While cyber-threats are growing at an exponential rate, organizations are only capable of increasing their capacity and ability to prevent and defend against them arithmetically. At least that is the case when it comes to existing monitoring tools and skilled personnel. Unfortunately, this substantially limits the ability to keep up with the ever-changing, ever-increasing and relentless stream of cyber-attacks that are occurring on a daily basis. In order to level the playing field, security professionals must focus their efforts on using automation to fortify and improve their cyber security incident detection and response strategy. Here’s why.
Stronger Incident Detection
The use of old tools, such as traditional monitoring for malware and viruses, has become virtually obsolete as cyber criminals have become much savvier and their attacks more sophisticated. Not only have these threats become more advanced, but they’re also so frequent that even an army of experienced human workers would not be capable of fielding all of them. And, unfortunately, all it takes is one malicious attack that sneaks in past the existing defense mechanisms to wreak havoc on the organization.
When automation is introduced into the cyber security incident detection and response process, however, every incoming threat – regardless of time, context or complexity – can be instantly and expertly identified, verified and prioritized to be addressed accordingly. Not only does automation provide round-the-clock protection, but it also leverages advanced analytics, threat intelligence and actual machine learning to accurately evaluate each potential attack and formulate the appropriate response based on the information gathered.
Immediate, Effective Response
Detecting incoming threats is only half the battle. Just ask Target or any other recent high-profile victims of successful attacks. In fact, even the most well-intentioned tools and IT personnel cannot eliminate the possibility of a real threat slipping through the cracks. Most of the damage caused by cyber-attacks occurs in the time it takes to A.) understand that an incident has occurred and what it entails, and B.) take the appropriate measures to mitigate damage and get critical systems back up and running. This is something that even the best security professionals cannot handle on their own.
Enter automation into the cyber security incident detection and response process and the mean time to resolution (MTTR) drops significantly. That’s because automated technology is designed to pinpoint serious threats and take the right steps to thwart the attack and limit its progress. The sooner a cyber-security incident is addressed, the quicker it can be isolated and resolved. Faster response means diminished likelihood of significant impact both financially as well as reputation-wise.
Another key area where automated technology dramatically improves the cyber security incident detection and response strategy is in the ability it provides security professionals to prevent future attacks from occurring. With advanced data analysis and comprehensive documentation, IT leaders can gain valuable insight into the ‘who, when, why, what and how’ of each attack. This helps to identify areas of vulnerability and also provides the opportunity to modify and improve policies, procedures and processes moving forward.
In many cases, the information gathered and the subsequent actions taken by the IT department can effectively prevent an attack from occurring in the first place, eliminating the need for remediation and keeping assets and sensitive data safe from potential harm.
In addition to the obvious benefits automation can have on the cyber security incident detection and response process, there are a number of other advantages implementing such technology can provide. In particular, when the bulk of security tasks – including detection, analysis, decision, containment, eradication and recovery – are shifted to intelligent technology, human workers are then freed up to focus on higher-priority tasks and projects. This allows the organization to fully avail itself of the valuable resources skilled IT professionals bring to the table.
In conclusion, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the defense strategies of yesterday are no longer adequate in preventing today’s complex and relentless stream of cyber-attacks. The only logical and cost-effective solution is to leverage automated technology to fortify the cyber security incident detection and response process, protecting against current threats and preventing future attacks.