SIEM vs. SOAR: 4 Key Differences & Integrating SIEM with SOAR

SIEM vs. SOAR: 4 Key Differences & Integrating SIEM with SOAR

What Is SIEM? 

SIEM, or security information and event management, is a technology that provides real-time analysis of security alerts generated by applications and network hardware. It collects log and event data, and identifies patterns or anomalies that might suggest a security issue.

SIEM tools are vital in today’s cybersecurity front line. They provide a centralized view of an organization’s IT security by collecting data from various sources, including network devices, systems, and applications. By consolidating this data into a single system, SIEM tools make it easier to detect, manage, and respond to security events.

What Is SOAR? 

SOAR, or security orchestration, automation, and response, is a technology that combines data collection, threat and vulnerability management, incident response, and security automation into a single solution. Its primary goal is to improve the efficiency of security operations by streamlining threat response workflows.

SOAR solutions are designed to help organizations manage a large number of alerts more effectively. They can automatically collect threat intelligence from various sources and use this data to prioritize and respond to alerts. This can significantly reduce response times and help organizations address threats more rapidly.

Moreover, SOAR tools can automate routine tasks, freeing up security teams to focus on more complex issues. This is particularly beneficial for organizations dealing with a manpower shortage in cybersecurity. By automating repetitive tasks, SOAR allows security analysts to concentrate on strategic activities, such as threat hunting and advanced incident response.

SIEM vs. SOAR: Key Differences 

1. Main Function: Log Collection and Analysis vs. Task Automation

While both SIEM and SOAR are crucial tools in cybersecurity, they serve different purposes. SIEM’s primary function is to collect and analyze log data from various sources to identify potential threats. It acts as a security alarm, alerting the security team when it detects suspicious activity.

On the other hand, SOAR aims to streamline and automate security operations. It gathers data from various sources, prioritizes alerts based on threat levels, and automates responses to low-level threats. SOAR helps security teams manage and respond to threats with little to no human assistance.

Learn More: in our detailed guide to SIEM log management 

2. Approach to Threat Management: Correlation and Analysis (SIEM) vs. Triggered Outcomes (SOAR)

SIEM technologies focus on correlating and analyzing data to identify potential threats. They use advanced algorithms to detect anomalies and generate alerts when they find unusual patterns.

SOAR identifies specific events or threats and carries out automated responses based on predefined workflows. This is known as a triggered outcome. Once a threat is identified, SOAR can automatically take action, such as isolating infected systems or blocking malicious IP addresses.

3. Scalability and Efficiency

SIEM systems are known for their scalability. They are capable of processing vast amounts of data from various sources, making them suitable for large, complex organizations. SIEM solutions provide rich data that can be explored and interpreted by security teams. This analysis takes time, but it is invaluable for tasks like threat hunting and incident investigation. 

SOAR solutions handle alerts in a simplified, yet more efficient manner. They are designed to automate and orchestrate the response to security alerts, reducing the workload on security teams. SOAR platforms are able to scale to a large number of alerts, but cannot process the same volume of data from numerous sources as SIEM does.

Learn More: in our detailed guide to SIEM alerts 

4. Implementation Complexity

SIEM systems can be quite complex to implement, especially for large organizations. They require a significant amount of time and resources to set up and manage. Additionally, SIEM solutions traditionally needed continuous fine-tuning to maintain their effectiveness. Modern SIEM solutions provide playbooks and security content that supports common use cases out of the box.

Implementing a SOAR solution is typically less complex, because it ingests fewer data sources and operates automatically. However, SOAR still must be integrated with security systems and requires the definition of response workflows for common threats. This necessitates a certain level of maturity in an organization’s security operations. In addition, SOAR cannot be deployed and forgotten; it requires ongoing management to ensure its effectiveness.

Benefits of SIEM vs. SOAR 

The primary benefit of SIEM lies in its ability to provide organizations with a holistic view of their IT environment. It collects and enriches data from a wide range of sources, making it possible to identify patterns and anomalies that could indicate a security incident. Moreover, SIEM solutions are beneficial in complying with regulatory requirements, as they provide comprehensive logs of security events. 

Many companies use SOAR to augment the capabilities of SIEM. SOAR provides automation capabilities that can significantly reduce the time it takes to respond to a security incident. By automating routine tasks, SOAR allows security teams to focus on more complex and strategic tasks. Additionally, SOAR solutions can improve the efficiency of security operations by streamlining the incident response process.

Integration of SIEM and SOAR 

Importance and Benefits of Integrating SIEM and SOAR

SIEM systems provide real-time analysis of security alerts generated by a wide range of applications and network hardware. They collect and analyze log and event data to identify and categorize potential security incidents. Newer-generation SIEM solutions leverage automation and deep learning, offering a comprehensive set of features and capabilities. SOAR solutions focus on incident response and security orchestration capabilities, enabling organizations to respond to cyberthreats swiftly and efficiently.

Integrating SIEM and SOAR harnesses the power of both systems. This combination provides a more holistic and proactive approach to cybersecurity, reducing the time to detect and respond to threats. Together they enhance visibility into the security landscape, streamline security operations, automate repetitive tasks, and take preventative measures, freeing up teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.


To effectively integrate SIEM and SOAR, there should be an analysis of the existing security infrastructure. Understanding what systems and processes are in place to identify gaps or inefficiencies is critical. 

Clear objectives for the integration should be put in place. It could be faster threat detection and response, improved visibility, or more efficient operations.


Implementation requires configuring the SIEM system to collect and analyze the necessary log and event data. This includes setting up data sources, defining rules for event correlation, and configuring alerts for potential security incidents.

SOAR requires setting up the orchestration and automation capabilities, and configuring the incident response processes. The SOAR and SIEM systems will need to be connected, allowing the two to communicate.

The integration should be thoroughly tested before going live, including running simulations or pilot programs to verify the effectiveness of the integration.

Learn More: in our detailed guide to SIEM implementation 

Management and Ongoing Improvement

SIEM and SOAR performance must be monitored regularly. Key metrics like time to detect and respond to threats, accuracy of threat detection, and efficiency of incident response are important to track. This will help measure the success of the integration and identify areas for improvement.

Systems must also be kept up to date for effective protection against cybercriminals because cyberthreats are constantly evolving. 

SIEM and SOAR: Better Together in Exabeam New Scale SIEM

As the keeper of an organization’s security data, today’s modern SIEM solutions include more capabilities than ever before. New-Scale SIEM™ from Exabeam combines rapid data ingestion, a cloud-native data lake, hyper-fast query performance, powerful behavioral analytics, and automation that changes the way analysts do their jobs. An automated investigation experience across the threat detection, investigation, and response (TDIR) workflow provides a complete picture of a threat, automating manual routines and simplifying complex work.

Exabeam provides SOAR components as part of its leading SIEM platform:

  • Exabeam provides turnkey playbooks to automate repeated workflows for investigation into compromised credentials, external attacks, or malicious insider use cases with guided checklists for resolution.
  • Exabeam Incident Responder automates repeated workflows to third-party tools with hundreds of response actions, from semi- to fully-automated activity.
  • Exabeam Threat Hunter offers a point-and-click interface that lets security operations center (SOC) analysts quickly perform searches to identify patterns in vast amounts of historic security data. It also provides access to complete incident timelines for past and present security incidents.

Learn More: Learn more about Exabeam New-Scale SIEM