With security threats multiplying 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. It’s no longer a question of if your company will be attacked, but when. Employing a strategy, particularly one that features 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.
Obviously one of the key objectives of the SOC 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.
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.
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 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. Improving this process helps to prevent future attacks while also mitigating the damages caused by those that manage their way in.
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 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.
Perhaps we should have listed this one at the top, since it’s one of the biggest benefits of SOC automation. In any case, 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 to automation.
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 SOC automation tool, everything can be documented and tracked, which facilitates process improvement through the identification and development of best practices.
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.