Report Finds 93% of SOCs Are Employing AI & Machine Learning Tools to Detect Advanced Threats


Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO; NYSE: MFGP), in partnership with CyberEdge Group, today published the 2020 State of Security Operations report, which reveals that security operations centres (SOCs) across the globe are most concerned with advanced threat detection and are increasingly looking to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to proactively safeguard the enterprise. The report’s findings show that over 93 percent of respondents employ AI and ML technologies with the leading goal of improving advanced threat detection capabilities, and that over 89 percent of respondents expect to use or acquire a Security Orchestration and Automated Response (SOAR) tool within the next 12 months. These findings indicate that as SOCs continue to mature, they will deploy next-gen tools and capabilities at an unprecedented rate to address gaps in security.

“The odds are stacked against today’s SOCs: more data, more sophisticated attacks, and larger surface areas to monitor. However, when properly implemented, AI technologies such as unsupervised machine learning, are helping to fuel next-generation security operations, as evidenced by this year’s report,” said Stephan Jou, CTO Interset at Micro Focus. “We’re observing more and more enterprises discovering that AI and ML can be remarkably effective and augment advanced threat detection and response capabilities, thereby accelerating the ability of SecOps teams to better protect the enterprise.”

As the volume of threats rise, the report finds that 90 percent of organizations are relying on the MITRE ATT&K framework as a must-use tool for understanding attack techniques, and that the most common reason for relying on the knowledge base of adversary tactics is for detecting advanced threats. Further, the scale of technology needed to secure today’s digital assets means SOC teams are relying more heavily on tools to effectively do their jobs. With so many responsibilities, the report found that SecOps teams are using numerous tools to help secure critical information, with organizations widely using 11 common types of security operations tools and with each tool expected to exceed 80% adoption in 2021.


Key observations include:

  • COVID-19: During the pandemic, security operations teams have faced many challenges. The biggest has been the increased volume of cyberthreats and security incidents (45 percent globally), followed by higher risks due to workforce usage of unmanaged devices (40 percent globally).

  • Most severe SOC challenges: Approximately 1 in 3 respondents cite the two most severe challenges for the SOC team as prioritizing security incidents and monitoring security across a growing attack surface.

  • Cloud journeys: Over 96 percent of organizations use the cloud for IT security operations, and on average nearly two-thirds of their IT security operations software and services are already deployed in the cloud.


The 2020 State of Security Operations report takes a close look at the front lines of IT security: security operations, and provides a deep analysis of the most pressing industry challenges and the technologies being embraced to solve for those challenges. This survey specifically references the opinions of IT security professionals who find and mitigate vulnerabilities, detect threats, perform security investigations, respond to incidents, and do countless other operational tasks on a daily basis.


More Information

The 2020 State of Security Operations report is available today.



Micro Focus, in partnership with CyberEdge Group, developed a 15-question web-based survey. The survey was promoted via email to 410 security operations professionals in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Japan in August 2020.