SOAR vs. SIEM: What's the difference?

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Raj Vardhman
Written by
Raj Vardhman

Updated · Nov 20, 2023

Raj Vardhman
Chief Strategist, Techjury | Project Engineer, WP-Stack | Joined January 2023 | Twitter LinkedIn
Raj Vardhman

Raj Vardhman is a tech expert and the Chief Tech Strategist at, where he leads the rese... | See full bio

Florence Desiata
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Florence Desiata


Florence Desiata
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
Florence Desiata

Florence is a dedicated wordsmith on a mission to make technology-related topics easy-to-understand.... | See full bio

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With a new cyberattack every 39 seconds, tools are crucial to protect data and reduce threats. Two of the most notable cybersecurity mechanisms are SOAR and SIEM

SOAR gives an automated threat response workflow that eliminates the time-consuming manual process. Meanwhile, SIEM offers real-time alerts to notify the team to initiate a threat investigation. 

These two tools operate differently, but both are vital elements in achieving efficient cybersecurity. Find out more about the differences between SIEM and SOAR

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • SOAR and SIEM are two essential cybersecurity mechanisms with distinct roles and characteristics.
  • By offering automated responses to threats, SOAR eliminates the need for manual course-of-action. Meanwhile, SIEM provides real-time alerts and relies on human decision-making for threat investigation.
  • SIEM requires monitoring due to its dependence on human actions, whereas SOAR operates autonomously, reducing the need for continuous surveillance.
  • SOAR automates incident responses, while SIEM provides early threat detection—resulting in more efficient cybersecurity.

Differences Between SOAR and SIEM

SOAR and SIEM are vital players in protecting the system against cyberattacks. As Cyphere Director Harman Singh said: 

“In the evolving threat landscape, SOAR and SIEM provide a unified and holistic approach to cybersecurity. They enable organizations to streamline their security operations, enhance visibility into potential threats, and automate repetitive tasks—allowing security teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.”

SOAR helps in managing, alerting, and providing responses to threats. In comparison, SIEM provides monitoring, threat intelligence, and vulnerability management. 

Both SOAR and SIEM solutions complement each other, but they have differences. However, before diving into their distinctions, it is necessary to understand each program. 

Keep reading to get a better grasp of how SOAR and SIEM work. 

What is SOAR in Cybersecurity?

Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) collects and uses data to detect and fix security issues. It offers a faster and more efficient security workflow by automating all the manual processes. 

SOAR has two essential components to function and take action on security threats. These are:

1. Security Orchestration

This component integrates the internal and external data to identify all incoming threats. Orchestration also helps in incorporating shareable information. 

With orchestration, SOAR bridges different programs and tools to detect security risks. This feature is helpful for large-scale investigations. 

💡 Did You Know?

SOAR works with EDR to improve overall cybersecurity. SOAR automates and improves security task efficiency, while Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) observes endpoint activities. Both systems work together in detecting and blocking any possible threat. 

2. Security Automation

With security automation, SOAR can detect suspicious activities and threats. It also alerts the security team of the detected issue. 

SIEM’s Role in Cybersecurity

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) alerts users of all possible security risks. It also analyzes and suggests an appropriate response to those threats. 

SIEM is one of the vital steps in identity security. It combines tools and systems to provide valuable data to the security team. 

To understand how SIEM works, check out the video below: 

Key Differences Between SIEM and SOAR


SOAR and SIEM complement each other when it comes to protecting the system against cyberattacks effectively. However, there are differences in how they help the security system. 

Below are the significant distinctions between the two:

Threat Investigation Process

SIEM alerts the team when unwanted activity or threats occur. The analyst will decide whether to initiate an investigation or not. Meanwhile, SOAR offers an automated response if there are suspicious or unwanted activities. 

Human-Involved Operations

SIEM needs human involvement to operate effectively. Once it detects a suspicious activity, a personnel must decide its next actions. 

In contrast, SOAR does not require human interaction since it automates responses. With less human engagement, SOAR relieves employees from manual checking tasks—allowing them to do other chores. Such capability makes SOAR the ideal tool for companies that want to save time and money.

Regular Monitoring Activities

SIEM needs frequent monitoring since it depends on human actions. On the other hand, SOAR resolves threats on its own, so there’s no need for tedious surveillance. 

Cybersecurity Alerts

Both SOAR and SIEM send alerts whenever a threat is detected. The only difference between them is in the response time. 

Once SIEM notifies the team about suspicious activities, it has to wait for the analyst to decide if an investigation should occur. Meanwhile, SOAR handles the signals automatically. 

Launch Date

The SIEM solution started almost the same time as the cybersecurity sector began. While there's no specific date, it is estimated that the program came to be around the late 1970s.

Conversely, SOAR is the newest cybersecurity tool launched in 2015. Since then, it has received upgrades and improvements from its original program.

The table below shows a summary of the key differences between the two programs:




Threat Investigation Process

Provides alerts for threats but needs approval for the next steps

Offers automated response to threats or suspicious activities

Human-Involved Operations

Needs human participation to function

Little to no human involvement

Regular Monitoring Activities

Requires daily monitoring 

Does not need monitoring

Cybersecurity Alerts

Provides alerts but needs permission to proceed

Supplies fewer alerts since it automates most actions

Launch Date

Around 1970s

Around 2015

Benefits of Using SOAR and SIEM

Security Operation Center (SOC) can use SOAR and SIEM together. By combining the two, the SOC enjoys a more effective cybersecurity.

When used together, SIEM can provide data for potential threats. It lets SOAR collect and automate responses to it. Using both tools comes with the following benefits: 

More Efficient Cybersecurity

More Efficient Cybersecurity

SIEM alerts provide the detection of unwanted activities. SOAR quickly reacts to the threat with its automated incident response. 

With both tools working together, issues are easily detected and fixed—leading to more efficient cybersecurity.

Saves Time and Money 

Saves Time and Money 

Cybercrime cases are increasing—especially ransomware. In fact, 1.7 ransomware attacks have been happening daily

Organizations invest in different tools to avoid such cyberattacks. However, with SOAR and SIEM, suspicious activities and risks are detected and blocked before they cause any damage—which lets you save more time and money. 

Lesser Risk of Cyberattacks

Lesser Risk of Cyberattacks

SOAR and SIEM solutions lessen your exposure to security risks. With the combined capabilities of the two programs, any threat is discovered, investigated, and blocked early. 

Usage of SOAR and SIEM is expected to increase in the future due to the critical role that both systems play in cybersecurity. TechAhead CEO Vikas Kaushik believes that:

“SOAR and SIEM are set to become more and more essential in the fight against cyberattacks as threats continue to grow in complexity and frequency. Improved threat detection and response appear to be in store for SOAR and SIEM in the future.

To facilitate quicker and more accurate incident response, SOAR platforms are developing to include sophisticated machine learning and AI algorithms. SIEM systems are also embracing cloud-based architectures to boost scalability and economy.”

Final Thoughts

SOAR and SIEM are tools that are both vital to cybersecurity. SIEM alerts the team on potential security breaches, while SOAR automates threat response. 

Together, SOAR and SIEM help organizations detect and resolve cybersecurity threats that may happen daily. Both mechanisms may work differently, but they are crucial in ensuring that a system is safe from any form of cyberattack.


Who should use SIEM?

SEIM is ideal for users creating audit reports, security programs, troubleshoots, and more.  With SIEM, companies can improve their cybersecurity even more. 

Is SOAR part of SOC?

Yes. Though still new, SOAR is a crucial component of security operation centers. It's a helpful tool for companies that need reliable system protection.

Is ServiceNow a SOAR tool?

Yes. ServiceNow is a SOAR tool that identifies critical incidents and provides automation tools. 

Why do companies need SIEM?

Companies need SIEM as it filters all the various security data to provide an easier to manage. 


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