How Automation Technology is Solving the Cybersecurity Staffing Shortage Issue

securitymagazine.com

*This article originally published in Security Magazine.

As cybersecurity incidents continue to increase in both complexity and frequency, businesses of every size in every industry and in just about every country across the globe are recognizing the glaring need for stronger defense strategies. The problem is, there simply aren’t enough talented IT security professionals to fulfill this growing need. In fact, a recent study by Intel Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) revealed that 82 percent of IT decision makers report a shortage of cybersecurity skills.

And the problem goes well beyond simply not having enough people to handle the job. Cybersecurity incidents are wreaking havoc on these underprepared, under-protected organizations. The same Intel survey revealed that one in three respondents feel the shortage of skills makes their organizations more desirable targets for hackers. Furthermore, one in four say insufficient cybersecurity staff strength has damaged their organization’s reputation and led directly to the loss of proprietary data via a successful cyber-attack.

So, what’s the solution? Are businesses simply stuck in limbo until enough up-and-coming IT security professionals with the adequate skillsets enter the market? And what about smaller companies that face the additional challenge of budgetary restraints? Are they just doomed to be a more likely target of cyber criminals because they can’t afford to pay top security talent? The good news is there is a solution. The better news is, it’s both cost-effective and available now.

IT automation can help companies of every size close the skills gap and remain a step ahead of potential security breaches. Whether it’s a small to mid-sized company struggling to afford an in-house IT team or an enterprise-level organization that has the means but lacks the talent, automation technology provides the ideal solution in just about any scenario. And because it’s both affordable and scalable, it also eliminates the need to outsource, which means the business is able to maintain greater control.

Rather than rounding up additional IT personnel to handle the incident response process, an automated playbook can be implemented in their place. Not only is this a more efficient and cost-effective business model, but it can also dramatically improve the level of protection for the company. The moment an alert occurs, the automated tool detects it. This alone is something that human workers simply cannot do as effectively on their own – especially in the case of larger enterprises that receive tens of thousands of alerts each and every day.

As anyone who is familiar with the incident response process will tell you, not every alert is indicative of a cyber-attack. To the contrary, the vast majority of them are either harmless or they’re simply not sophisticated enough to cause any real damage.

But what if, as your IT staff is relentlessly weeding through all the potential threats, the one incident that is truly dangerous slips through? This is exactly what happened in the case of the infamous Target breach that occurred a few years ago. It wasn’t that the company failed to monitor incidents, but rather that it didn’t have the appropriate tools in place to effectively pinpoint the ones that needed to be addressed. As a result, a real threat snuck in and the rest is history.

This is another area where automated incident response technology can truly make the difference. Had Target (or most of the hundreds of other organizations in the news due to a breach) employed automation as part of their incident response strategy, the threat in question would have been identified and addressed right away – before millions of customers had their personal information compromised.

More importantly, Target’s breach demonstrated that adequate cyber security isn’t dependent on the number of IT employees on your payroll. It’s about having the right tools and technology in place to support and enable existing staff (regardless of size) to do their jobs more effectively.

With advanced automation software, the entire incident response strategy can be run like a well-oiled machine, whether there are 100 IT workers or three. While the technology behind automated incident response is complex, the way it works is relatively simple and straightforward. The moment an alert arises, the system detects and assesses it for legitimacy and severity. Actual threats are then prioritized and the appropriate steps are initiated to address the situation. If the incident can be resolved automatically, it will – without the need for any human input. If escalation is required, the appropriate party will be notified accordingly.

There are a variety of ways an automated incident response playbook can be built and deployed, and they are both customizable and scalable. In most cases, playbooks are developed based on real-life scenarios and actual use cases, which helps to make them more effective in detecting and resolving legitimate incidents in a timely manner.

Additionally, most advanced automated tools have the capability to integrate seamlessly with existing monitoring systems, programs and applications, thereby extending and improving the level of defense against potential cyber-attacks. Lastly, automated IR helps to dramatically reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR) from weeks and days to hours and sometimes even minutes. That means if an incident does happen to slip by, it can be isolated and nullified before it has time to wreak havoc.

So while the staffing shortage doesn’t appear to be waning any time soon, there is plenty of good news on the horizon for companies of every size and industry. Automation technology can bridge the gap, strengthen the line of defense and help mitigate damages in the event of a successful breach. Best of all, it’s available for round-the-clock protection – something even the most substantial IT departments can’t match. And finally, automated playbooks don’t cost nearly as much as hiring top IT talent, yet they’re incredibly efficient and effective. So for now, it’s certainly a solution worth considering.

Gabby Nizri is the CEO of Ayehu, Inc., which provides Process Automation and Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication and recovery from cyber security breaches. 



eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Top Orchestration Software – What are the Most Important Factors?

‘Top Orchestration Software’ – What are the Most Important Factors?When it comes to choosing orchestration software for your organization, the choices certainly are many. What are the most fundamental, foundational features and functions to help narrow down your search selection? Well, it starts with an internal audit to determine what your goals and needs are, both presently as well as in the future. From there, it can be helpful to establish some specific guidelines, which can help you avoid becoming overwhelmed by all of your available options. That being said, here are the basics to begin the evaluation process.

Integration with Automation

The driving force behind a successful orchestration software solution is its ability to be integrated with automation. This creates a more robust and highly functional platform that effectively carries out workflows. Without this marriage, these workflows simply cannot exist. There are various options for this, including selecting a standalone product that can be integrated with existing automation tools, or a comprehensive platform that has automation built in.

User-Friendliness

An overarching goal of most IT teams implementing a new orchestration tool is to deploy its services as quickly and efficiently as possible. In order to facilitate this fast, streamlined deployment, the solution chosen must be user-friendly. If creating a new workflow involves a significant amount of time and effort, the value of the orchestration tool is naturally diminished. Likewise, if the tool cannot be rolled out broadly to the entire organization due to the need for extensive training and in-depth knowledge, the overall benefits will no longer outweigh the time, money and efforts invested in the process.

Workflow Creation with Reusable Components

In order for a workflow to be effective, it must be robust, flexible and scalable. The process of creating an initial workflow can be somewhat laborious, but with the right tools and platform in place, this work should pay off by way of a number of benefits that can be realized down the road. The goal should be, over time, to be able to reuse certain parts of existing workflows in order to facilitate faster, easier and more efficient creation of new workflows. As such, the orchestration software you select should have the capability to duplicate, reuse and repurpose workflow components.

It should be noted, however, that while this strategy will save time and money, it will also pose certain challenges once the task of tying in additional more complex workflow components, such as alerts and automated response. This requires a degree of built-in intelligence that will allow the orchestration to handle and react to events as they occur during a workflow, including events-based alerts or adjustments to correct workflow problems based on existing policies.

Enhanced Reporting Functionality

Reporting may not be as glamorous as other aspects of a high quality orchestration software solution, but it’s an absolutely critical function that must be considered when evaluating your options. Reports are important from an internal perspective, to help identify what users need to do their jobs more efficiently and pinpoint areas where problems exist. They’re also essential in demonstrating to those outside IT the work being done and its overall value. To that end, they must be flexible enough to be useful to a wide variety of audiences.

Ultimately, when you are evaluating orchestration software, it’s important not to focus on any one individual feature, but rather look for a platform that will be comprehensive, flexible and agile enough to provide value across the board, both now and well into the future. And, whenever possible, take advantage of trial options that will allow you to test-drive a particular solution to determine for yourself whether it’s a fit for your needs.

To try Ayehu orchestration and automation platform today for 30 days, simply click here. And should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out and contact us today. We’d be happy to help!

Ayehu Welcomes Dave Robbins as Member of Advisory Board

Dave RobbinsAyehu is excited to announce the recent addition of Dave Robbins to the company’s Advisory Board. Mr. Robbins brings over 30 years of management and directorship experience, including the executive leadership roles of CTO of NetApp and CIO/Sr. VP of Ellie Mae, respectively.

During his four years with leading mortgage industry technology provider Ellie Mae, Mr. Robbins played a direct role in helping the company transition from 70% self-hosted business model to more than 80% SaaS or Hosted Services. This shift exerted enormous pressure and required significant change to existing systems and processes. A few of the noteworthy achievements Mr. Robbins helped facilitate included:

 

  • Re-architecture, deployment and migration of all Internal and client facing SaaS systems
  • Complete refresh of existing data centers, additional services on demand and net-new facilities
  • Implementation of 24-7 NOC with off shore partners
  • Process, automation and systems deployment that enabled 4 successful SOX and SOC 2 audits

As CTO of IT at NetApp, Mr. Robbins spearheaded the development, implementation and enforcement of a three year technology roadmap and adoption strategy for IT systems, networks and storage. Prior to this role, Mr. Robbins served as the company’s Global Infrastructure VP, during which time he was responsible for leading a global team of more than 170 professionals, managing annual OpEx spend of more than $80M and a capital spend of $20-40M. He is highly respected in the industry and has published several articles in both national and global publications, including CIO Magazine and Network Solutions.

Mr. Robbins background and tremendous success in the various roles he has fulfilled makes him highly qualified to serve on Ayehu’s esteemed Advisory Board. His addition to the board will contribute to and support Ayehu’s ongoing commitment to remaining at the forefront of technology and better serve the IT automation and cybersecurity needs of organizations across the globe.

We are pleased to welcome Mr. Robbins and look forward to the valuable insight we are certain he will bring to the table.

5 Ways IT Automation is a Must-Have for MSPs

Managed service providers (MSPs)5 Ways IT Automation is a Must-Have for MSPs are certainly no strangers to change. In a world where technology and available tools are constantly improving, MSPs are on the receiving end of many of these changes. And by all indications, this is unlikely to change any time soon. The same is true for automation, or more specifically, how IT automation will impact how these talented professionals do their jobs and achieve ongoing success. That said, here are five reasons why IT automation will be a must for MSPs over the coming years.

Realize Your Own Savings – There’s no doubt about it, the Managed Service Provider industry is becoming increasingly saturated and therefore even more competitive. The only way to stay ahead of the game is by keeping your own operational costs as low as possible. IT automation is by far the most effective tool to accomplish this goal. So, not only will you stay on top of the changes as they occur within your industry, making you that much more valuable to your clients, but you will also do so in a way that keeps your business lean.

Exhibit the Value Behind the Service – Being successful as an MSP is all about being able to sell your services, and the best way to do this is by demonstrating the value you provide to your customers. Key decision makers must be able to see exactly why relying on your services is truly worth it. Automation can help demonstrate this value in a number of ways. First, because automation is so cost-effective, you can essentially pass along that savings to your customers, offering them better service at a lower price. Automation can also make transitioning to the cloud much easier and less complicated, something many organizations are expected to be doing over the next few years.

Remain Competitive – Unfortunately, as with most industries, the IT field is slowly but surely becoming more and more commoditized. This means that larger organizations will continue to try and outpace smaller, more value-driven ones based on price alone. In order to stay relevant in this type of environment, you must find a way to offer value while also remaining competitive price-wise. IT automation allows you to do both of these things, improving operational efficiency, cutting costs and providing ammunition to out-compete others in the industry, regardless of size.

Gain Efficiency, Scalability and Profitability – What happens when your bottom-line price simply can’t match or beat that of your competitors? As prices are expected to continue to be driven down by increasing commoditization, you simply must find a way to compete in other ways besides the price tag on your services. This is accomplished by becoming the most efficient and scalable option for your clients and IT automation is the best way to achieve this goal. Also, because automation increases the efficiency of each employee, it in turn drives your own profitability. It’s a win-win.

Leverage the Opportunity of the Cloud – Despite how inherently untrue it may be, organizations of every size, shape and industry are being assured on a regular basis that transitioning to the cloud is both efficient and easy. Of course, experienced managed service providers know that this is far from the truth. In reality, integrating and managing multiple systems in a virtual environment is extremely complex. So, if this is what the customers are going to want, how can you effectively meet their needs without breaking the bank and exhausting all of your own resources? Automation which will take much of the complexity out of the process and allow you to leverage the value of the cloud to become your clients’ most trusted advisor.

Like it or not, there are plenty of changes coming up the pike in terms of how MSPs will be able to do their jobs most efficiently and continue to remain successful in an increasingly competitive field. IT automation will, without a doubt, become the most valuable tool in achieving these goals.

Don’t get left behind! Start leveraging the power of automation for your organization and be prepared to face the future head on. Click to get started today!





eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




How to Recover from a Ransomware Attack

How to Recover from a Ransomware AttackAccording to a recent survey, nearly 50% of all organizations have been struck by some type of ransomware in the last 12 months. In fact, in March 2016 alone there were more than 56,000 reported attacks. Furthermore, CNN reports that $209 million was paid to ransomware hackers in just the first quarter of last year. If you think you can’t be a victim, think again. Even if you have a strong cybersecurity incident response strategy in place, it’s just as important to know what to do in the event that a threat slips by undetected.

If you find you’ve been hit by a ransomware attack, here’s what you need to do to mitigate damages and get things back on track as quickly as possible.

Step 1: Avoid clicking on anything unfamiliar.

It’s not uncommon for hackers to use pop up messages in an attempt to entice users into their trap. For instance, a dialog box might pop up containing a message that indicates your computer has been infected and instructing you to take certain steps to rectify the problem. Unfortunately, doing so will only make matters worse. Avoid clicking on anything that’s unfamiliar or even the slightest bit suspicious.

Step 2: Disconnect from the network.

The ultimate danger of ransomware is that it is designed to spread through the network as quickly and invasively as possible. To mitigate damages, you must take the appropriate measures to thwart the malware’s infiltration. As soon as you believe you’ve been infected, immediately disconnect your device from the network. If you are accessing the internet via WiFi, turn it off. If you are connected via an Ethernet cable, unplug it right away. The more quickly you cut off access to your network, the less havoc the hackers will be able to wreak.

Step 3: Save and troubleshoot.

As soon as you’ve disconnected from the network, the next step is to save any and all important documents or files you’ve been working on. Then, reboot your computer in safe mode. Once you’ve rebooted, run a virus scan. Hopefully your cybersecurity incident response strategy includes adequate virus protection that’s designed to both detect and eradicate any identified malware. In the absence of this type of security software, you may need to use another device to download the software, save it onto a flash drive and then run it on the infected device accordingly.

Step 4: Restore your system.

If your anti-virus software doesn’t do the trick, you may need to restore your system back to a previous period, prior to the ransomware infection. Provided this feature was never manually disabled, running a system restore from safe mode should be pretty easy and straightforward. To begin, simply choose Advanced Boot Options and then select Repair Your Computer. From there you should see an option for System Restore. Launching this will result in your device restarting in an older version.

Step 5: Examine your files.

The next step will depend on the type of ransomware that has infected your device. If you can’t locate your files (or the shortcut icons for them), that means they’ve either been hidden or they’ve been encrypted. To determine what type of mess you’re dealing with, start by finding your hidden files. Open your File Explorer and choose Computer (or This PC). Click the View tab and choose Hidden Items. If a list appears here, you should be able to restore your files easily by simply right-clicking each item, choosing Properties and unchecking “Hidden.”

If your files do not appear in the Hidden area of your computer, this unfortunately means your data has likely been encrypted. That means the hackers were able to lock up your data and they will only release what they’re holding “hostage” if you agree to pay their proposed fee (hence the term “ransomware”). This is why a cybersecurity incident response strategy that includes frequently backing up data to the cloud or external resources is so critically important.

Step 6: Don’t let it happen again!

If you’ve been unlucky enough to have been hit by ransomware, you’re obviously not alone. Aside from being a huge headache and possibly costing your organization a good deal of money, this unfortunate event should serve as a lesson in how important it is to take proactive measures that will improve your level of protection against such attacks. Start with a highly effective monitoring system, and then leverage tools like automated cybersecurity incident response to establish a closed-loop process. And, above all else, educate your employees on how to properly back up files and recognize the signs of potential malware. Taking the steps to prevent as well as being prepared to remediate an attack is key.

Is your organization as safe as it could be from costly ransomware attacks? Fortify your defense with our automation and orchestration platform, designed to pinpoint, isolate and destroy all types of cybersecurity incidents – including ransomware.

Try it free for 30 days. What do you have to lose? Click here to download your free trial today.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Think Scripts Are the Same as Automation? Think Again…

Think Scripts Are the Same as Automation? Think Again…When it comes to IT automation there has long been a debate as to whether or not one should invest in a ready to use software or to simply have it scripted instead. Before making a decision either way, here are a few important points to consider.

Like it or not, scripting is a slow, time consuming process. It’s also challenging from a maintenance perspective. The risk of human error is high and it can be difficult to track and fix these errors, which makes managing existing scripts even more complicated. When something goes wrong, nobody knows what happened. In many cases, it can be hard to even figure out who even wrote the scripts in the first place.

Furthermore, it’s difficult to maintain adequate documentation and keep that documentation up-to-date. Not to mention the lack of ability to audit and record each script execution, particularly when there is no unified language, no consistency and nobody who controls those scripts.

In other words, it’s another frustrating waste of time for busy IT personnel.

There are other factors that must be taken into consideration as well. As mentioned above, scripting is a slow process, thereby requiring more time and added cost, further eroding efficiency levels. In reality, the overall cost – in terms of both money as well as IT team resources – is quite often higher than if one were to just buy software in the first place.

Simply put, scripting is not real automation. It’s only one small component of  IT automation.

So what can actual IT automation provide? Firstly, it’s incredibly easy to implement. In fact, it on average, it takes only a couple of hours to get an IT automation platform up and running. Before you know it you can begin capturing, documenting, auditing, and controlling all of your processes. IT automation also delivers measurable ROI, allowing users to see its value from day one.

Let’s look at an example. Consider one of the everyday tasks a typical IT person has to carry out as part of his or her routine tasks: disk space cleaning on servers. With scripting, the task and subsequent policies must be implemented on each and every server, along with such details as when to delete, what to delete, who will approve that change and more. It’s difficult to know what part of the execution has been done and if there was a failure, let alone what caused that failure to occur in the first place.

With IT automation software, on the other hand, these processes can be easily managed and controlled by using a visual workflow to see on one central dashboard the status of each task.

Even if your IT manager insists on using scripting, with the help of a visual IT workflow designer, you can improve your scripts and maintain full control and visibility. Your boss will be impressed by how fast and efficient you complete your daily tasks and appreciate that he can have full view of these tasks. IT automation can be your little force multiplier.

If you’re tired of the drudgery of manual scripting and would like to experience firsthand how dramatically IT automation can improve your daily work, give it a try today for free. Simply click here to download your own copy of the Ayehu automation and orchestration platform to stop scripting and start automating!



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




5 Cybersecurity Myths That Could Leave Your Organization Vulnerable

5 Cybersecurity Myths That Could Leave Your Organization VulnerableWhen it comes to protecting your organization from the ever-increasing, relentless onslaught of cybersecurity threats, it can be easy to wander down the wrong path. In many instances, well-intentioned but overworked and understaffed IT teams end up inadvertently placing their company at risk due to misinformation or false truths. Take a look at five of the biggest myths surrounding the topic of cybersecurity and see if you might be more vulnerable than you realize.

Myth #1 – External threats are the most dangerous.

Truth: Obviously there is a very real and very serious problem with cyber criminals today, but what many organizations fail to recognize is that internal parties are often the weakest link, whether it’s an employee who falls for a phishing email or a consultant who isn’t careful enough with network access. If you want to develop the strongest defense possible, your cybersecurity incident response plan must incorporate training, checks and balances that will keep everyone inside your company vigilant.

Myth #2 – Our patch management is sufficient enough.

Truth: You may feel your security team is at the top of their game, and they very well may be. The problem is, software and application vendors issue patches for vulnerabilities that are known. Unfortunately, there are a good number of vulnerabilities that either haven’t yet been discovered or haven’t yet been disclosed. In other words, it’s important to understand and acknowledge that despite your best efforts, you may be exposed without even realizing it. So, while patch management is certainly important, it cannot be the only component of your strategy.

Myth #3 – It’s all about prevention.

Truth: While it’s certainly critical to put the right measures in place to prevent incoming threats from being successful, it’s equally important to recognize that preventing every single attack simply isn’t possible. This is where many organizations get into trouble. They focus 100% of their efforts on monitoring and neglect the all-important step of remediation. The strongest cybersecurity incident response strategies include steps to quickly pinpoint, isolate and eradicated those attacks that manage to slip through undetected.

Myth #4 – We haven’t been compromised.

Truth: We touched on this in the previous point, but it’s so critical that it deserves its own section. The bulk of the damage that occurs due to cybersecurity incidents occurs not at the initial point of attack, but rather in the length of time it takes to realize the attack occurred. This can take days, weeks or even months. All the while, the hackers are free to wreak havoc within your network. Furthermore, in many cases, successful compromises are not even detected by the victim, but by an outside party. Being vigilant and leveraging automation technology to keep round-the-clock watch is essential.

Myth #5 – If and when we become compromised, we’ll be able to tell.

Truth: The average data breach can take up to six months before it is detected. Imagine how much damage could be done in that amount of time. That’s like giving free reign to criminals and allowing them to destroy systems, compromise applications, access and steal sensitive data and any host of other unsavory activities. Never assume that you’ll easily know when a breach occurs. Instead, operate under the assumption that you already have been and use technology to your fullest advantage to bridge the gap between human capability and the real and present dangers at hand.

Have you fallen victim to any of the above myths and misconceptions? If so, you could be inadvertently placing your organization at unnecessary risk of a serious and costly data breach. Protect your sensitive information and keep your network as safe as possible by incorporating automation technology into your cybersecurity incident response strategy. Try it free for 30 days.

Click here to download your trial.





How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




Live Webinar: How to Detect and Resolve Today’s High-Profile Threats

Tuesday, January 31, 12:00pm EST / 9:00am PST

One only needs to read the daily news headlines to recognize how big of a threat cyber-crime has become. These days, businesses of every size and industry and from all over the globe are vulnerable to ransomware and other malicious cyber-attacks, placing them at risk of both financial as well as reputational damage. And with an ever-increasing volume of complex cybersecurity incidents and dwindling resources, SOC teams are more overwhelmed than ever before.

What’s the solution?

In order to adequately defend against the onslaught of attacks and handle incidents in real time, IT must strike an ideal balance between detection and remediation of both known and unknown threats.

A great example of this type of power-packed combination is the integration of OPSWAT threat detection and Ayehu automated incident response and remediation platform. And now, you can see this dynamic duo in action by attending this live webinar.

On Tuesday, January 31, 12:00pm EST / 9:00am PST, join security experts from OPSWAT and Ayehu as we discuss how to detect and resolve today’s high-profile threats.

In this live online presentation, you’ll learn:

  • Why and how today’s high-profile threats have evolved and expanded
  • Key methods to identify and verify attacks in your environment and across disparate systems, including scanning anti-malware engines, automating routine tasks, and rapidly containing, remediating, and recovering from attacks
  • How combining technology from OPSWAT and Ayehu can bridge the gap between detecting and resolving threats

Does the topic of cybersecurity keep you up at night? Are you and your team tired of fighting an uphill battle to keep networks, applications and sensitive data secure and safely out of the hands of malicious hackers? If so, then this webinar is a MUST-attend!

But hurry….seats are limited and we fully expect that this highly-anticipated webinar will fill up quickly.

Register today to reserve your spot before it’s too late.

 

Presenters:

Guy Nadivi

Guy Nadivi, Sr. Director of Business Development, Ayehu

Sharon Cohen, IT & Security Professional Services Manager, Ayehu

George Prichici, Product Manager, OPSWAT

Taeil Goh, CTO, OPSWAT

Ayehu to Unveil Virtual SOC Operator at RSA

RSA Conference 2017Ayehu is excited to announce its participation in the 2017 RSA Conference. RSA Conference 2017 will be held from February 13th – 16th in San Francisco, CA at the Moscone Center and Marriott Marquis. Attendees will learn about new approaches to information security, discover the latest in cybersecurity technologies and interact with top security leaders and pioneers.

The Ayehu team will be presenting live demonstrations of its new Virtual SOC Operator in booth #4914 (North Expo). Conference attendees are invited to  stop by the Ayehu booth and enjoying an ad hoc presentation or schedule a demo in advance by completing this form. As an added bonus, we are offering those interested in attending our presentations the opportunity to get a free expo pass. Simply enter the code XE7AYEHU when registering.

RSA Conference conducts information security events around the globe that connect IT professionals to industry leaders and highly relevant information. They also provide valuable insights via blogs, webcasts, newsletters and more to help individuals and businesses alike stay ahead of cyber threats. Collectively, their conferences draw over 45,000 attendees per year, making RSA the world’s largest provider of security events. The multi-day event schedule is made up of seminars, keynotes, interactive learning experiences and much more. (See the full agenda here.)

The topic of cybersecurity has never been more critical than it is today. If you are interested in learning more about how you can protect yourself and your organization against the constantly growing threat of security incidents, this event is a must-attend! Click here to learn more about Ayehu’s participation and to schedule your free demo.

We look forward to seeing you!

How IT Process Automation is Opening Opportunities for Virtualization

How IT Process Automation is Opening Opportunities for VirtualizationAs organizations across the globe begin adopting virtualization and start expanding its use across more and more mission-critical applications, their infrastructures inevitably become much more complex. Data centers are creeping ever closer to the possibility of the private cloud, however the ease and speed with which they can move forward is beginning to diminish. What’s the key to overcoming these last big hurdles that stand in the way of full adoption of private cloud through which they can potentially achieve much greater efficiency and enhanced service? IT process automation is quickly becoming the catalyst that is enabling organizations to successfully navigate and achieve this transformation.

The virtual data center faces new challenges, despite the fact that the problems they’re tackling are nothing new (i.e. automated provisioning, asset management, change and configuration management, etc.). Couple these challenges with the increase in demand brought on by the speed of virtualization and the modern data center easily becomes susceptible to things like virtual sprawl and stall. IT process automation is the solution to these challenges, enabling virtual data centers to streamline routine and time consuming tasks, improving operational efficiency and ultimately boosting the morale of IT personnel.

If virtual data centers ever hope to make the shift to private clouds, the must first make the transition from managing infrastructure to managing service consumption. With policy-driven IT process automation, IT teams can leverage pre-defined workflows to efficiently scale their administrative capabilities, enabling them to more quickly respond to and resolve on-demand service requests. When business and IT policies are applied to the development and standardization of processes, businesses are able to ensure the delivery of consistent and predictable IT services across both the virtual data center and the private cloud.

Successful implementation of the private cloud will not only help to reduce operational costs, but will also enable organizations to leverage the advantages of faster IT delivery, improved service quality and increased responsiveness to changing business needs. One of the heftiest costs associated with the data center is attributed to administrative support. Having to manually respond to the increased demand of a cloud environment not only increases these costs, but will also result in more incidents, errors and outages.

Integrating IT process automation into the mix is best done in increments. First, focus on the areas of your organization’s private cloud or virtual environment that are an obvious fit for ITPA and would deliver the greatest overall benefit (fast and measurable ROI). These areas may or may not include (but are also not limited to):

  • Discovery and reporting
  • Capacity planning
  • Automated provisioning
  • Lifecycle management
  • Self-service automation
  • Change and configuration management
  • Resource optimization
  • Policy-based automation

Finally, when organizations begin to tap into virtualization, they inevitably begin to gain greater buy-in from key decision makers, which boost momentum in terms of the immediate and significant reduction in capital expenditure. These initial savings, however, only represent the tip of the iceberg of the potential financial benefits that virtualization can afford. The real value lies in the private cloud, an area in which long-term operational expenses can be dramatically reduced. This is all made possible by IT process automation.

Without the addition of ITPA, the cost of additional personnel, inefficient allocation of resources and unanticipated downtime can significantly impact the expected ROI of virtualization. In some cases, these issues could ultimately bring the initiative to a screeching halt. The only true way to achieve quantifiable, long-term expense reduction is by leveraging IT process automation to eliminate the day-to-day mundane and manual tasks associated with managing virtual systems. Only then will the organization realize the real and lasting benefits it’s after.

Want to experience for yourself how automation can help your data center successfully achieve virtualization? Start today by launching your free trial of the Ayehu IT process automation and orchestration platform. Try it free for 30 days and see what a difference cutting edge technology can make in your organization.





EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)