These days, it seems there’s a high profile security breach in the news almost daily. The truth is, cyber-attacks happen to businesses of every size, shape and industry and just because the story may not make the news, the ramifications can be nothing short of devastating. Organizations are under increasing pressure to ensure that when (not if) an attack occurs, they are fully prepared to respond swiftly and effectively to mitigate any potential damages. Let’s take a look at the role automation can and should play in your cyber security incident response strategy.
Without automation, monitoring and managing incidents is up to IT personnel – a team that is most likely already overworked and completely overwhelmed. Given the enhanced sophistication and ever-increasing number of today’s attacks, and the budgetary restraints most organizations are under which limits their staffing potential, the results of a breach could be catastrophic. Here are just a few of the problems that can arise when cyber security incident response is handled manually:
- Difficulty keeping up with volume of incoming threats
- Errors due to miscommunication and confusion
- Lack of adequate, real-time visibility
- Inexperience with significant and/or high-pressure events
- Missed or delayed response
- Increased expenses
The larger the organization, the greater the risk, as the number and complexity of incoming incidents are naturally higher. Still, even small to mid-sized companies must be vigilant about protecting their assets from a potential virtual attack. Hiring additional staff is typically not an option, and as seen in the list above, even when staffing levels are adequate, human error can be a real issue. That’s why automation is so effective.
The fact is, cyber criminals do not discriminate. Your staffing woes or lack of adequate protection could make you a prime target for an attack. Do you have a plan in place? By incorporating automation into your cyber security incident response strategy, you remove the human element from the equation. Not only does this dramatically speed up the process, but it also eliminates the risk of costly human error.
From a reactive standpoint, the moment a potential incident is detected, your automated system will immediately identify and evaluate it for legitimacy and severity. This process will occur each and every time a threat comes in, even if there are thousands a day – something human personnel simply cannot handle. Depending on the outcome of each threat’s analysis, the system will then automatically trigger the appropriate response.
To address the limitations of traditional, manual cyber security incident response, automation presents the following quantifiable benefits:
- Ability to integrate seamlessly with existing systems (SIEM, monitoring programs, malware analysis, etc.)
- Reduces risk of any threats slipping through the cracks
- Provides real-time visibility and control
- Ability to automate everything from simple tasks to complex workflows
- Saves time, money and resources
Furthermore, with the right automation tool, previous incidents can be analyzed by IT leaders to help identify and define best practices going forward. This provides the ability to take a proactive approach to cyber security incident response, which can help prevent certain attacks from occurring in the first place.