Incident Response Orchestration Explained

Incident Response Orchestration ExplainedToday’s threat landscape is becoming more like a battlefield for businesses. Cyber criminals are becoming savvier and more relentless in their pursuit of network access and sensitive data. As such, organizations must leverage the advanced technologies that are available to them to create a stronger defense and combat attacks at the earliest point. Incident response orchestration is emerging as one of the most powerful and effective tools for accomplishing this goal.

What is incident response orchestration?

Orchestration is a cybersecurity strategy that effectively brings together the people, processes and technologies that are all involved in responding to and remediating cyber-attacks. The purpose of IR orchestration is to empower your security team by arming them with the information, tools and processes they need to be able to react quickly, effectively and accurately when a threat arises.

Incident response orchestration is different from basic IR automation because it is designed to support and optimize the humans involve in cybersecurity. For instance, IR orchestration can help the response team understand the context of an attack and aid in faster, better decision making.

This distinction is important because cybersecurity is ripe with uncertainty. Responding to a threat is rarely as straightforward as one might imagine. Automation is a powerful and effective tool for quickly and efficiently executing security tasks, but since threats are constantly evolving and attackers are changing their tactics at a rapid rate, human decision-making still plays an important role in keeping the organization safe. This is why automation and orchestration are so often linked.

IR Orchestration Applied

As with most technologies, incident response orchestration can be adapted and applied differently depending on the specific needs of the organization. Overall, however, it should serve as a tool for mapping out the company’s threat landscape, security environment and organizational priorities.

In action, incident response orchestration plays a critical role across the entire Security Operations Center (SOC), particularly when it comes to escalation and remediation. When an incident is escalated from an alert by the automation tool, a record is automatically created in the incident response platform.

From there, the platform automatically gathers, organizes and delivers incident response context. At this point, when security personnel step in to handle the escalation, they already have the valuable information they need to take the most appropriate action for effective remediation. 

There are a number of different ways incident response orchestration can be leveraged, but the end goal is almost always the same: to place IT security personnel in the best possible position to respond to threats.

Of course, with the right automation and orchestration platform, most of the work can be handled without the need for human intervention at all. Threats are detected, isolated and eradicated before they have the opportunity to do irreparable harm. By integrating the two technologies, however, you can create an IT environment in which human and machine work together to achieve optimal performance and maximum protection against today’s cyber threats.

To learn more about how Ayehu’s orchestration and automation platform can turbo charge your security incident response and resolution, click here to download our solution brief or start experiencing it for yourself with a free 30 day trial.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

How The Internet of Things will Complicate Incident Response

How The Internet of Things will Complicate Incident ResponseBy most accounts, the concept of the Internet of Things (or IoT for short) is being regarded in a positive light. After all, connecting our day to day activities with smart devices will likely make our lives easier, right? There is, however, at least one area for which the IoT will likely cause some issues, at least at first. That is, incident response. Let’s take a look at how the two will work together and how some of the inevitable challenges can be overcome.

The main reason why the IoT is poised to complicate the job of IT professionals everywhere is really quite simple: security. With increased connectivity and more widespread use of cloud technology comes increased risk of cyber-attacks. This is made even more challenging as organizations begin to adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. Then, not only will IT be responsible for making sure internal infrastructures are kept safe, but a host of external devices as well.

All this being said, there are certain adaptations that can be made to existing incident response plans that will account for the impact of the IoT:

Changing Regulations – Regardless of industry, there will be certain changes to regulations that will be designed to protect sensitive data from security risks. This is especially the case in fields such as health care, which is already heavily regulated by HIPAA. Incident response plans will need to be modified to remain in compliance with these changes in order to avoid being targeted and penalized.

Prioritization of Critical Systems – More widespread connectivity will mean a more enhanced prioritization of which systems are most critical to the organization. For instance, while one desktop or printer failing may not significantly impact operations, shutting down an entire infrastructure can be nothing short of devastating.

A Group Effort – Where incident response used to be solely the responsibility of IT personnel, the IoT may change this to some degree. Given the fact that so many additional devices will be present, IR will need to be more of a group effort, involving everyone from HR to legal. To that end, IT leaders will need to clearly define each department’s role, setting expectations and effectively communicating requirements.

The Right Tools – An evolving incident response strategy must be established upon a solid foundation of technology. Quality tools, like automation, can help streamline the process and provide the agility to adapt to the changing landscape of IT.

There’s no question that the IoT is poised to take the business world by storm. At the same time, security breaches are becoming more frequent and complex. To ensure ongoing protection, IT professionals must find a way to adapt their procedures to include the changes that are already happening as well as those that are certain to come in the not-so-distant future.

Is your incident response plan strong enough to survive the IoT wave? Get started today!

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Top 10 Reasons Why IT Process Automation is Being Embraced by CIO’s

If you haven’t yet heard of this amazing technology called IT Process Automation, then it’s high time you come out from below that rock you’ve been hiding under. In simplest of terms, ITPA takes the specific pain points within a business – those time-consuming, manual tasks that are sucking up valuable resources and killing productivity – and automates them to instantly improve efficiency and service levels, reduce recovery time and so much more. But that’s all generally speaking. What are the real, meat and potato reasons why CIOs, IT managers and production operation support teams are adopting IT Process Automation?

Here are the top ten, in no particular order:

1. Automating the remediation of incidents and problems. Not only does this free up the resources of time and manpower, but it also significantly reduces human error associated with manual incident monitoring and management. An alert comes in, it automatically gets assigned to the appropriate person, and it’s easily tracked from start to finish.

2. Empowering frontline IT operators (L1 and L2) to resolve more incidents faster. Automation eliminates the need for escalation to higher level teams, freeing those high level employees to focus on more important business-critical matters while empowering lower level staff to take on more responsibilities. This also reduces turnaround time because there’s less red tape.

3. Reducing floods of alerts from monitoring systems and event sources. Better organization and management of incoming alerts means better service levels and fewer delays for delivery of that service. Critical alerts are prioritized and assigned immediately to the correct party for timely and accurate resolution.

4. Automating repetitive maintenance procedures and daily operational tasks. IT professionals possess skills and talent that could be much better allocated elsewhere than simply spent processing repetitive operational tasks. Automating these tasks, such as password resets and service restarts, let’s technology do the heavy lifting, freeing up talented personnel to be able to focus on key issues that would further improve service levels.

5. Creating a consistent, repeatable process for change management. Effective change management is all about organization. IT Process Automation provides management with the tools they need to create comprehensive processes that can be used again and again to produce the same desired results over time.

6. Connecting ITIL best practices with incident and problem management processes. The goal of any operation should be to manage workflow in a manner that is the most efficient and effective, both internally and externally. When ITIL best practices are integrated with the best practices in place for incident management, the organization as a whole becomes much more productive and profitable.

7. Documenting and capturing incident resolution and audit trails. Staying compliant with government and other regulatory bodies remains a top priority among businesses across just about every industry. ITPA provides the ability to consistently remain in compliance and be well prepared should an audit take place.

8. Building an up-to-date knowledgebase to reduced training time and cost. Bringing new employees up to speed costs time and money. Having a comprehensive knowledgebase and easy to implement and learn software reduces the time spent training, improving efficiency of both existing and new employees.

9. Integrating on-premise systems management tools and process with ITSM tools. Service management and IT Process Automation go hand in hand. By joining the two, your organization will be better poised for success.

10. Establishing end-user self-service portal for better services and fulfillment requests. Technological advances have empowered people to be able to manage so many of their day to day tasks on their own. IT Process Automation leverages this concept, providing self-service options for the end-user which subsequently improves customer service and operational efficiency at the same time.

Ready to jump on the IT Process Automation bandwagon?

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

5 Reasons Why You Should Automate Incident Management

Incident ManagementIncident management plays a critical role in the ongoing success of any organization. This process allows businesses to quickly identify, analyze and address problems as quickly as possible so that normal business operations may be restored in a timely manner. While incident management is certainly not a new concept, unfortunately many organizations are still employing this process manually which can significantly limit its effectiveness. That said, here are 5 reasons why you should automate incident management.

1. Saves Time and Money

Because IT Process Automation significantly reduces manual effort, it subsequently saves time for each user that plays a role in the process. By automating simple decisions, your team is free to focus on other important business functions, improving productivity as a whole. The process itself is also expedited, which leads to a speedier resolution and an overall reduction in costs to restore normal business operations. Finally, automating the incident management workflow allows businesses to take a more proactive approach, thereby reducing the risk of future expenditure.

2. Improves Communication

A successful ITIL incident management process flow involves 4 key steps – detection, diagnosis, repair and recovery. In order to accomplish this, there must be seamless communication amongst everyone involved, particularly in the notification and escalation process. Manual incident management leaves tremendous room for miscommunication, which can lead to wasted effort and a delay in resolution. By employing IT process automation, your team will have access to bi-directional communication channels – such as email, phone, SMS, and IM – which allow personnel to actively take ownership of an incident and see it through to the recovery phase.

3. Centralizes Data Access and Control

In today’s mobile environment, being able to access information remotely is crucial. It is important that your incident management tools will provide a central dashboard to allow on-demand access to real time status reports, events documentation and statistical information. Whether your team is all in one location, or working together from across the globe, automating your incident management will make it simple and efficient for everyone to stay connected and informed throughout the entire process.

4. Improves Internal Planning and Organization

In order for incident management to be effective, management must be able to adequately plan and organize the process, from start to finish. Automation significantly improves the ability to do this by providing all of the tools necessary to maintain control over the resolution process. For instance, management is able to instantly identify who took ownership at each point during the incident management workflow, and can be promptly notified of any escalations, improving the chances of a timely recovery and resolution.

5. Streamlines the Resolution Process

One of the nicest things about automated incident management is that it drastically streamlines the entire resolution process. From timely notification and escalation, to providing those involved in the process with the ability to initiate automated corrective actions as needed, the entire process becomes integrated and organized for the best possible outcome. As a result, the availability of critical systems improves, as does the overall quality of service.

In addition to all of these points, automated incident management also reduces the risk of human error that is inherent in manual processes. As a result, your organization will see a significant improvement in communication, better access to centralized data, and a more streamlined and organized workflow, all while saving time and money. The question then becomes not “why should you automate incident management”, but why haven’t you yet?

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate