It’s pretty rare these days to find an IT professional who hasn’t at the very least heard of the term security automation, but there are still a significant number of individuals and teams alike that don’t fully understand what this technology is and how it can be leveraged for the benefit of their organization. To clear things up, we thought we’d break it down into the three main elements of modern IT security automation, as follows.
Like it or not, we are currently working in the realm of the advanced persistent threat (APT) and until cyber criminals let up on their relentless attacks, chances are that your company is going to be a victim at some point. The best way to prevent this from occurring is to implement IT security automation into the monitoring process. This essentially allows you to “fight fire with fire,” and use the same tools and advanced technology as the hackers to thwart their attacks.
As each threat comes in, an alert is created which is then detected and assessed by the automated tool. Because this part requires zero input from IT personnel, it can be handled 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Once an alert is evaluated, it is then either addressed automatically or it is prioritized to be handled by the appropriate human party. Not only does this dramatically save time and maximize efficiency, but it also reduces the amount of false positives and human errors that can occur when threat management is performed manually.
The previous point touched on this element slightly, but here we will go into it in much greater detail. With the right IT security automation tool, the IT department can be transformed into a much smarter and more effective ticketing system. Identifying alerts is only half the battle. In reality, it’s what happens once a threat is detected that really matters. Today’s technology facilitates the tracking of a security incident from beginning to end. This addresses both the need to quickly and effectively take action against said threat as well as the importance of documenting that incident process.
By implementing IT security automation, management and decision makers can more accurately develop best practices that include automated playbooks, internal processes and policies for responding to and managing a security incident. Entire complex workflows can be transitioned from manual to automated so that every step in the incident response process is carried out in a fast, targeted manner. This documentation is also beneficial for compliance and audit purposes.
Remediation and Recovery
Recent history has taught us that when a breach occurs, every second counts. It’s also schooled us in the reality that sometimes, despite our most valiant efforts, security threats can and will penetrate an organization’s defenses. Modern IT security automation is designed to accommodate this reality by helping IT teams to identify and address successful incidents as quickly and effectively as possible.
In truth, the real damage of a security breach often occurs in the hours, days, weeks or months it takes the IT department to realize it occurred in the first place. With IT security automation, incidents are detected much sooner, which can significantly reduce the impact (financial, reputational, etc.) to your business.
Essentially, today’s IT security automation tools allow you to cover all bases – from round-the-clock monitoring to timely and effective incident response to targeted remediation and resolution to mitigate damages.