The ROI Approach: Analyst-focused Threat Analysis as an Integral Part of the SOC Automation - VMRay

The ROI Approach: Analyst-focused Threat Analysis as an Integral Part of the SOC Automation

Nov 14th 2023

The ROI Approach:

Analyst-focused Threat Analysis as an Integral Part of the SOC Automation

14 November 2023

2023 marks a pivotal year in business evolution. As organizations struggle with the dual challenges of fortifying their security infrastructure and managing operational costs, the attraction of achieving more with less in your SOC becomes paramount.

With the surge in unique malware samples to an astonishing 1.5 per minute in the initial phase of 2023, as reported by Blackberry, SOC teams, especially Tier 1 analysts, find themselves in deep waters of addressing many EDR-generated malware alerts and a flood of user-reported phishing emails. Our ongoing engagements with industry peers highlight a worrying trend: an average SOC analyst dedicating 3 hours to each malware alert and a further 2 hours to chosen phishing emails. Most of this time is spent on decision making. Considering an hourly rate of $50, the financial ramifications become immediately evident.

Cost Implication of Current Threat Handling

In the modern enterprise landscape, SOC teams achieve endpoint visibility and malware detection through seamless integration of EDR/XDR with SIEM solutions. This integration, although robust, gives rise to a significant volume of “medium-to-high” malware alerts—estimated at 500 weekly alerts for a typical enterprise boasting 10,000 endpoints. Preliminary validation of each alert consumes about 10 minutes of an analyst’s precious time, with selected alerts necessitating deeper, 3-hour investigations. The challenge amplifies when handling the approximately 300 user-reported phishing emails each week.

Enter the transformative power of automated malware analysis. This capability, exemplified by tools like FinalVerdict, reduces alert validation time—traditionally a manual, time-consuming process—to almost nil. Furthermore, the investigation duration for chosen alerts and phishing emails is slashed to a mere 1 hour and 15 minutes, respectively. This shift not only catalyzes significant enrichment time savings but also amplifies the SOC team’s efficacy, easing the pressures on human resources.

By harnessing automation, the time taken to investigate is dramatically reduced. Solutions equipped with this capability ensure dependable, evasion-proof threat analysis in a short time for malware alerts and phishing emails. This liberates SOC teams, enabling them to channel their energies on genuine threats and the art of threat hunting, a domain necessitating human ingenuity.

Stepping into the Shoe of an Analyst

To truly grasp the magnitude of the challenges faced, one must step into the shoes of an analyst. When confronted with an alert, the immediate need is a definitive verdict on the suspicious item, be it an executable or an email. Alongside this, the crucial IOCs are needed for an effective response. An analyst isn’t looking for an overload of information, but actionable insights. 

This is where FinalVerdict shines. Departing from traditional malware analysis, which often places a premium on exhaustive reports, the modern tools prioritize quick, accurate verdicts. While in-depth analysis remains crucial, for an analyst in the heat of the moment, an immediate verdict can often hold more value.

ROI Calculation for Automated Malware Analysis

Pivoting to FinalVerdict as a testament to this automation capability, our ROI analysis is underpinned by tangible operational metrics. This encompasses the volume of suspicious malware alerts, user-reported phishing emails, the analyst’s hourly rate, and the annual cost of FinalVerdict packages (inclusive of Gold Support). Notably absent is the presumed breach cost.

The dividends are compelling. A typical enterprise with 10,000 endpoints can anticipate a cost-saving windfall of approximately $1.9 million over a three-year horizon, even post factoring in the investment in the FinalVerdict Unlimited plan. This translates to an astounding 3-year ROI of 342% for the Unlimited Plan complemented by Gold Support.

Cost savings: $1.9 million

ROI: 342% in 3 years

Amplifying the ROI of SOAR and EDR Tools

The benefits of automated malware analysis extend beyond direct operational efficiencies. By integrating seamlessly with Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tools, the automation capacity enhances the output of these critical platforms. 

When the noise from false positives is reduced and genuine threats are identified more efficiently, both SOAR and EDR solutions can operate at their peak potential. This symbiotic relationship ensures that the investments made in these tools yield even greater returns, making the overall security infrastructure not just more effective, but also more cost-efficient.

This summary offers a snapshot of the comprehensive ROI analysis anchored by FinalVerdict’s Unlimited Plan. We invite you to delve into the exhaustive report or reach out to us for a custom demo.

Ertugrul Kara
Ertugrul Kara

Ertugrul Kara is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for VMRay. With a career spanning over 10 years in cybersecurity, he has seen the advancement of security products from open source firewalls to automation-powered threat detection technologies following the evolution of threat landscape.

He is currently focused on leading the marketing efforts for VMRay’s security automation solutions while enhancing the alignment between the products with enterprise customer needs.

Previously, he has held various roles in early stage security startups, led the product launch and growth strategies, and run his own startup specialized in network security.

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