How ServiceNow uses Security Operations to Deliver 6X Faster Processing via Automation and Integration

At security conferences, technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are often in the spotlight. But for security operations teams, a very pragmatic topic is even hotter: integration. Because no security product or company can do everything, security environments often consist of dozens of disparate tools. These tools are typically focused on protection and detection, with security teams manually collecting alert data from the various sources. The challenge is to bring all the data from these tools together in one location where analysts can access information quickly and manage the appropriate response actions. ServiceNow Security Operations was designed to do precisely that, and our own experience is a good example.

According to ServiceNow Chief Information Security Officer Yuval Cohen, “When our analysts investigate a security incident, they have all the data they need in one place. Our platform provides the relevant vulnerabilities and patching cycles, problems (PRBs) and remediation projects, CMDB data, threat intel and many other types of valuable data that now all tie together to give us a full picture.”

ServiceNow’s own security operations team has been using the Now Platform from the beginning but has enhanced it steadily over time. ServiceNow started with incident management, then built custom security applications and workflows for tasks like event management and alerts. Once ServiceNow created an official Security Operations product, it immediately transitioned to it in order to improve efficiencies and enhance its capabilities around incident and vulnerability management.

The benefits of using ServiceNow Security Operations have been significant:

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  • 8,700 hours saved annually from Security Operations Center (SOC) automation
  • 6X faster alert and event processing via automation and third-party security product integration
  • 50% increase in number of incidents handled per staff through operational efficiencies
  • $420,000 savings in security operations staffing costs

ServiceNow has also realized value in three strategic areas:

  • Increased velocity – Because Security Operations is integrated on the Now Platform, ServiceNow analysts have instant access to IT configuration data in real time. This enables the security operations team to accelerate investigation and reduce the burden on the IT department. Having data in Security Operations rather than in spreadsheets or other tools enables analysts spend more time on other efforts, such as refining alerts and creating knowledge base articles.
  • Actionable insight – Analysts make faster, better-informed decisions by having a single, consolidated view of the environment and accurate, comprehensive data at their fingertips (see dashboard).

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Automated reporting using ServiceNow® Performance Analytics for Security Operations helps it stay well informed, track progress over time to pinpoint areas for improvement, and demonstrate security compliance to audit teams.

  • User experience – Automating administrative tasks enables analysts to spend more time on value-added work. Having a central location where activities can be monitored and prioritized reduces fatigue and improves job satisfaction. Well-qualified alerts, usually with a knowledge base article attached, allow analysts to be productive quickly.

An integral aspect of ServiceNow’s environment includes third-party security information and event management (SIEM), endpoint security and threat intelligence tools. All of these products are tightly integrated into Security Operations, which has allowed it to automate several manual processes. For example, when one of ServiceNow’s security tools detects a threat, Security Operations immediately creates a security incident. For each type of security incident, Security Operations has a set of workflows that drives our response. Processes like analyzing a hash or IP address, which would normally require logging into multiple security tools to do research, are all automated. Thus, its analysts can quickly drive blocking or remediation from within Security Operations. These automations have allowed ServiceNow to accelerate both investigation and resolution of threats.