With more than 62 million subscribers worldwide, it’s no wonder digital services company Netflix has to focus on keeping up a fast-paced, secure IT operations environment. The engineers who work for the streaming media organization are faced with the task of deploying code thousands upon thousands of times each and every day. How do they maintain such a high level of output? Well, one thing they’ve come to rely on is IT process automation.
The very nature of Netflix’s industry makes the company and its clientele much more vulnerable to cyber security attacks. And, as many other significant-sized enterprises have learned the hard way over the past decade or so, having a monitoring system in place simply isn’t always enough to achieve optimum protection levels.
What companies like Netflix need is a more comprehensive and closed-loop process that handles potential risks from start to completion. More importantly, these businesses must find a way to achieve this goal while balancing tight budgetary restraints and increasing demands for better, faster service. In other words, they must figure out a way to do more with less while also always maintaining the greatest level of cyber security.
As Netflix has discovered, IT process automation can provide the ideal solution to this need. Jason Chan, cloud security architect for Netflix, knew he and his team were facing a monumental task, particularly given the significant and speedy growth the company has sustained, stating that: “The only realistic way of maintaining security in an environment that grows so rapidly and changes so quickly is to make it automation first.”
Today, Netflix leverages IT process automation to perform and complete a broad spectrum of both routine and complex tasks and workflows.
Whether it’s identifying subscriber accounts that have been compromised or prioritizing and responding to incoming security incidents, automation plays a central role. In fact, the technology has virtually eliminated the need for human interaction (at least on a basic level), thereby reducing error rates while dramatically improving efficiency levels.
The company’s internal cyber-security system continuously monitors the platform for any changes which may indicate a potential breach. From there, the system then automatically determines the level of risk and, if necessary, notifies the appropriate team member that a change has been detected. For serious threats, the right human worker is made aware of the issue in a timely and effective manner so that it can be addressed immediately, thereby mitigating any potential damages.
In some instances, human intervention is completely unnecessary. For example, one monitoring tool Netflix employs can automatically identify a security problem, such as a compromised employee account, and isolate the concern and facilitate the appropriate action plan for dealing with the situation. When a security alert is received, the system goes through a series of workflows to establish precisely what’s happened and how severe the problem may be. If it’s determined that a certain action should be taken, such as disabling a compromised account, the IT process automation tool can execute that task accordingly.
Furthermore, IT process automation provides the added level of protection a digital firm like Netflix (or any business, for that matter) needs in order to prevent potential security breaches. Even without budgetary constraints, most IT departments simply do not have the capacity to handle the volume and complexity of incoming threats. This is when things get missed. Automation, on the other hand, can be the safety net, ensuring that no threat slips by undetected.
Finally, it’s important to mention that IT process automation isn’t meant to replace human workers, but rather – as Mr. Chan points out – to make life easier. “You really need to help get what’s most important in front of people as quickly and easily as possible, so you’re using your human resources as effectively as possible.”