A Human-Less IT Environment? Is it Really Possible?

A Human-Less IT Environment? Is it Possible?Over the years, we’ve talked a lot about the fact that IT automation isn’t something that humans should fear, but rather something that they should embrace. That it is something that will not replace humans, but rather make their jobs easier and more efficient. But is there really a possibility that IT automation will one day completely replace people entirely? And if so, is this an opportunity to embrace or something to fight against? Let’s consider it for a moment.

In one respect, allowing IT automation to handle tasks that humans were previously in charge of is actually a huge opportunity for business, and for many reasons. First, it can drastically reduce the risk of costly errors. People inherently make mistakes – especially when their jobs involve repetitive manual tasks. One simple error can cause huge ripple effects across the entire organization and even result in lost revenue. Shifting to automation for these tasks can eliminate this liability.

Replacing human work with automation can also help to improve efficiency. For example, IT automation can take away the need for manual script writing and replace it with complex automated workflows that perform the required tasks faster than any human worker could. Additionally, self-service automation options eliminate the need for IT personnel to step in and perform routine tasks, such as password resets and system restarts.

So, does this mean that humans are slowly being eliminated from the workforce? Will automated machines – essentially robots – replace people as we move into the next generation of business? Well, yes and no. The fact is, IT automation does present a huge opportunity for companies to save money, improve efficiency and output, reduce errors and much more.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re headed toward a nameless, faceless workplace that is filled with computers rather than people. Why? Because, in most cases the tasks that are being automated were actually meant to be automated. Back when corporations hired people to slave tirelessly, doing the same thing, day in and day out, where no thinking was necessary, there was no alternative. Now, with automation, there is.

So yes, automation will replace many functions that were previously managed by humans – the functions for which computers and software are better suited. What this means for people is not that they will become a relic of the past, but rather that they will be freed up to focus on more important matters – matters for which human input is necessary. Additionally, the adoption of advanced IT automation has actually created new roles for humans that didn’t previously exist.

So while IT automation will most certainly become a key component of ongoing success, the fact is, businesses will always need human collaboration, communication and innovation and these things cannot be replicated by computer programs and technology. For that reason, we foresee a future where automation complements and supports human endeavors, but does not replace them. And from where we stand, that future looks bright for everyone.

Are you still on the fence about whether to implement IT automation in your organization? Now’s the time. Check out the 10 tasks you should be automating below and click here to get started with your free trial of eyeShare today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

What is ‘WannaCry’ Ransomware and How Can You Keep Your Organization Safe?

What is ‘WannaCry’ and How Can You Keep Your Organization Safe?If you haven’t yet heard, there’s a new kind of ransomware and it’s wreaking havoc across the globe. It’s appropriately called ‘WannaCry,’ and it has thus far claimed some 350,000 victims in over 150 countries worldwide. As these numbers appear to be on the rise, IT professionals everywhere are taking notice, attempting to head the virus-spreading malware off at the pass before they become part of the statistic. Here’s what you need to know in order to keep your organization secure.

What is WannaCry?

WannaCry is a unique form of ransomware which uses a flaw in Microsoft software to deploy a malicious virus. Given the widespread popularity of Windows, it’s not surprising that once the vulnerability was exploited, it spread rapidly across many networks, affecting organizations in almost every industry. The fact that the vulnerability was so broadly available and the ability to spread quickly without human intervention created the ideal environment in which the “worm” could flourish.

Once deployed, the Wanna Decryptor program locks all of the data on a computer system and leaves the user with only two remaining files: the WannaCry program and instructions on what to do next. Infected users are given a few days to pay the proposed ransom or risk permanent deletion of their files. A Bitcoin address is provided to which the user is advised they must pay up in order to release their data from the malware.

How can organizations protect themselves?

While most organizations have virus protection in place that is supposed to protect against ransomware, the fact that this particular strain was able to bypass so many existing protective measures to affect hundreds of organizations across the globe, including the United Kingdom’s National Health Service and Telefonica in Spain. In other words, despite some of the most sophisticated defense mechanisms, many well-known enterprises were unable to prevent the virus.

As with any other type of cyber-attack, the best defense against WannaCry is a good offense. As hundreds of IT professionals are scrambling to pick up the pieces and recover from this most recent attack, it’s become even more evident that preventing threats is simply not always possible. The key then is to be able to respond as quickly as possible to mitigate damages, something that can’t be effectively accomplished without the help of machine technology – that is, automation.

A Secret Weapon…

Rapid automated response remediates devices affected by the WannaCry virus, then blocks the ransomware’s lateral and upward propagation, thereby protecting the entire enterprise network. Suspected ransomware attempts will immediately trigger a playbook to automatically initiate remediation and mitigation procedures.

Additionally, thanks to machine learning capabilities, the automated tool can initiate security controls, build indicators of compromise and implement them on the network infrastructure. This will facilitate faster identification of existing infections as well as helping to block future ones from occurring in the first place.

The WannaCry ransomware outbreak serves as an important reminder that no organization is safe from the risk of a cyber-attack. Its massive success also reminds us that despite our most valiant efforts, preventing such an attack is simply not always possible. As such, having the right orchestration and automation platform in place to quickly pinpoint, isolate and eradicate the problem is key.

Want to give your enterprise this added level of protection? Launch your free trial of eyeShare today.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Ayehu Mentioned in Gartner’s Market Guide to IT Process Automation

A few weeks ago, renowned technology research and advisory company Gartner released its Market Guide to IT Process Automation. The in-depth guide begins by exploring the history of ITPA, then goes on to define the ITPA market and ultimately delves into an analysis of the various tools that automate IT processes across multiple silos of IT functionality. We are pleased to share that Ayehu was one of the highlighted vendors within the guide. Here are a few key takeaways from the report.

ITPA Categories

There are five categories of ITPA tools, each of which has a specific and unique value proposition. These categories include:

  • Suite Automation Tools
  • Focused Tools
  • Embedded Tools
  • Adjacent Solution Tools
  • Heuristic ITPA Tools

The guide specifically points out that while all five of these categories all offer workflow design capabilities, they differ in terms of the depth and breadth of supporting content.

Ayehu was mentioned as a representative vendor in the first category, Suite Automation Tools, which the guide defines as “ITPA solutions that are integral parts of a larger suite.” Unlike embedded ITPA tools, these automation technologies can be purchased separately from the larger suite of products. Products in this subcategory offer some of the greatest OTTB capability, breadth of integration and orchestration capabilities on the market today.

One notable part of Gartner’s description of the Ayehu eyeShare platform is that it is “more broadly focused than others in this segment.” With more than 500 OOTB activities and 150 prebuilt templates, eyeShare offers strong integration for common IT automation processes. The eyeShare platform can be delivered on-premises as well as in public or private clouds, including as a service through OEMs and managed service providers (MSPs).

Ayehu’s eyeShare latest version “offers a strong set of ITSM and security information and event management (SIEM) capabilities and templates. Ayehu uses a central integration construct that defines application integration requirements independently of the workflow, thus minimizing the need for connector maintenance at the workflow level. The interface is clean, with a minimalist approach to workflow design.”

Key Differentiation

The guide goes on to describe, in detail, the differences between the various categories of ITPA. Its writer, Gartner Research VP Robert Naegle points out the fact that although many automation tools can be leveraged across the broad set of use cases, he believe the key to effective use of ITPA is orchestration. In his words, “Best-in-class ITPA and ITSO tools will increasingly act as centralized automation hubs that orchestrate multiple automation tools and process workflows.”

In fact, the guide points out that IT service orchestration (ITSO) represents the next evolution in ITPA tools. It emphasizes the coordination and execution of more-complex workflows that are designed to facilitate the delivery of increasingly business-valued services. Service orchestration focuses first on the delivery of services, necessitating integration into, and coordination of, a wider range of management, monitoring and process automation tools. This, in turn, requires more cross-functional integration of traditionally siloed I&O functionalities and is more about the following:

  • Service context — ITSO tools focus on workflow orchestration to provide increasingly business-valued services (new employee onboarding rather than just laptop purchase/provisioning)
  • Integration/connectors — Connections to the tools and systems necessary to provide business-valued services
  • OOTB content — Templates, workflows and operators designed to integrate and orchestrate technical workflows
  • Domain knowledge — Vertical market and business resources to help design, model and blueprint orchestration workflows, policy and governance
  • Proven client success — Demonstrated examples using a vendor’s tool or tools at the business service level

The Future of ITPA

The guide predicts that the future of process automation will be more focused on intelligence and will require more process orchestration in order to efficiently deliver business-valued services. For example, as IT services evolve into increasingly complex business-valued services, the need for improved predictability, reliability, consistency and cost management will also continue to increase. This is a need Ayehu will continue striving to fulfill.

To read the report in its entirety, please click here.

C-Suite Priorities: Protecting against ransomware with cyber security incident response

C-Suite Priorities: Protecting against ransomware with cyber security incident response

This article was originally published as a guest post on the Cyber Security Buzz blog.

Security executives are under increasing pressure to keep sensitive networks, systems and data safe from threats which are rapidly increasing in both frequency as well as complexity. It’s no surprise, then, that CSOs and CISOs often find themselves in the hot seat when it comes to the topic of cyber security. Their roles are changing along with the new daily challenges they face, and as such, they are working tirelessly to remain abreast of the latest cyber-threat news.

In particular, with ransomware steadily on the rise and cyber criminals developing new and improved ways to expose and exploit vulnerabilities, IT leaders have no choice but to re-examine their cyber security strategies to ensure that they are strong enough to withstand the variety of incoming threats they face. By investing in an incident response plan as the first line of defense, executives can provide the added protection of instant identification and isolation of the threat before it has a chance to wreak havoc.

The fact is, as the landscape of cyber threats continues to evolve and expand, it’s becoming abundantly clear that traditional preventative approaches to network and data security are no longer effective. In fact, even Gartner believes that detection and response are the foundation of a successful cyber security strategy. No organization is immune to potential attack and without the ability to quickly pinpoint and remediate a successful breach, the outcome could be nothing short of devastating, both from a financial as well as a reputational standpoint.

Compounding the problem is the increasingly widespread adoption of cloud technology and the IoT. Simply put, migration to the cloud fundamentally changes IT security. In a cloud or hybrid environment, the focus must shift to monitoring and managing incident response. Likewise, with more and more connected devices being incorporated into the workplace, the risk of potentially becoming a victim of a ransomware attack increases exponentially. Now, instead of a few vulnerabilities, the office becomes a potential gold mine for hackers, which means much more work for security professionals.

What’s the solution? While preventative measures, such as firewalls and malware monitors have their place, the best defense an organization can take against security breaches is a more robust incident response strategy that covers all bases. Specifically, a system that integrates with, enhances and extends the capabilities of existing systems and applications to create a more holistic, streamlined and highly-effective process.

A strong cyber security incident response strategy should be able to not only detect the signs of ransomware, but automatically analyze, isolate and contain the threat so that it cannot cause any additional damage. The isolated virus can then be eradicated and the recovery process can automatically begin, effectively mitigating damages. This type of approach essentially closes the loop, creating a much more impervious defense against cyber-attacks, regardless of when, where and how many points of entry exist. Best of all, this can be handled entirely without the need for human input, solving the staffing shortage and addressing skills gap in one fell swoop.

With the worldwide expenditure on enhancing detection and response capabilities expected to be a key priority for security buyers through 2020, the time for security executives to begin shifting their focus is now. By investing in a robust, automated cyber security incident response plan as the first line of defense, executives can provide their organizations the added level of protection they need to effectively thwart would-be attackers and manage threats in a way that will limit damages as much as possible.

To read the original published article, please click here.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

How IT Automation is Solving the Healthcare Staffing Shortage

How IT Automation is Solving the Healthcare Skills ShortageA few years ago, an article written recently that pointed out the glaring need for talented IT personnel in the health field, and how the lack of this talent is forcing many hospitals and other health care facilities to make a choice between hiring slightly less-than-qualified staff and training them in the areas necessary, or shifting personnel internally to move clinicians from the role of health care provider into the role of IT professional. We’d propose that there is a third, much more favorable option available for organizations facing this very real challenge: the adoption of IT automation.

The underlying problem is essentially two-fold. It starts with a general lack of highly qualified IT talent that is in the market to work in the health care industry. The other piece of the puzzle is the fact that those people who are qualified are being lured away from smaller organizations strictly on the basis of compensation. If the smaller operations can’t pay up, they lose their talent. It’s that simple. What this lack of resources means is that important current projects become delayed and future projects that could mean great strides in terms of health care for the consumer are being put on hold indefinitely. In other words, we all pay the price.

So, what’s the solution? The article referenced above proposes that these facilities find a way to entice lower level staff members from the front line of working with patients into the background of IT work. The problem with this theory is that the proposed staff members must have a genuine interest in making this change, and more importantly, they must be comfortable accepting the reduction in compensation that such a change would inevitably entail. Provided there are some who are willing, the other side of the coin is the increased workload on those on the front line that must pick up the slack for the ones who have changed roles. Either way you look at it, there are sacrifices to be made.

What if, instead of moving personnel around and creating the need to train clinicians on new IT duties as well as either spread existing work among the leftover medical professionals or hire new ones that aren’t necessarily up to par in terms of skills, we turn to technology to help bridge the gap? With IT automation, many of the routine IT tasks that are necessary to keep healthcare operations running smoothly can be turned over to a sophisticated and customized software platform, eliminating much of the day to day work that the back line IT staff is responsible for.

With automation technology, even the leanest of health care operations can do more with less. This means maximizing what little resources they have so that those most qualified to provide patient care, even on the entry-level end of the spectrum, can continue to do what they do best. More importantly, there is no need to worry about competing financially for talent with organizations that are larger and have greater expenditure. A smaller organization can successfully operate with a skeleton crew of IT professionals, and the medical providers can stick to what they do best.

This proposed solution is not only beneficial for the healthcare providers, but to those of us who seek their assistance and expertise. We’ll receive a higher level of care from qualified individuals that are allowed to stay in the roles they’re most skilled in, and future progress in patient care and treatment can be made via the projects and plans that will be allowed to move forward since there is no more lack of resources.

When it comes to the concept of IT automation, there is a much broader spectrum that can benefit beyond just the corporate business world. IT is something that is critical to virtually every industry, particularly the healthcare field. By embracing automation as a way of life, even the smallest of organizations can succeed, making the quality of healthcare they provide that much better. It’s truly a win-win situation.

Do you run a healthcare facility and are curious about whether IT automation would be right for your organization? Why not try our free trial? There’s no obligation, and you can experience firsthand just how much ITPA can become a powerful and invaluable member of your healthcare team.

 

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Organization’s Cybersecurity Risk Posture

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Organization’s Cybersecurity Risk PostureA company’s risk posture refers to its overarching cybersecurity plan – that is, its approach to keeping sensitive data safe from internal and external threats. This includes everything from proactive planning and prevention to implementation, management and remediation strategy. No company – large or small – is immune to a potential security breach, which means every single organization in business today should develop and maintain a strong, comprehensive risk posture. Could your strategy use a little help?

Here are five simple ways you can beef up your protection and improve where your company stands against cyber threats.

Lead by Example – Business owners and managers must take the topic of cybersecurity very serious if they want frontline employees to follow suit. The fact is, keeping data safe is everyone’s job, but leading by example is an important way to ensure that everyone across the board views security as the top priority it truly is.

Invest in Education – When we discuss the topic of cybersecurity, the vision most often conjured up is that of a sophisticated hacker, but in reality, internal parties are often the greatest risk to a company’s data security. That’s why it’s so important to invest in ongoing training to ensure that all employees understand how to keep information safe, how to spot and avoid potential incidents and what their role is in the company’s overall approach.

Close the Loop – One of the biggest problems with many companies’ risk postures today is that they are incomplete. That is, they may have invested heavily into monitoring, but have forgotten the other side of the coin, which is response and remediation. Much of the damage from a successful breach comes in the time it takes to identify and resolve the problem. Technology, like automated cybersecurity incident response, ensures you cover all your bases, reducing resolution time and mitigating damages.

Learn from the Past – A great indicator of future events is what has happened in the past. Successful breaches can become valuable learning tools to help identify and address vulnerabilities and develop stronger security practices for the future.

Test and Optimize – Cybersecurity is not a ‘set it and forget it’ task. Hackers and other sophisticated criminals are constantly honing their craft and leveraging newer and better tools and technology to achieve their unsavory goals. The only way to keep up is to adopt an agile approach to security. Testing analyzing and implementing improvements on an ongoing basis will make you better armed to go toe-to-toe with would be attackers.

Is your risk posture strong enough to prevent potentially devastating losses? If not, the time to take action is now. To try Ayehu’s cybersecurity automation platform FREE for 30 days, simply click here.

 

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Manual Incident Management vs. Orchestrated Incident Management – A Tale of Two Processes

Manual Incident Management vs. Orchestrated Incident Management – A Tale of Two Processes

 

Recently we shared a blog post that explored what orchestration, how it can be used and several of the many existing business benefits. Today, we thought it might be helpful to dig even deeper and provide a real-life scenario to demonstrate the vast difference between manual and orchestrated incident management. So, without further ado, let us present to you: a tale of two processes.


Manual Incident Management

Meet Manual Joe, an IT administrator who is tasked with keeping the sensitive information of his employer secure from potential breaches. Unfortunately, Joe is buried under a sea of manual tasks, processes and workflows.

Whenever an incident occurs, it almost always means a stressful afternoon for Joe and his team. First, they receive an alert letting them know something is wrong. A hard drive has failed. A system or portion of the network isn’t functioning properly. The website isn’t responding. The list goes on and on.

Manual Joe and his team respond to these alerts by implementing a series of documented manual processes. As the day goes on, Joe’s team has to spend hours of their time hammering out these tasks and monitoring their progress. They constantly have to log in and out of various systems and leverage different tools in order to perform their job duties. It’s a huge drag.

When they are able to resolve an event, they’re elated. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. Instead, Joe and his team find themselves running in circles, chasing their tails and frequently wasting precious time and resources on things like false positives. Complex issues often have to be escalated to senior level agents, which results in frequent delays and a whole lot of frustration.

Meanwhile, because they are overworked and mere mortals, keeping up with the volume of incidents is becoming an exercise in futility. As a result, critical events are allowed to slip by undetected until it’s too late. In some cases, the entire organization suffers as a result.

Perhaps what frustrates Joe and his team members the most, however, is that they are all extremely talented individuals who bring a lot of value to the table. But since the vast majority of their time is spent putting out fires and carrying out repetitive, mundane tasks, those skills and talents go unused. Not only is this affecting the morale of the IT department, but the business is also missing out on the opportunity to achieve greater performance through IT innovation.

This is the life of Manual Joe and his team, day after day after painful day.


Orchestrated Incident Management                                                                                                                  

Down the street, there’s another organization where Orchestration Jane is employed. She too is an IT administrator, but unlike Joe, her company has invested in a powerful orchestration and automation platform which she and her team use to their fullest advantage.

With orchestrated incident management, Jane is able to automatically remediate the vast majority of all incoming alerts and incidents. In most cases, neither she nor her team needs to get involved in the process at all.

In an orchestrated environment, when an incident occurs, the platform automatically identifies it and implements the appropriate course of action to resolve the issue. The orchestration tool can handle every step of the process, from opening an incident ticket to keeping that ticket updated on steps taken or progress made. Once the incident is effectively resolved, the orchestration tool then updates and closes the ticket. All of this is done without any manual effort from Jane or her team.

In instances for which automated remediation cannot be achieved, the escalation process is also carried out by the orchestration platform. The appropriate individuals receive notification and can respond remotely via a number of different methods, including email or SMS text. If the initial contact does not respond in a timely manner, the next appropriate individual will be notified, and so forth. This eliminates costly and frustrating delays.

Jane and her team particularly appreciate the fact that with orchestrated incident response, there’s no need to write, deploy or maintain scripts. Instead, the platform seamlessly integrates and coordinates actions across multiple systems, servers and tools. This is a huge savings of time for the IT department.

In addition to incident response, the orchestration and automation platform Jane’s company uses also allows her to proactively schedule and execute maintenance tasks. This helps to keep the infrastructure functioning better and reduces the number of alerts that will ultimately occur.

Finally, because Jane and her team isn’t bogged down by time-consuming manual tasks, processes and workflows, they are able to focus their attention and apply their skills to higher-level projects, such as those involving planning, innovation and growth. As a result, Orchestration Jane and the rest of her crew look forward to going to work every day because they know their abilities are being put to good use.


The fact is, each of these scenarios is being played out in IT departments across the globe and in just about every industry. If you can relate more to Joe than Jane, it’s time to make a change in the right direction. Start your free trial of Ayehu orchestration and automation platform and experience for yourself what an incredible different orchestrated incident management truly can make for your organization.

Be like Jane. Download your free trial today!

Think IT Automation Requires More Hardware or Virtual Resources? Think Again…

Think IT Automation Requires More Hardware? Think Again...There have been several articles published recently indicating that IT automation tools require a substantial amount of hardware and use up a great deal of virtual resources. While this may have been the case for older, more primitive automation tools, this is absolutely not the case for all automation products.

In fact, if you choose the right platform, the impact on external resources will be minimal. It’s all about doing your homework, understanding your options, and choosing wisely.  If you’re in the market for an IT automation tool that won’t drain your resources, here’s what to look for.

Lightweight

Choosing a more lightweight IT automation platform provides many benefits, not the least of which is the amount of resources it demands. These types of products are also much more flexible and can adapt to change much more quickly and seamlessly than their heavyweight counterparts. Lightweight automation products are much less expensive and less time consuming to implement, so they are up and running and fully functioning in a shorter amount of time, delivering immediate benefits. They also provide almost instant feedback, so the results can be measured and processes tweaked in a timely manner for optimum results.

Agentless

Agentless solutions make the entire process of automation much more efficient. They also take up fewer resources because deployment is shorter and more concise. These products can also be customized to meet the specific SLA’s of each given task and can handle all of the system monitoring, freeing up agents to focus on more important tasks. Alerts and notifications are dispatched the appropriate parties immediately, often allowing problems to be corrected before the end user is even affected.

Smaller Footprint

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to choose a platform with a big footprint to achieve big automation goals for your organization. Many of today’s IT automation solutions offer equivalent results without taking up much room at all – either physically or virtually. It used to be that in order to get substantial results from an automation product, one would have to make sacrifices in terms of how much hardware and virtual resources were to be allocated. Today’s products offer the same big results without having to make these sacrifices.

Non-Intrusive

In the past, implementing automation took a great deal of time and resources because it was difficult to integrate with other legacy software that was specifically designed to be managed by humans. As a result, the marriage between the two was complex and time consuming and the outcome was often less than impressive. These days there are non-intrusive IT automation platforms on the market that were specifically developed to be seamlessly integrated with a wide range of existing software and internal systems in a way that is virtually undetectable. The result is that automated tasks are performed in the background, without the need for human oversight and completely unnoticed by the end user.

If you want to introduce automation into your IT department but are hesitant about having to allocate so much hardware and virtual resources to doing so, you’ve come to the right place. When you know what to look for, and where you can find a more effective and efficient IT automation solution, you’ll be able to harness the power of automation without having to sacrifice precious resources, and still get the results you want.

Try it yourself free for 30 days! Simply click here to launch your trial of Ayehu today.

 

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

Managing Cybersecurity in a Multi-Generational Workplace

While Millennials are slowly but surely beginning to take over the workplace, there are still plenty of workers from older generations infiltrating modern offices across the globe. In fact, many of the higher-up positions, such as c-suite executive roles, are currently held by individuals from Gen-X and even a few Baby Boomers still hanging on. Likewise, generation Z will slowly begin to make their way into the workforce over the coming years.

Managing operations across multiple generations can be difficult in and of itself, and the topic of cybersecurity is no exception. It’s especially challenging given the fact that each group of workers has their own experience, beliefs and opinions surrounding how to keep data secure. If your organization happens to be home to a diverse age range of employees, here are a few tips for making cybersecurity something everyone can universally maintain.

Bridging the Gap

One of the biggest issues with developing a multi-generational cybersecurity policy is the different experiences each group brings to the table. For instance, while it may be easy to incorporate security training into the new employee onboarding process, getting older workers – particularly those who are less tech-savvy – on board and supportive of cybersecurity initiatives isn’t always so easy. As a result, different types of training and educational programs might be needed based on each demographic.

A Glaring IssueManaging Cybersecurity in a Multi-Generational Workplace

To further illustrate the challenge security professionals face when dealing with a workforce from various age groups, a joint study was conducted by Citrix and the Ponemon Institute, which revealed the following:

  • 55% of respondents said that Millennials (born between 1981 and 1997) pose the greatest risk of circumventing IT security policies and use of unapproved apps in the workplace.
  • 33% said Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are the most susceptible to phishing and social engineering scams.
  • 30% said Gen Xers (born from 1965 to 1980) were most likely to exhibit carelessness in following an organization’s security policies.

Each of these eye-opening facts must be taken into account when developing cybersecurity training and implementing organizational policies.

Tapping into Technology

Another great way to help bring different generations together to support the common goal of enhanced cybersecurity is to leverage as much technology as possible. For instance, by deploying monitoring software and integrating it with an automation and orchestration platform for enhanced incident response, technology can do much of the heavy lifting, alleviating the burden on human workers. This can help reluctant individuals to view the importance of security in a more positive light.

Universal Education is Key

It’s important to point out that while each generation may have its own mindset about security issues, there are also certain universal truths that should be taught regardless of age group. Keep in mind that hackers rarely know precisely who they are targeting. Their goal is to simply achieve their end result as quickly and easily as possible, regardless of who might be on the receiving end. Likewise, it’s important not to assume that an employee is inherently aware that they are putting the organization at risk simply because he or she is from a particular generation. As such, universal education must be a priority.

Communicate Clearly and Often

As a more tech-savvy generation makes its way into the workplace, security professionals will have the additional challenge of bringing new employees up to speed and ensuring that they fully comprehend the implications of keeping sensitive data secure. While these younger workers may be more comfortable with technology, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a realistic understanding of how to protect the information they’re accessing and sharing. Expectations should be clearly communicated early and often to ensure optimum compliance.

What challenges has your organization had to deal with in terms of maintaining maximum cybersecurity across multiple generations of workers? Please share in the comments below!

 

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

How the Human Side of IT Automation Can Keep You Competitive

How the Human Side of IT Automation Can Keep You CompetitiveIT automation has begun to find its way into just about every industry. And whether you embrace it or not, it’s important to remember that while automation is something that can most certainly improve operational efficiency, it’s not necessarily something that you can simply set and forget. There’s still a very human element to IT automation that must be considered, and it’s this human piece of the puzzle that will help businesses remain competitive in an increasingly tech-savvy world.

The ultimate goal of every IT professional is to produce real, measurable and efficient results for their organization. As technology shifts and evolves, IT personnel is being expected to do more with fewer resources, all while taking into account cost. IT automation provides the solution to these increasing demands by assisting in three key areas:

Automating Manual Tasks – When someone is forced to perform the same manual, repetitive task over and over to achieve consistent results, there is little time to do much else. Automation relieves IT professionals from these redundancies, freeing them up to focus on improving their skillsets and managing those functions that require a higher level of human expertise.

Maintaining Compliance and Security – Audits can become a tremendous waste of time and resources for IT personnel. So can managing data security. Yet both are necessary components of the job. The right IT automation and orchestration platform, however, can provide an added level of protection to sensitive data and create easy to track documentation, making it a breeze to meet compliance requirements.

Eliminating Human Error – In the event of a system outage, every moment – and every action – counts. Even the most seasoned professional can make a costly error when dealing with the stress and pressure of managing critical incidents. Incorporating automation helps to reduce the risk of human error, improving the chances of a smooth and timely system recovery process.

Of course, automation isn’t something that will magically solve every IT challenge. While these three key benefits are pretty much universal, it must begin with a well-developed automation strategy that is designed to address the unique needs of the organization.

The goal is to develop and implement an IT automation plan that will achieve cross-platform results and one which is scalable and agile enough to grow and evolve with the changing needs of the business. This requires the expertise of IT professionals who are willing to view automation not as an adversary, but as a means to further their careers and make their organizations more successful. Only those who approach automation from this perspective will be able to remain competitive and relevant over time.

Want to learn more about IT automation and how it can help you stay relevant in an ever-changing business landscape? Start your free 30 day trial of Ayehu automation and orchestration platform today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate