Security QRadar SOAR Incident response process
Define and accelerate incident response processes with intelligent playbooks
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See how QRadar SOAR helps your team accelerate the incident response process by exploring integrations, investigating cases, and leveraging dynamic playbooks.

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Define your incident response process


When responding to a cybersecurity incident, every second matters. You need to make the right decisions, based on the right data, with the right decision makers, all in the right order. To respond quickly, it’s essential to have a well-defined and efficient incident response plan.

A well-defined incident response (IR) plan requires planning, skills, coordination and automation to ensure a timely and accurate response. NIST outlines IR guidelines that have withstood the test of time. A well-defined IR process should have the following phases:

  • Preparation

  • Detection and analysis

  • Containment, eradication and recovery

  • Post-incident activity

IBM Security® QRadar® SOAR empowers your organization to define and execute a strong IR process. Infused with intelligence and automation, QRadar SOAR uses a simple hierarchy of phases, tasks and actions required to aid in your team’s quick and decisive response to cybersecurity incidents.

What is incident response?

SOAR Incident Response Success Story - Doosan Digital Innovation (DDI)

IBM QRadar SOAR named a Leader: View KuppingerCole Report

How it works
Preparation Easily build an IR process and prepare your team to respond

QRadar SOAR’s award-winning Playbook Designer makes it easy to build a standard IR process and prepare your team to respond. QRadar SOAR contains 13 out-of-the-box playbooks that cover general IR use cases, expanding your response capabilities.

Playbook tasks provide responders with prescriptive guidance on how to address next-steps during remediation, and in which order. Decision points facilitate a dynamic process that can include or skip tasks as deemed necessary. Analysts can manually add additional tasks as an incident develops and more information is learned.

Detection and analysis Identify and prioritize alerts and incidents that need further investigation

Threat intelligence is based on automated threat detection and threat hunting flag alerts that need to be reviewed by an analyst. Sending those alerts to QRadar SOAR creates a case and initiates the incident response plan.

With the power of our Unified Analyst Experience (UAX), QRadar SOAR is able to analyze the root cause and correlate alerts coming in from various threat detection sources, such as SIEM and EDR, into consolidated cases. QRadar SOAR intelligently and automatically assigns a severity score to cases, helping analysts to prioritize their focus.

Analysts can then review cases and determine whether the alerts are valid and require action. As they continue their investigation, analysts can tune the automated playbooks to best respond to threats in the environment. This benefit makes incident response services more efficient.

Containment, eradication and recovery Contain the cyberattack and react quickly with dynamic playbooks and integrations

Time is of the essence during an attack involving advanced threats, insider threats, ransomware, malware, phishing, suspicious activity and other cyberthreats. QRadar SOAR’s automation capabilities are built to save time on triage and reduce the learning curve for new analysts. With over 300 integrations and support for open standards, QRadar SOAR boasts effective incident response tools that automate containment actions to help minimize the blast radius.

Once analysts have looked into an incident and gathered more context and information, the incident type of a QRadar SOAR case can be updated. Relevant actions will be automatically populated to the task list, guiding the analyst through the IR process.

Integrations with third-party security tools help analysts act faster by improving workflows and reducing the amount of swivel-chairing between applications in the IR process. The IBM App Exchange (link resides outside provides information on hundreds of integrations for QRadar SOAR to help your team optimize your security incident response.

Post-incident activity Facilitate recovery actions and communicate incident resolution

Once a security incident has been resolved, QRadar SOAR facilitates a number of post-incident activities to start and track recovery. Integrations with ITSM tools, such as Salesforce Service Cloud or ServiceNow, allow security teams to create tickets for affected systems bi-directionally with QRadar SOAR.

Reporting summarizes the documentation for each response and action taken during the IR process. These reports help with understanding where incident management can be improved. This can include updating manual tasks added to QRadar SOAR playbooks to be more specific to your organization and improve efficiency for future incidents.

In the case of a data breach, reviewing applicable regulations helps to keep organizations compliant with the associated reporting timelines. QRadar SOAR Breach Response Module is built to help maintain compliance throughout the process, and avoid expensive financial penalties.

Learn how to generate an incident report
Case studies Avoiding new cyberthreats with new approaches to security

“With IBM, we now have an accurate 24-hour view of the world in real time. We can see every endpoint, every system. And that’s made our cross-team collaboration much more efficient," says Robert Oh, Chief Operating Officer, DDI.

Keeping security breaches at bay consistently with automation and analytics

“For an SOC to be effective, the ability to prioritize our response to the most pressing security risks is nearly as important as detection. The QRadar solution... has made our team far more effective at addressing the threat landscape," says Umair Shakil, Head of Security Operations Center Unit, Askari Bank.

Powering an SOC that delivers trusted security services

“Our Netox Trust cybersecurity services provide visibility into [customers'] unknowns, and our playbooks help them respond when an attack happens," says Marita Harju, Senior Manager, Cyber Security, Netox Oy.

Related products IBM Security QRadar SOAR

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IBM Security® QRadar® SIEM

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Resources What is incident response?

Learn what incident response is, how it works and the associated technologies that help incident response teams carry out or automate key incident response workflows.

IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2024

Explore insights and observations obtained from monitoring over 150 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries.

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