Is Automation the Problem….Or the Solution?

Despite its growing popularity and increasing adoption, many people – including those in high level executive positions – still view automation as a threat rather than a solution. Is there validity to their concern? Or are they simply not seeing the forest for the trees?

According to Forrester, while 16% of U.S. jobs will be lost over the next decade as the result of artificial intelligence and technology, 13.6 million new jobs will be created during that time due to the trend. Furthermore, a recent study by Deloitte revealed that 800,000 low-skill jobs were eliminated by AI and other automation technologies, 3.5 million new jobs were created. Additionally, those new jobs actually paid an average of $13,000 more per year than the ones that were eliminated.

The reality is, people need to not only see automation for what it can accomplish, the most notable being cost savings and maximum productivity, but also re-envision what the jobs of tomorrow will look like. Like it or not, automation technology is changing the way we work forever. Forward-thinking organizations are recognizing this and pivoting to adapt their approach and remain at the forefront of this change.

A great example of this is the Marlin Steel factory in Baltimore. As a result of offshoring undercutting their prices, Marlin Steel invested in robotic wire-forming machines and changed their direction to focus on producing products for companies like General  Motors and Boeing. The demand for these high-quality products coupled with the increased productivity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness the company achieved through automation made it possible for Marlin Steel to hire more people and increase wages. Ironically, if it weren’t for robots, a great number of employees would have ultimately lost their jobs.

In addition to creating new roles and hiring additional staff, automation is also enabling existing employees at businesses across the globe to be reskilled and ultimately retained. Some are promoted to new positions, such as Automation Engineer while others will become trainers helping coworkers learn how to leverage the AI technology to their advantage. Innovative organizations are going all in, creating internal automation centers of excellence (CoE) and promoting employees to manage them.

According to one recent study, 10,000 new AI jobs were created in the U.S. in the past year alone. Is automation disruptive? Absolutely. Will it cause significant change in the way businesses of all industries operate? Yes. Will jobs be lost as a result? Certainly. But as is already being evidenced, AI technology is turning out to be far more beneficial than it is detrimental.

Most importantly, automation will enable companies to evolve and redefine who they are, making them more competitive and in a much better position for success in the future. The question is, which side will you be on when that future is inevitably upon us?

Experience intelligence automation for yourself by requesting a free product demo today.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

5 Ways AI Will Transform The Enterprise In 2018

5 Ways AI Will Transform The Enterprise In 2018

Article originally published on Business Computing World.

 

The terms machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have become buzzwords across the globe, particularly among forward-thinking business leaders. Yet, despite these technologies’ promising benefits, few organisations have actually been taking full advantage of them. That is likely to change this year, however, with Gartner projecting that 2018 will officially mark the beginning of the “democratisation” of AI.

 

One of the biggest driving forces behind this transformation is the growing realisation that the collection and analysis of data has become an essential component of success in the digital age. Furthermore, there is an increasing awareness that despite the massive volume of data available, many organisations still aren’t putting that information to productive use. Artificial intelligence holds the key to unlocking the tremendous value all that data represents.

With that in mind, here are five specific ways that AI and machine learning technology will impact the enterprise over the coming months.

1. New AI-Related Roles Will Begin To Take Shape

As the adoption of AI technologies continues to grow, so will the demand for skilled workers. Larger enterprises may choose to add senior-level positions, such as Chief Automation Officer, to manage how AI and machine learning are integrated into the company’s overall vision and strategy. Furthermore, as more organisations begin making the move toward creating their own automation centres of excellence (CoE), a combination of re-skilling and staff expansion will be needed to fill next generation roles, such as Automation Engineers.

2. AI Will Bolster Cybersecurity

As cyber-criminals continue honing their craft to become more relentless, invasive, and sophisticated in their attacks, organisations must utilise the advanced technologies available to them in order to fortify their defences. Incorporating AI and machine learning algorithms into the enterprise incident response and remediation process augments the security staff’s ability to proactively fight fire with fire by automatically detecting, analysing and defeating attacks before they can wreak havoc. Using AI technology in tandem with human intelligence, enterprises will gain the edge they need to more effectively protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their most valuable assets, both digital and physical. And because cyber-attackers are constantly upping their game, leveraging the same technological capabilities against them will ultimately become the most potent defence.

3. Chatbots Will Become Standard

Despite the fact that chatbot technology has already infiltrated the consumer market, adoption has been somewhat sluggish at the enterprise level. We should, however, begin to see greater adoption of these technologies during the coming months, particularly in customer-facing industries, such as banking and health care. AI-powered voice assistants, similar to Siri and Alexa, represent a significant opportunity for those in customer service, whether external or internal (i.e. help desk personnel). Not only will the addition of chatbots create a more efficient and interactive experience for the end-user, but it will also help lighten the load for organisations whose staff are already stretched thin.

4. AI Will Dramatically Improve UX

As mentioned, there is virtually an infinite amount of data available to business leaders today. Harnessing that information and transforming it into something useful is another area where AI will truly begin to make its mark on the enterprise. By gathering the right information, identifying patterns, and continuously adapting itself, machine learning technology is capable of delivering greater value to the end user, both internally as well as from a customer service standpoint. As a result, enterprises can leverage AI to automatically create a user experience that is fluid, efficient, and far more personalised.

5. AI Will Facilitate Better, More Data-Driven Decisions

Humans are naturally influenced by emotions. Even the most dispassionate individual can fall victim to bias and prejudice, often without even being cognizant of the influence their subconscious assumptions have on their decision-making process. Artificial intelligence operates similar to the human mind, but without the preconceived notions and underlying emotions. Leveraging this will enable companies to avoid bias and unintentional discrimination in a variety of areas, from hiring and customer care to operations and beyond.

In a global economy as ruthlessly competitive as ours, the ability to make better decisions will become a key differentiator for organisations striving for sustainable success.

Why Automation is a Must for Cybersecurity

Why Automation is a Must for CybersecurityThe increasing complexity and sophistication of cyber threats today has far outpaced the ability for most conventional security strategies to keep up. Adding more security devices, as many IT teams have been doing to this point, simply isn’t enough to keep their networks safe. Billions of dollars have been spent taking this approach, yet countless organizations have continued to fall victim to savvy cyber-criminals. The good news is, there’s a solution that’s less expensive and far more effective: automation.

A particularly telling statistic is that 90% of all organizations are attacked on vulnerabilities that are several years old. Furthermore, 60% of those attacks target vulnerabilities that are a decade old or older. One of the biggest reasons these existing vulnerabilities remain is because companies are often afraid that patching or replacing apps and devices will disrupt critical processes and services that depend on them. Being offline even for a short amount of time can result in lost revenue.

For devices that are deemed too critical to be taken offline, network segmentation should be implemented so that in case of compromise, the impact will be restricted only to a small segment and not the entire network. Furthermore, redundancies must be in place to enable traffic to flow around it during an update. Lastly, automation should be leveraged to help identify any and all exposed devices within your network.

Another tactic that has made it possible for cyber-attackers to be so successful is their ability to hide inside networks for long periods of time and then go virtually undetected by mimicking normal network traffic and behavior. This is where intelligent automation can really make an impact. Automated platforms powered by AI and machine learning can continuously collect and analyze network data, identifying anomalies and addressing threats far faster than any human security professional could.

Cybercriminals are already using automation as a way to scale their attacks, making them more effective and reducing the amount of hand-holding required in traditional attacks. What’s more, threats are evolving far more quickly than security personnel can keep up with. In order to compete, organizations must effectively fight fire with fire. This is why automation has become a critical component of a robust, multi-faceted and equally sophisticated defense. Intelligent automation is capable of covering an entire network, identifying new and existing threats and making decisions on its own to mitigate them.

In order to accomplish this, the security infrastructure may require retooling. Isolated security platforms and devices must be replaced with a system that is fully integrated and interconnected. Traditional security tools (those that are still relevant, that is), such as firewalls, secure gateways and intrusion prevention systems, must be combined with advanced cybersecurity tools like intelligent automation. Once a threat is detected, a coordinated response and remediation can then be automatically initiated, thereby mitigating risk.

Most importantly, all of this must happen instantly, automatically and simultaneously across the entire network, including physical and virtual environments, remote offices, distributed data centers, mobile and IoT endpoint devices and deep into the cloud.

Simply put, the future of cybersecurity is cohesive systems powered by automated processes that utilize artificial intelligence to enable autonomous decision-making. Only organizations that adopt such an approach will survive the ever-evolving threat landscape.

Will your company be among them? Don’t get left behind. Get started on the right path by launching your free product demo today.

Augmenting Your Human Workforce with Intelligent Automation

Augmenting Your Human Workforce with Intelligent AutomationWith global technology spending at an all-time high, more organizations are looking to technology to augment their human workers. But convincing humans to work alongside robots is still a challenge for many, particularly those who view AI as a threat to their livelihood. According to many experts, including Forrester vice president and principal analyst J.P. Gownder, intelligent automation will create new jobs and also transform existing ones.

The Forrester report predicts that over the course of this year alone, “bots” will impact approximately 311,000 administrative roles and 260,000 sales jobs, either replacing them altogether or augmenting them in some way. Those remaining human workers will find their capabilities enhanced by these bots. For instance, more and more employees will begin to shift their rote, repetitive tasks and workflows on to intelligent automation, enabling them to become more strategic in their roles.

As Gownder also pointed out in his report, the key to implementing intelligent automation as a tool to augment human workers is to start with focused business problems. Let’s take a look at how to accomplish this in a three step process.

Segment the workforce to target specific roles and/or workflows.

Decision-makers should evaluate their workforce and divide it into segments to identify which business problems could be most easily solved with intelligent automation. It’s true that AI can be leveraged across the entire organization to some degree, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be implemented everywhere right from the get-go. Instead, it should be strategically applied where it will quickly produce the highest returns. Then it can be rolled out more extensively.

Develop and nurture solutions in a piloting environment.

Augmenting human workers with intelligent automation technology requires a very structured approach. Utilizing an innovation lab or other type of test environment will enable new solutions to be designed and tested before they are implemented. Start with small pilots and iterate at every step, tweaking the process as needed until a realistic, feasible solution is reached. Once the most effective solution is determined, it can then be introduced into the live environment.

Add robotic coworkers with specific competencies to the team.

While bots are beginning to augment human work, they are still best used in very narrow, specific contexts, the Forrester report noted. As intelligent automation is introduced into human teams, it’s best to focus on employee experience. It’s also important to recognize that a certain investment in upgrading, improving and reskilling human workers will likely be necessary in order to facilitate a cohesive environment in which both people and robots can work side-by-side and complement one another.

Ultimately, the way human workers perceive their role and impact within an organization will affect their engagement and productivity. As they begin to view intelligent automation as a tool to help them be more productive and engage in more meaningful work, they will begin to recognize the value that AI brings to their lives.

See intelligent automation in action. Schedule a live, personalized demo of Ayehu today!

Meeting Resistance to Intelligent Automation? Here’s How to Overcome It.

Intelligent automation is far from a new concept. In fact, it’s something that is becoming more and more widely embraced across just about every industry. Yet, there are still many who are in the position of decision maker that still aren’t convinced of the value that automation can bring to their organizations.

Among the most common objections given for why NOT to embrace automation are:

  • Cost
  • Complexity
  • Learning Curve
  • Integration with Legacy Systems
  • Fear

Let’s take a look at each of these objections in greater detail, and examine how each can be overcome with the right automation tool.

The first concern that many IT professionals and other “powers that be” have about introducing automation is cost. This is especially true for smaller enterprises that may be working with much leaner budgets. While there’s certainly no doubt that implementing an automation tool will incur some expense, it doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. For instance, a lightweight solution can be highly effective yet affordable enough to suit any budget. What’s more, the overall cost savings realized from automation will balance out the up-front expense over time.

Next is the concern of the complexity of intelligent automation. People in just about every industry have heard of and are showing more and more interest in automation. That is, until they hear horror stories about how complicated the process is. Truth be told, there are certainly complex systems and products on the market today that bring with them steep learning curves, making them difficult to implement and more challenging to manage.

The good news is, not all automation products are this arduous. In fact, some products allow you to still automate both simple and complex workflows and processes, yet can be installed and deployed in mere minutes. This type of intelligent automation and orchestration platform is designed to be user-friendly, making initial training and ongoing management a breeze. What’s more, there’s no need for users to possess extensive knowledge of things like script writing. It’s ‘plug and play’ at its very best.

Another commonly cited reason for resisting automation is the concern over how it will integrate with existing systems. Nobody wants to go through an entire overhaul and replacement of legacy systems. That could take a tremendous amount of time and cost a pretty penny. What these naysayers don’t realize is that a quality automation product can integrate seamlessly with legacy systems. There’s no need to replace. Simply restructure and realign to enhance performance and efficiency.

Finally, although perhaps of biggest concern, is the fear that intelligent automation will replace the human workforce. Some IT professionals still view automation as some sort of enemy with whom they must compete to protect their job security. To the contrary, automation isn’t meant to eliminate humans, but rather to provide a tool that will improve their lives considerably. Why? Because automation removes all of the menial, repetitive tasks that would otherwise be bogging down IT professionals, freeing them to focus on other, more important business matters. It also allows IT personnel to further improve their own skills and hone their expertise, making them much more marketable.

To further drive home these points, let’s take a look at a real life scenario in which automation was leveraged – albeit with a bit of hesitation – but was quickly discovered to be of tremendous value to the IT department and the organization as a whole.

One large insurance company has been slowly but surely automating key IT processes using Ayehu. The IT Director, who is responsible for managing the project, began by using the automation process to manage alerts generated by their existing monitoring tool. The goal was to take level one staff out of the loop by at least 80%.

Before intelligent automation came into play, an alert would go to the NOC rep at all hours of the day or night. The NOC person would then spend about 15-30 minutes troubleshooting and calling people – sometimes in the middle of the night – before finally being able to restart the web service. Today, that process has been automated. Now, the alert is detected, an action is performed and the problem is resolved – all without ever having to wake anyone up.

In short, automation has helped this insurance company by saving time, money and resources and managing system issues in a much more efficient way. Implementation was quick and easy, with very little training time necessary. Most importantly, automation didn’t replace the NOC personnel, but rather made their jobs much easier (and allowed them to get more rest in the process).

Wherever you stand on the topic of intelligent automation, the fact is it is fast becoming the way of the future. If you’re still resisting, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the battle. By taking the time to examine the common objections and learning how the right automation tool can help overcome these objections once and for all, you’ll be well on your way to riding the wave of success into the future.

Not sure where to start? Download a copy of our free IT Automation Survival Guide below!

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

Ayehu Announces Integration with Cherwell Software

 

Artificial Intelligence backed automation combined with IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operation Management (ITOM) Solution Delivers Significant Process Efficiencies to the Enterprise

San Jose, CA – April 9, 2018Ayehu,  leading provider of an intelligent automation and orchestration platform powered by AI, today announced its integration with global leader in enterprise service management solutions, Cherwell Software. The integration of Ayehu’s intelligent automation and orchestration platform with Cherwell extends the ITSM and ITOM solution capabilities and provides significant IT process gains and efficiencies.

“Automation for IT Operations and Security Operations is incredibly valuable as it eliminates manual repetitive tasks and lengthy service desk procedures and accelerates incident response and resolution,” said Brian Boeggeman, vice president of alliances and partnerships, Ayehu. “For enterprise IT and Security executives and teams, this latest addition to Ayehu’s portfolio of integrations extends the Ayehu intelligent automation platform and provides a seamless connection, extending the value of Cherwell® Service Management (CSM).”

Ayehu’s integration with Cherwell enables IT departments to:

  • Automatically open, update, close tickets, and query tables
  • Leverage two-way SMS and email for event notifications and escalations
  • Accelerate the reporting, escalation, and resolution of incidents
  • Eliminate manual work and human errors
  • Ensure fully documented end-to-end processes
  • Reduce the amount of “noise” at the service desk
  • Enforce change management procedures such as ticket status changes

“At Cherwell, our goal is to empower customers to achieve better, faster, and more affordable innovation, with the help of our uniquely adaptable platform,” said Matthew Peeples, vice president of technology alliances, Cherwell Software. “Partners like Ayehu provide complementary features that, when combined, deliver tremendous value to our joint customers.”

As part of the collaboration, Ayehu and Cherwell will jointly engage with customers to help enterprises get the most value out of the combined solution. The two companies are already working together on several projects with enterprises in the banking/financial services, healthcare and pharma industries.

Ayehu acts as a force multiplier, driving efficiency through a simple and powerful IT automation and orchestration platform powered by AI. The agentless platform is SaaS-ready for hybrid deployments and is powered by machine learning driven decision support, for enhanced and optimized automated workflows. It can also be installed on-premise connecting seamlessly to Cherwell Service Management.

IT and security operations can fully automate and mimic the response of an experienced IT analyst or security operator, including complex tasks across multiple, disparate systems, executing thousands of well-defined instructions without any programming required. This can help quickly resolve virtually any alert, incident or crisis.

About Cherwell Software

Cherwell (@Cherwell) empowers organizations to transform their business through the rapid adoption and easy management of digital services. Cherwell’s adaptable platform has enabled thousands of organizations to modernize their business operations with customizable service management, automation, and reporting across the enterprise. For more information, visit: www.cherwell.com.

About Ayehu

Named by Gartner as a Cool Vendor, Ayehu’s IT automation and orchestration platform is a force multiplier for IT and security operations, helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. Trusted by major enterprises and leading technology solution and service partners, Ayehu supports thousands of automated processes across the globe. For more information, please visit www.ayehu.com and the company blog.  Follow Ayehu on Twitter and LinkedIn.

One of your biggest risk is insider threats. Here’s how to manage them.

One of your biggest risks is insider threats. Here's how to manage them.When we talk about security threats to the enterprise, the focus often centers on hackers and other external parties. In reality, the biggest danger to most organizations is the very users who work within. In fact, according to Gartner, more than 70% of unauthorized access to sensitive data is committed by a company’s own employees. The good news is enough research has been done to identify the five most common insider threats and, more importantly, what your organization can do to prevent and protect against them. Let’s take a look.

Problem: Sensitive Data Sharing via Email or IM

Along with the convenience of quick and/or instant electronic communications also comes the greater risk of confidential information being shared via one of these tools, like email or instant messaging. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest insider threats to manage and control.

Solution: Encrypt, Analyze and Filter

The easiest way to prevent sensitive data from being shared electronically is to ensure that all messages and the content contained within (including attachments) are properly encrypted. Additionally, you can set up a network analyzer and content filtering which will help to automatically identify and block any classified information from going out. Lastly, outsourced or perimeter-based messaging solutions often provide easy to manage content filtering and blocking, so know and take advantage of what’s available to you.

Problem: Remote Access Exploitation

One of the greatest benefits of today’s technology is the flexibility it affords to be able to access networks and internal systems from anywhere. Unfortunately, this same advancement can also prevent a whole new set of risks to the integrity and security of sensitive data. The ability to access information from off-site via remote access software can make it easier and more tempting to steal and compromise that data. Furthermore, inadequately protected remote devices could end up in the wrong hands if they become lost or stolen.

Solution: Establish Stronger Remote Work Guidelines

Controlling who can access and share files and keeping a close watch on OS and application logins is critical. Implementing tighter security controls, particularly those systems that are most sensitive and therefore pose the greatest risk can provide a much greater degree of protection. Likewise, monitoring and limiting employee usage through logs and audit trails will also add another layer of security. Finally, establishing stronger password requirements, using multi-factor authentication and enabling screen saver timeouts can prevent unauthorized access issues.

Problem: Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

P2P sharing software is a great tool for fostering collaboration and improving efficiency amongst employees, but these platforms also pose a significant security risk. All it takes is one ill-intentioned individual to misconfigure the software and suddenly your internal network and drives are available for anyone to access.

Solution: Implement More Stringent P2P Policies

The best way to prevent against P2P software vulnerabilities is to not allow it within your organization. Implementing a network analyzer and routinely performing firewall audits will further strengthen your defense. For optimum protection, a P2P firewall is recommended. If you do happen to allow P2P software, a perimeter-based content monitoring solution can help keep sensitive information secure.

Problem: Insecure Wireless Network Usage

Accessing confidential data via unsecured wireless networks can potentially place your organization at risk, even if that insider threat is unintentional. If your employees work remotely and use WiFi or Bluetooth connections, all it takes is one breach of a file transfer or email communication for your valuable data to be compromised.

Solution: Provide a Safer Alternative

Rather than allowing employees to utilize airwaves that are not adequately secure, providing your WiFi users with a secure wireless hotspot is the ideal solution. Use a VPN  for remote connectivity and implement a personal firewall for an added layer of protection. Don’t forget internal wireless networks, either. Always use encryption, authentication and logging. If Bluetooth is not necessary, disable it or, at the very least, make your devices undiscoverable.

Problem: Participating in Discussions on External Boards or Blogs

Whether it’s posting a question on a message board for support purposes or commenting on a thought-provoking blog, employees could inadvertently put your sensitive information at risk without even realizing it.

Solution: Filter and monitor.

Filtering content at the network perimeter is the most effective way to identify and block sensitive data from being shared externally. Of course, as with everything else, there’s always a chance that encrypted transmissions could be missed and may end up on such sites. For best results, setting up a notification system, such as Google Alerts, which will let you know any time certain keywords (specified by you) are used on the web.

Ultimately, managing insider threats should be an important component of your overall cyber security incident response strategy. Implementing tools like automation can help further identify, address and remediate security incidents – including those caused by internal parties – so that damages can be mitigated.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

4 Things CIOs Should Know About Adopting Intelligent Automation

4 Things CIOs Should Know About Adopting Intelligent AutomationWe recently shared five critical reasons why every CIO should consider intelligent automation. But recognizing the value-added benefits this technology has to offer and actually taking the necessary steps to implement it at scale are two entirely different things. In order to get it right the first time and achieve rapid and sustainable return on your investment, there are certain things you should know heading into such a project. Let’s take a look.

Understand what’s most important to your organization.

In the IT realm, a lot of time is spent quieting squeaky wheels and putting out fires. As CIO, one of your most important tasks is determining whether those wheels and fires represent a potential to introduce intelligent automation.

Rather than reactively responding to complaints, proactively evaluate where and how automation could make the biggest impact, such as on productivity or customer experience, and build your deployment around those high-return areas. This will take much of the heat of your busy IT team and produce savings that can then be utilized to fund other value-added projects.

Know what intelligent automation tools are available to you.

As a key decision maker for your organization, it’s important to gain a clear understanding of the different types of automation tools that are on the market today, as well as which are mature enough to be quickly and seamlessly deployed into production. Get to know the difference between robotic process automation (RPA) and cognitive software. The former enables rules-based automation while the latter is intelligent with machine learning capability.

While both categories are beneficial, intelligent (cognitive) automation is far more advanced, providing capabilities for processing massive amounts of unstructured data, identifying patterns, understanding complex processes and predicting outcomes based on previous scenarios. Intelligent automation will evolve and improve on itself over time, something that RPA does not do. Recognizing and fully understanding these key differences is an essential part of choosing the right automation platform.

Determine how deployment will work.

If you approach automation from a singular solution, such as reducing the number of man hours a certain process requires, not only will the return you get be modest at best, but deployment will likely end up being a much longer, more arduous and more frustrating experience. Instead, shift your thinking to an end-to-end approach. Ask yourself how intelligent automation can be deployed on a larger, more holistic scale. That’s where the real value and return will lie.

Bear in mind, also, that the traditional ways IT leaders evaluate their technology budgets employ a more functional perspective. Most intelligent automation opportunities, however, are naturally end-to-end. As such, the traditional mechanisms of evaluation will not be capable of revealing and unleashing the true potential of intelligent automation.

Focus on process design and documentation.

Implementing intelligent automation involves a lot more than simply plugging technology in place of human workers. It will inevitably generate entirely new questions, particularly as they relate to process design. To achieve maximum impact, taking an intentional view of organizational business processes is strongly recommended.

Keep in mind, too, that there will be a certain degree of institutional knowledge loss as automation begins to replace humans in the day-to-day tasks and workflows. This loss of skills or knowledge may be ultimately cost you some of your workforce, which is why it’s important to have good process documentation in place beforehand.

To experience intelligent automation for yourself and begin the journey toward a more optimized, self-driving organization, request your free product demo today.

EBOOK: HOW TO MEASURE IT PROCESS AUTOMATION RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

Securing, Streamlining and Scaling with Intelligent SOC Automation

Securing, Streamlining and Scaling with Intelligent SOC AutomationWith security threats increasing in number, frequency and complexity at an almost mind-boggling rate, the need for smart cyber-security solutions at the enterprise level has never been greater. What was once a concern only of larger organizations or those in certain industries, such as finance or medical, is now something businesses of every size and sector must carefully plan for. Simply put, it’s no longer a question of if your company will be attacked, but when. Employing a strategy, particularly one that features intelligent SOC automation as a central component, can help keep the enterprise safer while also optimizing performance and facilitating a more scalable operation. Here’s how.

Process Optimization

Optimization of internal processes is one of the biggest benefits of intelligent SOC automation. Incorporating automation can make almost every process undertaken by the IT department more efficient. To start, all of the day-to-day tasks and workflows that are absolutely necessary but can be described as mundane and repetitive can easily be shifted from human to machine.

Furthermore, by automating as many processes as possible, the risks associated with human error can also be eliminated, creating a more streamlined, efficient, effective and accurate operation all around. And with the right intelligent SOC automation tool, everything can be documented and tracked, which facilitates process improvement through the identification and development of best practices.

Threat Monitoring

Obviously one of the key objectives of security operations is to constantly monitor, review, analyze and manage a massive volume of incoming data. This can be challenging even for the most seasoned IT professional. Developing security algorithms can help to more effectively identify and assess anomalous information, but it can also lead to identifying false positives. Couple this with the increasing number of alerts coming in and it becomes evident that human workers simply cannot keep up, resulting in a large number of incoming alerts going uninvestigated or being missed altogether.

Intelligent SOC automation can aid enterprises in managing this volume of incoming data without the need to hire additional staff and while reducing unnecessary time spent on the process. Leveraging intelligent automation technology, almost the entire threat monitoring process can be streamlined and optimized. All incoming alerts are automatically identified and evaluated for legitimacy, which dramatically reduces false positives. Those that are legitimate threats can then be assessed, prioritized and flagged for attention from the IT staff. What’s more, patterns and anomalies can be quickly and accurately identified and addressed thanks to machine learning algorithms.

Incident Management

Any experienced IT professional will tell you that incident management is more about response than anything else. How quickly can a legitimate threat be identified, isolated and stopped? Unfortunately, most of the damages from security incidents occur in the interim between when the breach is successful and when it is properly addressed.

The most effective and efficient way to handle this critical task is to employ intelligent SOC automation as a central part of the process. Experienced security analysts can help develop best practices and build those into incident response playbooks, which work to thwart potential attacks while also documenting the steps necessary to resolve a breach. Data analysis by artificial intelligence helps to prevent future attacks while also mitigating the damages caused by those that manage their way in.

Resources Allocation

It’s no secret that the IT realm is experiencing a significant skills gap, particularly in terms of qualified security professionals. There simply aren’t enough capable candidates to handle the growing demand. As a result, those who are employed are being stretched beyond their limits, which leads to frustration, dissatisfaction and ultimately much higher turnover.

When intelligent SOC automation is implemented, technology steps in to bridge the skills gap and take much of the pressure off of existing IT personnel. These experienced professionals can then be freed up to apply their skills more effectively, including the training of newer staff members. Not only does operational efficiency and productivity soar as a result, but employee satisfaction does as well.

Risk Management

The goal of successful cyber security incident response isn’t necessarily to address and respond to threats, but rather to identify, develop and hone strategies that will help to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Cyber criminals work tirelessly to find new ways to achieve their malicious intent and, as a result, enterprise IT personnel must take every measure possible to beat them to the punch. This cannot be done by humans alone.

With intelligent SOC automation handling the 24/7 monitoring, assessment, action and resolution of incidents, senior IT professionals can focus their efforts on identifying areas of potential weakness so that the appropriate protections can be put in place ahead of time for a more proactive defense.

Could your organization benefit from intelligent SOC automation? Find out today by taking Ayehu for a test drive today!

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Visit Ayehu at the 2018 RSA Conference!

Ayehu is excited to announce its participation in the 2018 RSA Conference. RSA Conference 2018 will once again take place at the Moscone Center and Marriott Marquis in San Francisco from April 16th to 20th.

Attendees will learn about new approaches to info security, discover the latest technology and interact with top security leaders and pioneers. Hands-on sessions, keynotes and informal gatherings will enable participants to tap into a smart, forward-thinking global community that will inspire and empower.

The Ayehu team will be providing live demos of our Virtual SOC Operator and demonstrating how closed-loop cybersecurity automation can improve CSIR times by up to 90%. This year, we will be setting up camp in booth #342.

Conference attendees are invited to stop by the Ayehu booth and enjoying ad hoc product presentations. Our security team will also be on hand to answer questions and discuss individual needs of each attendee. We’ll also be handing out some cool free gifts, so be sure to include us in your rounds.

As an added bonus, we are offering those interested in attending our presentations the opportunity to get a free expo pass. Simply enter the code X8EAYEHU when registering.

With over 45,000 attendees per year, RSA Conference has become the world’s largest provider of security events. The real value of the conference, however, lies not in its size, but in the valuable content provide and the opportunity for the community to feel inspired and engaged.

Conference attendees can expect to leave the event feeling better prepared for future challenges in the industry, their organizations and their careers. The multi-day event schedule is made up of seminars, keynotes, interactive learning experiences and much more. (See the full agenda here.)

In today’s digital age, information is a very highly valued commodity. Safeguarding that information, therefore, has never been more critical. If you are interested in learning more about how you can protect yourself and your organization against the constantly growing threat of security incidents, this event is a must-attend!

We look forward to seeing you!