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Mitigating Damages with Automated Incident Response

Mitigate damages with automated incident response

2017 is coming to a close and if we’ve learned anything over the past 11 months, it’s that cyber-attackers are getting savvier and more relentless. Thankfully, we’ve also learned that having an automated incident response strategy could mean the difference between a mere blip on the radar and a potentially huge impact.

Here’s a recap of what the past year has taught us about cybersecurity.

Nobody is Immune

One of the most disturbing revelations from the growing cybersecurity events over the past year is the fact that not only did they impact tens of thousands of websites across the globe, but that many of those sites were among those people believe to be the most secure. For instance, a number of websites that were found to have been injected with the malicious script code, many were government sites as well as those ending in .edu. Prominent business sites were also among the targets of attacks. And, of course, we can’t forget small to mid-sized businesses that are also targets.

What this demonstrates is that nobody is 100% safe from a security threat. The key is having the right automated incident response plan in place to help identify threats as soon as they occur, before they have time to wreak havoc.

The Potential for Damages

While in some cases the attacks were rendered ineffective for one reason or another, that’s not to say that they’re not of significant concern. That’s because many attacks that occurred over the past year were launched as acts of reconnaissance in an attempt to learn more about users. The information gathered could very well be used in future attacks, which could include anything from SEO poisoning and the delivery of malware to compromised and unprotected users.

Automation = Mitigation

It’s important to point out that there is no way to totally prevent or completely avoid every potential attack that could occur. As criminals are becoming more sophisticated, their attempts are becoming equally complex. The best course of action is to develop and implement an automated incident response strategy that is comprehensive enough to help identify potential attacks immediately. Automation is critical to this process, as it allows round-the-clock surveillance and instant, automatic remediation.

By incorporating tools like IT process automation into your cybersecurity incident response plan, every single incident that could potentially be a threat is immediately identified and assessed behind the scenes (and without human intervention) to determine its validity and severity. The information gleaned from this evaluation is then used to determine the next steps in the process, whether it’s to execute a particular response automatically or to escalate the issue to be handled by the appropriate party.

Even though cyber-attacks cannot always be completely prevented, having a robust strategy in place allows for a more swift and effective response. This reduces the impact of an attack and subsequently allows for the mitigation of damages. For instance, instead of having to track back the cause of a system outage that has been allowed to perpetuate undetected for a long period of time (and a process that could take additional man hours, days, weeks or even months), automated incident response can quickly pinpoint the problem, helping you reduce downtime.

As we prepare to head into a new year, it’s important to ask yourself this question: does your security plan have what it takes to address the changing landscape of cybersecurity? Don’t become the next victim. Protect your business and your sensitive data by investing in automation. Take a test drive and experience it for yourself by clicking here.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Leveraging ITSM Automation to Achieve Digital Transformation

Leveraging ITSM Automation to Achieve Digital TransformationThese days everyone is buzzing about digital transformation in business, incorporating mobile, web, SaaS and the cloud to create a more connected and efficient working environment. This change is being driven by customers – both internal and external – that demand access to what they want or need at the click of a button. To remain competitive, organizations must achieve operational excellence and digital transformation is facilitating this. Adding automation into the mix can bring the entire process to the next level.

With all the changes happening in today’s workplace, it’s easy to overlook or sometimes even disregard the foundations of IT service management (ITSM) altogether. But getting away from these principles can be detrimental to whether or not your company is capable of navigating the choppy waters of change and coming out better, stronger and more agile on the other side. Recognizing and embracing the need for innovation and what ultimately supports successful digital transformation is critical. This is where ITSM can really make a significant impact.

Before a company can even hope to become more digital (and therefore more agile), IT must put in place a solid, reliable and well-performing system. A specific, defined and documented service catalog must be developed, service levels must be determined and communicated, and an incident response and resolution strategy must be established. This overall ITSM strategy can then be applied to operations to improve performance and shift from being reactive to proactive, particularly in terms of innovation.

By incorporating ITSM automation into the very foundation of your overall strategy, you can define and provide better SLAs, deliver greater service fulfillment and set up automated incident response and resolution to identify and resolve problems and application issues in mere seconds. As you consistently apply an ITSM automation strategy to application and services, productivity and efficiency will naturally improve. This will provide new opportunities to deliver better value and thereby make your organization more competitive.

Along with improving operations and achieving greater innovation for enhanced product and/or service delivery, ITSM automation can also help keep the organization safer on the cyber security front. Incident response is dramatically shortened because any and all incoming threats are immediately identified, evaluated and prioritized. Those incidents that can be handled without human intervention can be resolved automatically while those deemed critical can be escalated to receive prompt attention from the appropriate party.

Where ITSM automation really differentiates itself from traditional methodology – and therefore better facilitates digital transformation – is in its ultimate focus, which is on the entire process rather than each individual incident. Improved and more detailed documentation can help IT leaders identifies areas of weakness before they have the chance to become exploited. Existing and past policies and procedures can be continually improved to define and create more solid and effective best practices.

The bottom line is this: the closer we come to achieving operational excellence, IT agility and enhanced service management, the better we are able to achieve and maintain optimum customer satisfaction levels – both internally and externally. Adopting ITSM automation can facilitate smooth and successful digital transformation that ultimately elevates the level of competitiveness and solidifies the organization’s position as an industry leader.

Is your company on the right path toward achieving digital transformation? Could ITSM automation be the missing puzzle piece that gets you to your goal? Try it free for 30 days by downloading your trial of eyeShare now.





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




How to Reduce Network Downtime by 90%

According to Gartner, the costs associated with network downtime can range from an average of $5,600 per minute to well over $300k per hour. Of course, this estimate can vary greatly, depending on the size of the organization, the nature of the work being performed and a number of other factors.How to Reduce Network Downtime by 90%

Suffice it to say, though, that any amount of downtime can significantly impact your company’s bottom line. The time it takes to bring critical systems back up can mean the difference between a quick, painless recovery with minimal damages and the potential demise of your business.

The good news is, with the right strategy in place, you can effectively reduce network downtime by up to 90%. Here’s how.

Automate your incident management processes.

The best case scenario would always involve identifying and solving any incoming incidents before they have the chance to cause serious problems to your systems, applications and/or entire network. Without the right technology in place, this is next to impossible for human IT workers to manage – especially for larger enterprises. By automating these processes, every single incident that occurs is automatically identified, evaluated, prioritized and addressed accordingly without the need for human input. This can dramatically decrease the likelihood that an outage will occur in the first place, thereby preventing any network downtime.

Employ sophisticated notifications and escalations procedures.

In order for the incident management process to be executed flawlessly, the right individuals must receive notification in as timely and efficiently a manner as possible. For those instances in which an incident requires human attention, the automation tool can intuitively recognize and flag any potential issues and electronically assign them to the appropriate party. If that individual doesn’t respond, the next one in line will then be notified, and so forth. Escalations can also be handled in this manner, ensuring that any issues that could lead to potential network downtime are addressed immediately.

When IT staff responds, the system initiates an automatic follow-up message after a pre-defined timeframe. Once the problem is resolved the incident is closed and a recovery notification is distributed. If the problem remains open, an alert is automatically to the system administrator. This ensures that no incidents ever have the opportunity to go undetected or otherwise slip through the cracks.

Achieve full transparency of the entire incident management process.

Everyone in the IT department, but particularly those in management, should be able to determine who is working on what, the status of each incident and what next steps are needed. With the right automation solution, incidents are managed via a unified dashboard, which provides visibility and transparency throughout the entire incident management process. This further promotes problem ownership using bi-directional/ interactive communication for a more streamlined and efficient process. IT managers can quickly identify which team member is responsible for which issue and where they stand at any given moment.

Facilitate data analysis to develop and hone best practices.

The most effective way to develop best practices is to learn from past experiences. With automated incident management, IT leaders are able to generate in-depth reports on incident resolution performance and mean time to repair (MTTR), which will provide valuable insight into what processes worked well and where potential improvements can and should be made for a better future response strategy.

In addition to significantly reducing network downtime, automation also eliminates labor-intensive manual interactions and automates key processes such as system, network and application tasks. This will allow you to maintain control over these automated tasks and free up labor resources to focus on key issues that improve service levels.

If you’re ready to see this advanced technology in action, click here to request a free demo or better yet – download your free 30 day trial and experience it for yourself.



How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




Lack of Cyber Security Incident Response is Costing UK Businesses Big Time

Lack of Cyber Security Incident Response is Costing UK Businesses Big TimeBusinesses today are under increasing attack by cyber-criminals, with often devastating consequences. One area of the world where these risks are posing a significant impact is in the UK, where security breaches are responsible for an estimated £34.1bn. Yet, despite this alarming fact, almost half of all UK firms admit they do not have an adequate cyber security incident response strategy in place.

Growing Concern

A recent study polled over 500 UK businesses located about crimes that have impacted their organizations over the past year. The study also examined business leaders’ current concerns surrounding the important topics of security and resilience. What was revealed was that key leadership personnel rank computer viruses and data breaches (theft) as the biggest threats to their companies. Over 1/5th of survey respondents admitted they are “highly concerned” about these threats and 1/3 of those polled (mostly larger organizations) list fear of hackers as a significant concern.

A Costly Problem

About half of those surveyed said they currently have cyber security incident response plans in place that they feel adequately protects their networks. 18% said they have taken extensive measures to protect against hackers and nearly 3/4th confirmed that they have insurance in place to cover any losses caused by a successful breach. Yet, despite the growing concern and recognition of the increasing risks, 44% of UK firms admit they only have basic levels of protection in place. Furthermore, 1 in 8 has experienced infrastructure damage due to malware in the past year at a cost in time, money and resources of about £10,516.

Another revelation of the survey in question was that larger and mid-sized businesses are at a significantly higher risk of becoming a victim of malware – almost twice as likely as smaller companies. 7% of organizations polled had been struck by hackers over the past 12 months, with the average cost of each successful attack coming in somewhere around £16,264. The risks associated with data theft also increased along with the size of the business, with some 16% of larger firms becoming victims over the past year.

What is essentially playing out is akin to an arms race between businesses and those who wish to do them harm through cyber-attacks. Leaders must go beyond simply recognizing that these types of attacks are detrimental to their ongoing success and focus on developing strong, solid cyber security incident response strategies that will be agile enough to combat an increasingly sophisticated enemy. In other words, knowing and taking action are two entirely different things with equally contrasting outcomes.

A Proactive Approach

The solution lies in taking a much more proactive approach to cyber security. Organizations must focus on employing advanced solutions that can facilitate seamless integration with monitoring platforms to create a much more comprehensive and impenetrable defense. Additionally, attention must also be given to the development and implementation of strategies that deal with more timely and effective response and remediation. Incorporating automation into the mix can further enhance and fortify the process.

A Board-Meeting Must

As most professionals are painfully aware, the biggest hurdle to adopting and implementing any new business strategy is quite often obtaining buy-in from key decision makers. Yet, with the number of threats growing in complexity and frequency, there has never been a more important time to position the importance of a strong cyber security incident response plan in front of board members. IT personnel can more effectively persuade those in charge of budget allocation by offsetting the investment with the costs and other critical consequences of successful cyber breaches to demonstrate quantifiable ROI.

Regardless of tactic taken, it is absolutely imperative that the topic of cyber security be placed front and center until it is properly addressed. If you are concerned that your organization isn’t adequately protected from would-be cyber-attacks, the time to take action is now.

Get started by downloading a free 30 day trial and help prevent your UK firm from becoming another statistic.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




How Automated Cyber Security Incident Response Can Add Business Value

How Automated Cyber Security Incident Response Can Add Business ValueThe main benefit of an effective cyber security incident response strategy is obvious. The stronger your defense to potential attacks, the lower the chances of your sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. But a good IR isn’t just about protection. If it’s built strong enough, your cyber-security strategy can actually add real, quantifiable value to your organization as a whole. Here’s how.

Improved Operational Efficiency – How much time is your IT staff spending chasing down potential incidents that turn out to be false positives? How much resources are wasted on a regular basis trying to remediate problems and get critical systems back up and running? The right cyber security incident response strategy, particularly one that leverages automation, can help eliminate the false-positive conundrum and allow a more proactive approach that prevents outages from occurring in the first place.

Better Allocation of Resources – Even the most highly skilled IT professionals can’t be on 24/7/365. What’s more, the bigger the organization, the greater the number and frequency of incoming attacks. Fatigue and human error can put a huge damper on the process of cyber security incident response, often leading to even bigger problems above and beyond those that are caused by the incidents themselves. When automation is incorporated, these issues are eliminated and human capital can be better leveraged for greater business benefit.

Reduced Costs – How much is your organization currently investing in incident management? Chances are, if your IT is handling this task through manual processes or using antiquated systems, you’re wasting valuable revenue and getting little to no return. With automated cyber security incident response, the costs associated with managing incoming threats can be greatly diminished. That savings can then be applied to other key business initiatives, such as growth or expansion.

Stronger Market Reputation – Think about the world-renowned brands that were recently in the news thanks to a successful cyber-security breach. Such reputational damage can take years to recover from. Some organizations are never able to bounce back. By making cyber security incident response a priority, you can keep your company’s name out of the negative headlines and maintain a greater degree of trust within the marketplace.

Of course, the main purpose of incident response is to protect your company’s assets from would-be criminals. The good news is, with the right strategy, you can achieve much more than just a more secure cyber environment. You can actually strengthen and improve the overall strength, performance and reputation of your company as a whole.

Is your cyber security incident response plan strong enough? Could you be missing out on the key benefits listed above? Don’t wait another moment. Download your free trial today and start adding value to your business today.





How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




Is Your Cyber Security Incident Response Plan Really Up to Par?

Is Your Cyber Security Incident Response Plan Really Up to Par?Unfortunately, today’s IT professionals know all too well that we live in a “when, not if” world of cyber-security threats. With attacks becoming more and more sophisticated, complex and effective, and the ongoing, relentless persistence of would-be hackers, no organization is safe from becoming a potential target. If you haven’t assessed the status of your cyber security incident response strategy lately, chances are you are more vulnerable than you may think.

Application and Software Security

Like it or not, every single piece of software out there has some type of vulnerability. What’s more, many of these potential risk factors have never even been tested. It’s only a matter of time before these dangers are discovered and exploited by cyber-criminals. So what can you do? Simple. Take a defensive stance and a proactive approach using automation as your foundation for security. That way as soon as an incident occurs, it can be automatically and instantly addressed.

Data Enrichment Capabilities

When a cyber-attack occurs, there’s plenty of information that will inevitably be generated about the incident. To truly protect against these damages, IT personnel need much more than just basic incident data. They must also collect and analyze relevant information about the context of the incident, as well as its legitimacy and severity. By leveraging automation as part of a comprehensive cyber security incident response strategy, valuable data can be correlated from multiple systems and instantly evaluated, categorized and prioritized.

Saving Time and Money

Most experienced IT pros will tell you that they spend the majority of their time not addressing the overall big-picture of cyber-attacks, but rather putting out fires and managing internal issues. Not only is this extremely time consuming, but it’s also a waste of valuable money. Incorporating automation into the cyber security incident response strategy reduces IT department workload by eliminating the need for personnel to respond to weaknesses manually.

Furthermore, response times are dramatically decreased, as are the costs associated with securing systems and networks while simultaneously enabling more scalable, effective incident responses. It also helps to streamline compliance efforts.

Staying a Step Ahead

The best way to thwart would-be cyber-attacks is to prepare for them ahead of time. With the right automation tool, part of an organization’s cyber security incident response plan can include the identification and development of “what if” scenarios and the subsequent cultivation of IT security best practices and pre-defined remediation procedures. By planning ahead, your company will be much better positioned to ward off attacks and minimize any damages suffered as a result of successful infiltrations. Essentially, automation allows you to fight fire with fire, drastically decreasing the potential risks associated with cyber security incidents.

If you haven’t conducted an audit of your cyber security incident response strategy any time recently, chances are you are ripe to become a target in the near future. Protect your business, your sensitive data and your precious reputation by investing in a solid incident response plan that has automation as its foundation.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Get started today by downloading your free 30 day trial of eyeShare.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




Too Many Cyber Security Alerts, Not Enough Teams? No Problem!

Too Many Cyber Security Alerts, Not Enough Teams? No Problem!As security breaches continue to plague companies across the globe, it’s becoming increasingly evident that assembling and launching cyber security incident response teams is vital. So what happens when you’re working with a tight budget and simply cannot afford to gather a group of top IT talent to handle your incident response needs? Does that mean you’ll just be left to fend for yourself, assuming unlimited risk of cyber-attacks? The good news is no. Here’s why.

Too Many Cyber Security Alerts, Not Enough Teams? No Problem!

IT Process Automation (ITPA) can provide the ideal solution to the needs of organizations of every size and industry, whether it’s a smaller operation or an enterprise level firm. After all, budgetary restrictions affect businesses in every class. Rather than bringing in more IT professionals to handle incoming alerts and manage the response process, these companies can instead rely on technology to help close the gap while they remain a step ahead of potential security breaches.

What an automated incident response play book does is it detects alerts as soon as they occur. These notifications may be nothing to be concerned about, but they may be indicators that someone unauthorized to do so is trying to access sensitive data. As the world learned from the Target debacle of a few years ago, not staying on top of these incidents can cause catastrophic problems for the company. Sadly, the retailer simply didn’t have the resources in place to weed through every incoming alert and determine whether they were actual threats that required attention.

Had Target employed the use of IT Process Automation, either solely or in conjunction with other existing monitoring platforms, the breach that cost millions of customers their personal information could have been avoided. It’s not that they needed more personnel. It’s that if they had the right tools in place when the initial incident occurred, the right existing IT personnel would have been notified and action could have been taken immediately.

With a sophisticated automation product, the entire incident response process can be run smoothly and effectively. The moment a threat is made, it is detected by the system and evaluated for accuracy and seriousness. Actual incidents are then prioritized and the appropriate steps are taken to address the situation. This may be completely automated, or it may trigger the need for human input. In the latter case, the appropriate party will be notified and the system will wait for instruction on how to proceed. With a quality IT Process Automation product, this can be done from anywhere through remote capability.

There are a lot of options when it comes to building an incident response play book. They can be developed based on real-life use cases to make them more effective in detecting and resolving incidents in a timely manner. Furthermore, this type of IT Process Automation tool can be integrated with existing threat and vulnerability detection systems to create a more robust and solid security strategy. With the right system in place, incident response time can be reduced from hours to mere minutes.

There’s no question that organizations across the world are facing the need to beef up their security plans and improve their incident response processes. With IT Process Automation, the need to take on more staff at a much higher expenditure is no longer necessary. Instead, technology can be seamlessly implemented to create a more efficient and highly effective process, giving your organization greater protection against future cyber threats.

Is your business as safe as it should be?
eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response