Cybersecurity is a buzzword that has gained popularity in recent years due to the modernization of industries and businesses. Cyber security is akin to having physical security for your office; without it, your office is vulnerable to attacks and threats. This is particularly harmful because it puts information about clients, shareholders, and the business at risk and poses the danger of losing millions of dollars.
With many companies investing viably in cybersecurity, general awareness about digital security attacks has significantly increased. However, even today, dependence upon manual efforts to deal with pressing threats hinders a business’s ability to protect its valuable data efficiently. The answer to this shortcoming is cybersecurity automation.
What Is Cybersecurity Automation?
Cybersecurity automation is the use of advanced software and artificial intelligence to detect, treat, and prevent cyber threats without having to rely on individual and detailed manual analysis. These systems can identify and pinpoint a threat, isolate it to protect other systems, and instantly devise a plan to stop the attack.
Benefits Of Cybersecurity Automation
Automation of security operations has become a necessity in recent times. Security automation can manage a variety of tasks, including authorization, authentication, and resource configuration.
Improved Cyber Resilience
The cyber resilience of an institution is its capability to recover from cyber security breaches. This also means the ability of an organization to develop immunity against future cyber attacks and prevent their productivity from being compromised. Some advanced security automation systems can even memorize the nature and specifications of an attack to prevent similar threats in the future.
Better Risk Reduction
The efficiency of an automated cyber security system in dealing with cyber-attacks is unparalleled. These systems detect the geolocation of the origin of an attack via IP address and can automatically locate and erase files containing potential malware.
Automated cyber security systems can also immediately employ security playbooks in case of a cyber attack and are immune to security scares.
Faster Threat Detection And Incident Response
When done manually, solving and detecting a security breach can take security analysts hours. Without automated cyber security, experts have to perform rigorous analysis of the company’s entire network to pinpoint the location of a cyber attack.
Despite this time-consuming investigation, there is always room for human error, and some problems often escape their eyes. Additionally, the rate of cyber-crimes is increasing exponentially every day.
Given the density of cyber attacks nowadays, it is next to impossible for experts to identify and solve each problem on time. With security automation, however, this issue is nonexistent.
Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts and security teams are often overworked due to complex investigations to identify cyber attacks and security breaches. In other cases, SOC analysts lack the viable skills to offer strong cyber defenses and solutions.
Burdening SOC analysts with repetitive tasks leads to burnout and hence, decreased productivity and morale. By utilizing security automation platforms and machine learning, SOC analysts will have more time to focus on tasks within their skill’s scope.
Tools For Cybersecurity Automation
Several security automation tools and platforms are available with different levels of coding and varying facilities. For example, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a basic tool that can scan for areas of potential risks and can fight small cyber threats.
On the other hand, the more advanced Extended Detection and Response (XDR) allows quicker threat detection, recognition of malware to prevent future breaches, and an interactive interface for detailed investigation. XDR offers endpoint and network protection and can even employ decoys to deceive advanced hackers.
However, perhaps one of the most widely used security tools is the Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) technology.
Security Orchestration, Automation, And Response (SOAR)
SOAR automates workflows and sends instant responses to a potential security threat without the need for manual intervention. Its interactive user interface, complete with a customizable dashboard, offers in-depth security reports and contextualizes incident data. Therefore, SOAR can help ease multiple cumbersome security processes, including, but not limited to, investigation, mitigation, and visualization.
Furthermore, SOAR technologies also offer security orchestration. This means they can coordinate information and security reports across various security tools, allowing for a well-integrated security center.
Beginner Tips For Cybersecurity Automation
If you or your organization are new to automated cyber security, it is best to start by taking small steps and understanding the how-tos of security automation.
It is best to realize beforehand that security automation is a gradual process and can not be achieved in one day. Start by identifying your core issues, particularly the most vulnerable areas in your systems and the attacks you frequently face.
Begin automation of certain small processes. Once your security team is comfortable working with this new change, expand by introducing more advanced, large-scale automation for the rest of the systems.
Understand Your Requirements
Every business has different security needs, and in order to choose the perfect security automation for yours, it is first necessary to design a plan and recognize your requirements. Start by asking a few important questions about your business. What is the average time spent on dealing with an active security alert? Which repeatable tasks take up most of the security team’s time? What cyber security goals does your organization wish to achieve in the long run?
Once you have visualized your needs, answer these questions one by one and then look for security automation plans that suit your institution. Turn to professional consultation for a more well-rounded approach and solution.
Playbooks help document the necessary actions to be taken in case of a security breach and detail them step-by-step. This process helps rule out a consistent and repeatable process that wastes time and resources of SOC analysts and can be easily automated.
Starting by developing manual playbooks for cyber security also helps establish the security team’s priorities and, thus, increases their productivity. Once your team is habitual of working with the manually designed playbook, gradually start adopting the automatic versions. This way, the burden of repetitive processes can be taken away from the security team.
Automation of cyber security, or any other system, will never replace human intelligence. Therefore, sometimes even the most advanced security automation requires human support to identify and solve an issue. Often, SOC analysts lack the skills to work with security automation platforms.
For this purpose, cyber security staff should be adequately trained to ensure they know how to operate the new technology to strengthen the system’s defenses and cyber resilience. They should know how to deal with bugs and resolve a problem ignored by the automation platform.
Improve Time Management
By introducing security automation and orchestration, your organization will be better connected, more efficient, and save a lot of time. Security teams and SOC analysts will have fewer alerts to respond to per day, significantly reducing fatigue. To take advantage of these opportunities, start planning new work directions and more productive plans with your team.
Doing so will help utilize the newly available time and the improved communication channels to the fullest, making your organization all the more productive.
Cybersecurity automation is not as easy as installing a computer application. You will have to research professional providers to help you transition your technology towards automation.
To automate security processes, you will have to consider several factors, such as technical support availability, ease of use, costs of installment and maintenance, and third-party plugin support.
Despite their plethora of benefits, security automation tools may take quite some time to install and adapt to. Different security tools have different levels of coding and required expertise. Hence, automating cyber security is not a one-day activity. It is only practical to realize that it will require time, resources, and patience. However, the results will be long-lasting and entirely positive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Automation In Cyber Security Important?
Attackers today use automated techniques to deploy threats at an unprecedented pace rapidly. It is humanly impossible for security teams to manually detect such breaches, react to security alerts within seconds, and solve them at the same pace as they occur. This is where security automation comes into play by offering advanced threat intelligence and instant incident response. Security automation makes dealing with cybersecurity threats easier and helps protect cloud systems.
How Does Security Automation Work?
Security automation focuses on automating the execution of security actions using a specialized computer, automated tools, and machine learning that detect, investigate, and remediate threats without human intervention. These security systems not only identify new threats efficiently but also remember them to prevent future cyber attacks of a similar nature.
What Security Processes Can Be Automated?
Some security processes that can be automated in cyber security are:
- Monitoring security alerts and suspicious activities
- Detection of threats
- Information enrichment
- Responses to security incidents>
- User permissions and authentication
Cybersecurity automation is imperative for modern businesses of all scales. Today, hacking methods are more advanced and dangerous than ever, and simply investing in state-of-the-art hardware or expert security analysts will not help in fighting modern security breaches.
Even organizations with the most eagle-eyed security experts can have security vulnerabilities. Therefore, in order to protect the institution’s valuable data and finances, it is crucial to invest in cutting-edge security automation and orchestration technologies.
Cybersecurity automation will help reduce response times in case of security incidents, save time for SOC analysts to focus on more important security tasks, offer well-rounded security solutions, and build solid defenses against security breaches.
All of this will better protect client data and save your organization’s reputation, allowing you to thrive in today’s competitive market without worrying about unresolved security threats.