcome the shortage of skilled security operations staff at the SANS Security Operations Center Summit on Monday, July 30, 2018 at 12 PM noon CDT.

The shortage of skilled SOC personnel worldwide is only getting worse. With increasing workloads, inexperienced security analysts need to be brought up to speed quickly so they can contribute effectively to SOC Operations. In this session, “Leveraging Orchestration to Facilitate Knowledge Transfer in Security Operations,” Mike Fowler will present a framework that combines a traditional and new knowledge transfer techniques with the help of orchestration to enable under-resourced SOCs to achieve new levels incident response efficiency and productivity.

This press release was originally published on Business Wire. Read the full press release here.

Oliver Rochford @DarkReading: 3 Ways to Retain Security Operations Staff

DFLabs’ Vice President of Security Evangelism, Oliver Rochford, with a new article for Dark Reading, titled: “3 Ways to Retain Security Operations Staff”, where he expands on the topic: shortfall in cybersecurity professionals and especially, security operations center – SOC analysts. In there, Mr. Rochford proposes tips and ways to retain highly skilled security professionals once you combat the first part of the problem which is finding and hiring them.

Read the full article here.

DFLabs Unveils Machine Learning Powered First Responder Automation for Security Operations

DFLabs IncMan orchestrates the intelligence-driven SOC and CSIRT

BOSTON – ( BusinessWire  ) – DFLabs, the leader in Security Automation and Orchestration Technology, announced today the release of its new Playbook Recommendation and Intelligent Selection Mechanism (DF-PRISM), enhancing DFLabs security automation and orchestration with incorporated proprietary machine learning. The system uses patent-pending advanced methods and algorithms to detect operational intelligence such as security incident and resolution data to recommend playbooks and actions based on historical incident response activities. This approach minimizes the resources and time required to successfully analyze and respond to ongoing incidents while maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of security teams.

At its core, DFLabs SAO enables security organizations to take a gradual “crawl, walk, run” path to developing effective processes for successfully responding to and managing threats as well as hardening security controls. Beginning with “Human Guided Learning” and evolving into “Human Supervised Learning”, users can create and apply simple, linear or conditional playbooks that combine manual, semi-automated and automated actions. Decision-making and conditional responses can be made manually by humans, automatically by machine, or a hybrid of the two – depending on the needs, requirements, and maturity of the organization.

Mature organizations can leverage the advanced Runbooks of DF-PRISM that support complex and stateful logical decision-making to enable an advanced and adaptive threat management program. Conditional responses that allow users to pursue a variety of alternative responses.

“In developing DF-PRISM, we have built a technology that enables users and the system to learn together and lets people determine their level of involvement in responding to and managing threats,” said Dario Forte, chief executive officer, and founder DFLabs. “Users get immediate value by tracking and responding to threats, then over time the system builds a knowledge base of responses that can be relied on to automatically manage the entire incident response process.”

According to recent research from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) entitled “Next Generation Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations Survey,” commissioned by DFLabs and other technology vendors, 92% of respondents have deployed, plan to deploy or are interested in deploying machine learning technology to support Automation and orchestration. The top drivers are accelerating incident detection (29%) and accelerating incident response (27%).

The research also found that 21% of respondents will deploy machine learning because they hope the technology can help maximize the productivity of their existing staff to compensate for their inability to hire enough new security operations personnel.

“Enterprises are finding it challenging to quickly respond to security incidents across a constantly growing attack surface and with limited resources, resulting in a large window of opportunity for attackers to execute the full kill chain and the potential for minor incidents to evolve into full-blown breaches , “Said Oliver Rochford, vice president of Product Marketing, DFLabs. “Augmenting analysts” smart eyeballs with machine learning will help organizations to reduce the time from breach discovery to containment, while also assisting in building, retaining and transferring institutional knowledge about past incidents and threats. ”

Innovative Threatscape Modeling

Leveraging machine learning, DF-PRISM constructs a model of the threatscape based on known and historical incidents, scoring and evaluating any incident based on unique and shared indicators and attributes and their relevance. The algorithms use this model to propose playbooks for similar or related threats. Threats known to the model are considered to have greater relevance, are scored more reliably, and are assigned a higher urgency and higher prioritization.

Key benefits include:

• Intelligence-guided false positive reduction
• Improves response time by up to 80%
• Automatically correlates and re-applies playbooks across Tenants in multi-user and MSSP environments

DF-PRISM is available immediately with version 4.2 of IncMan, which also includes:

• New Dual-Mode Playbook engines
• An advanced correlation engine
• An observable investigation view
• A unique set of features based on machine learning (ML) and supervised active intelligence to guide first responders
The current integration library is composed of over 100 different playbooks and connectors Can be customized by and shared between users without requiring scripting or coding.

About DFLabs

DFLabs – Cyber Incidents Under Control – is a recognized global leader in security automation and orchestration technology. The company is led by a management team recognized for its experience in and contributing to the information security field including the co-editing of many industry standards such as ISO 27043 and ISO 30121. Its flagship product, IncMan, has been adopted by Fortune 500 and Global 2000 organizations worldwide. DFLabs has operations in Europe, North America, and EMEA. For more information, visit  or connect with us on Twitter @DFLabs.

This Press Release was originally published on  BusinessWire

Research Reveals Organizations Falling Behind in Cyber Security Analytics and Operations Despite Business Pressure to Improve

To Automate or Orchestrate? Enterprise Strategy Group survey calls for guidance and a shift toward accelerating Security Operations

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DFLabs, the leader in Security Automation and Orchestration Technology, announced today the release of new research from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), commissioned by DFLabs and other technology vendors, which shows that when it comes to the evolution of Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, 71% of respondent organizations find it more difficult today than it was two years ago due to the changing threat landscape, followed by volume of alerts and increased regulatory changes.

“Despite businesses making it a priority, there is great confusion on how to make sense of and integrate Security Analytics and Operations. Most organizations are dealing with 10 to 25 technologies ranging from SIEMs, vulnerability assessment, endpoint detection, threat intelligence and user behavior to incident response. They are challenged with the total cost of operations and spending too much time on emergency issues,” said Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst, ESG.

This need for strategy and process improvements is why purchasing security operations tools designed to help organizations automate and orchestrate security operations processes was cited as the second highest priority respondent organizations will take over the next two years. The majority (90%) of respondent organizations are planning to deploy, or have somehow deployed, technologies designed for Automation and Orchestration.

The research also revealed that Automation is a higher priority (66%) than Orchestration (31%) – pointing to the need for a maturity model to guide security operations centers (SOCs) and cybersecurity professionals on their journey.

Added Oltsik, “There is a lot of hype but these are not turnkey solutions. Most organizations start by employing automation to the most time-consuming low-level tasks, such as integrating external with internal IOCs; whereas orchestration, such as building a run book, requires more thought and planning and attention. We found a great need for a ‘guided’ approach to full automation and orchestration and DFLabs is the only vendor today to do both.”

Finally, the survey found a shift in focus from threat detection to incident response. Eighty-six percent (86%) of respondent organizations are currently using or plan to use an incident response platform while 92% have deployed, plan to deploy or are interested in deploying Machine Learning technology to support Automation and Orchestration – with accelerating incident response as a top driver.

“This research validates our vision for Supervised Active Intelligence (SAI)™. By giving customers a path from machine-to-human to machine-to-machine operations, we gradually guide them on the maturity curve to full automation and orchestration – without losing the element of human control,” said Dario Forte, CEO, DFLabs. “Based upon an innovative machine learning and incident correlation engine, DFLabs offers a force multiplier solution that helps security operations and incident response teams quickly orchestrate the triage, containment, reporting, and remediation of data breaches and other cyber incidents.”

Surveying 412 IT professionals and cybersecurity professionals across a broad range of industry verticals, the multi-client research, titled “Next Generation Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations Survey,” seeks to better understand the evolution of the market including requirements, skills, challenges, and technology adoption plans.

Other key highlights include:

– Eighty-one percent (81%) strongly agree or agree that improving Security Analytics and Operations is a high priority
– 78% strongly agree or agree that they have a formal plan and funding to improve Security Analytics and Operations
– 72% strongly agree or agree that business management is pressuring the cybersecurity team to improve Security Analytics and Operations

– Eighty-two percent (82%) will increase spending in Security Analytics and Operations

In-depth data is also available upon request on the topics of staffing, security operations centers (SOC), managed security services, security data collection, threat intelligence, and technology integration.

To request a copy of the research please visit:

About DFLabs

DFLabs is a recognized global leader in Security Automation and Orchestration. The company is led by a management team recognized for its experience in and contributions to the information security field including co-edited many industry standards such as ISO 27043 and ISO 30121. IncMan – Cyber Incidents Under Control – is the flagship product, adopted by Fortune 500 and Global 2000 organizations worldwide. DFLabs has operations in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia with US headquarters in Boston, MA and World headquarters in Milan, Italy. For more information visit: or connect with us on Twitter @DFLabs.

Kesselring Communications
Leslie Kesselring, 503-358-1012
[email protected]