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ServiceNow Security Operations Tools and Techniques

Reco Security Experts
June 24, 2024
June 24, 2024

As IT security becomes more robust, streamlining IT operations as a whole becomes more crucial, especially as security threats continually evolve and pose unique, unanticipated threats.

Security operations are the collaboration between IT security and IT operations, which prevents silos in the broader IT organization. The objective is to meet security goals without compromising any IT performance.

Goals of SecOps

Higher-level goals of SecOps are:

  • Collaborating teams to incorporate security in the application and software development process.
  • Increase the visibility of the security infrastructure for stronger security practices.
  • Ensure that management has bought in at all levels to create a roadmap to improve the organization’s security.

Basic Components

  1. Earlier Detection and Prioritization: SecOps tends to focus on checking smaller, more productive segments rather than large batches or entire programs at once.
  2. Increased Transparency: The increased ties and collaboration between development, security, and operations can create transparency.
  3. Security Improvements: SecOps improves security alongside the programming and operational aspects of DevOps.
  4. Threat Awareness: SecOps teams are typically trained in security operations to ensure that everyone understands the security threats.

Benefits of a Well-Developed SecOps Environment

  • Return on Investment: Implementing SecOps has a greater ROI than a traditional security environment.
  • Security and Operations Become Streamlined: Priorities are better managed and consolidated, communication and information are integrated, and tools and technology are joined together.
  • Reduced Resources: Key security procedures are automated, and effective responses are orchestrated for an all-around streamlined security plan.
  • Fewer Cloud Security Issues: Fewer security breaches, fewer vulnerabilities, and fewer security distractions for a safer security environment.
  • Fewer App Disruptions: Fewer configuration errors are made, and changes in application code are tied together with deployment rules.
  • Better Auditing Procedures: Known vulnerabilities can be proactively addressed. Policies for compliance with appropriate standards are automatically checked and enforced.

Best Practices for Implementing SecOps

Provide SecOps Training

Some organizations develop and administer their training courses, some seek out third-party courses created by a SecOps vendor, and others create hybrid training. Regardless of the methodology, a company needs a well-trained and knowledgeable SecOps team to understand its roles, how security and operations merge, and how to function together as a whole.

Avoid Potential Pitfalls

A benefit of a SecOps organization is better collaboration between teams and communication about operations and security. Rather than disagreeing on code and applications during development and after deployment, a SecOps team would work simultaneously to create something more holistic.

Provide Proper SecOps Tools

There is a need for security tools in conjunction with development tools to keep the system well-secured and running smoothly. Many automated platform options can manage procedures and run well with internal SecOps processes.

SecOps Tools

ServiceNow offers a suite of SecOps tools designed to address various aspects of security management:

1. Vulnerability Response

Scanners find vulnerabilities in your environment. ServiceNow supports multiple integrations, such as Qualys, Tenable, and Rapid7. When these scanners detect vulnerabilities, the device found by the scanner is matched to a CI in the CMDB. If a match cannot be made, a temporary Cl is created. A vulnerable item record is created from the scanner record.

The Vulnerable Item record might be enriched by data from the following integrations:

  • Shodan: provides additional, more detailed exploit information that can be used in prioritization.
  • Microsoft Security Response Center: proposes remediation solutions.
  • Red Hat Solution Integration: proposes remediation solutions.

ServiceNow Vulnerability Management provides many third-party vulnerability solutions with the ability to integrate and import vulnerability scan results. Automation rules defined in ServiceNow help organize all the noise generated by these Vulnerability products and help customers identify priorities for their organization.

Orchestration tools can automate actions such as patching, making configuration changes, or sending requests to security products, such as blocking an IP in the firewall, thus reducing the time required to remediate a vulnerability.

2. Security Incident Response

The Security Incident Response application tracks the progress of security incidents from discovery and initial analysis through containment, eradication, and recovery to the final post-incident review. It also creates and closes knowledge base articles. SIR manages this process in ways you've come to expect from ServiceNow applications. That is, the application is focused on leveraging industry standards in a secure and self-contained scoped application framework while striving to help your organization leverage automated workflows and become more efficient in its processes and your teams more effective in their work.

3. Threat Intelligence

ServiceNow Threat Intelligence uses and expands upon cyber threat information from recognized third-party providers. This information is captured via integrations with third-party cyber threat information sources that make it available using a globally recognized standard, the Structured Threat Information Expression (STIX) language.

Using STIX data and Trusted Automated Exchange of Indicator Information (TAXII) profiles, the threat management team can use shared cyber threat information to isolate threats that have been previously identified by your company and from other sources.

STIX characterizes an extensive set of cyber threat information, including indicators of adversary activity (for example, IP addresses and file hashes) as well as additional contextual information regarding threats (e.g., adversary Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures [TTPs], exploitation targets. Campaigns, and Courses of Action [COA]) that together more completely characterize the cyber adversary's motivations, capabilities, and activities, and thus, how to best defend against them. It is intended to support both more effective analysis and exchange of cyber threat information.

In ServiceNow, Threat Intelligence can be used inside a Security Incident, incorporating data from the CMDB to provide greater context around Security Incidents

The ServiceNow Threat Intelligence application allows you to find indicators of compromise (loC) and enrich Security Incidents with Threat Intelligence data. The diagram indicates where Threat Intelligence sits within the overall ServiceNow Security Operations process.

Specifically, threat Intelligence allows you to access and provide a point of reference for your company's STIX data. Included in Threat Intelligence is the Security Case Management application, which provides a means for analyzing threats to your organization posed by targeted campaigns or state actors.


In the evolving IT security landscape, integrating IT operations and security, known as SecOps, is essential for robust security without compromising performance. SecOps enhances team collaboration, visibility, and alignment with organizational goals, offering benefits like improved ROI, streamlined operations, reduced cloud security issues, fewer disruptions, and better auditing. Effective SecOps requires significant training and the correct tools. Vulnerability Response, Security Incident Response, and Threat Intelligence are essential for identifying vulnerabilities, managing events, and exploiting threat intelligence. This connection helps businesses to manage modern cyber threats with confidence.

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