Can your business afford NOT to invest in security automation?

With the growing use of cloud technology today, risk management is becoming an increasing priority among businesses across the globe. But simply employing incident management processes isn’t enough to truly keep an organization protected. Critical security events require real-time responses to mitigate risks and reduce costs. After all, catching an incident after the fact isn’t much better than not catching it at all. So what’s the best way for businesses to manage their security events in the most effective and efficient way possible? The answer is security automation.

When a critical incident occurs, time is of the utmost importance. Every moment that passes following a security event can cost your organization. With security automation, the very instance an incident occurs notification is immediately sent and appropriately escalated. This eliminates the risk of human errors and inaccuracies and saves time by replacing the need for manual escalation.

Automated responses to security events help to:

  • Create standard security processes, reduce manual work and provide more consistent, reliable response actions
  • Reduce workload – respond to weaknesses or policy violations with automated review and remediation through automated processes while preserving best security practices
  • Reduce response times – integrate with both configuration assessments and event management to provide the fastest response to incidents with the maximum information available to your security administrators
  • Security automation helps reduce the costs of securing systems and network while achieving compliance, enables more scalable, repeatable compliance programs and streamlines your organization’s compliance efforts

Can your business afford NOT to invest in security automation?

A few examples of automated Security Information and Event Management processes include:

  • Automatic response to security events such as password resets or privilege changes
  • Automated analysis processes using context for security events including assessment reports relevant to the event and remedies
  • Rapid and targeted escalation of monitoring for privileged user activity associated with insider threats

Not all security automation products are created equal…

While automation is, indeed, a highly effective method to manage security event response for your business, it’s important to point out that not all security automation products and solutions on the market are created equal. It’s not enough to simply send out notifications or provide a list of incidents. To truly be effective, the program you choose must be feature-rich and comprehensive. Some of the critical features to look for include:

  • Real-time status reports of all incidents across the organization
  • Distribution of incidents by severity and priority
  • Verified ownership assignment
  • Immediate contact with incident owners
  • Customizable escalation path
  • Remote incident management capability

The more comprehensive the suite, the better your security incident management will be handled. This means a significant reduction in mean time to resolution (MTTR), which means improved performance and mitigated damages. In fact, with the right product you can reduce downtime by as much as 90% simply by automating incident management processes, providing sophisticated notifications and escalations procedures, and delivering full transparency of the entire incident management process to all IT operational staff and management.

Can your business afford the risk of a delayed response to a serious security event? Don’t take any chances. Let security automation help protect your business. Click here to start your free trial today.

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5 More Cybersecurity Predictions for 2017 – Part 2

5 More Cybersecurity Predictions for 2017 – Part 2Yesterday we shared five of our predictions for how we believe cybersecurity will play out over the next 12 months. Today we’re putting together a handful more that we feel deserve honorable mention. Planning ahead is a huge part of keeping your organization protected from cyber threats and potential breaches. By having an idea what to expect, you can better strategize your defense so that you’re ready to take on anything that comes your way. With that said, here are five more cybersecurity predictions for 2017.

  1. Open source vulnerabilities. Over the past decade or more, open source has become a much more widely used development tool, even being embraced by such big names as Google and Facebook. But as this adoption continues to grow, we can expect the threat of hackers to also increase, as these criminals have discovered that applications are a potential point of entry for many organizations’ networks. Companies – especially those embracing the IoT – must do a better job of managing and keeping code secure and staying up to date on all patches. Otherwise, they will likely be targeted in 2017.
  2. Over-trust in insurance. Despite spending a ton of money and investing endless time and resources into fortifying cybersecurity defenses, many companies continue to experience breaches. As such, there has been a marked shift toward purchasing insurance in an attempt to mitigate potential damages. It should be known, however, that while many insurers will certainly issue policies, they won’t necessarily be dishing out money for claims very easily. Some will cut back or eliminate their cyber liability coverage altogether. The best way to limit damages from cyber-attacks is to invest in technology that will improve detection and incident response/remediation.
  3. Threats increase in volume and complexity. With the rise of advanced persistent threats (APTs), it’s hard for some to fathom how these risks could possibly increase, but all indications are that this will, indeed, be the case over the coming months. Even small businesses won’t be safe against the onslaught of incoming cyber-attacks. To prevent potential breaches, companies must employ advanced cybersecurity technology, such as automation, that can effectively match what the hackers are using and provide round-the-clock protection without the need for human intervention.
  4. Ransomware continues to grow. In 2016, the world saw a massive increase in viruses dubbed ransomware, which is basically a malware that infiltrates and locks up critical files, applications and systems unless and until the victim pays a “ransom.” Unfortunately, experts are predicting that these threats will only continue to grow and get worse in the New Year. The best way to defend against these inevitable attacks is to employ the use of cybersecurity playbooks, which automatically pinpoint, isolate and eradicate the problem. And, of course, always backing up critical data is also strongly recommended.
  5. Cybersecurity will become a competitive advantage. More widespread adoption of cybersecurity technology and best practices will be driven by the fact that organizations of every size and industry can no longer ignore the impact and likelihood of cyber-attacks. Likewise, consumers and business leaders also recognize the critical importance of data security when choosing B2C and B2B commerce relationships. Those that are forward-thinking and make cybersecurity a top priority will ultimately be the ones that emerge victorious over others in their respective marketplaces. In other words, 2017 will be a starting point in which data protection will become a competitive selling point.

Are you doing enough to protect your organization against these and other potential security threats? Download your free 30 day trial of the Ayehu security automation and orchestration platform and fortify your defense before it’s too late.

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5 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2017 – Part 1

5 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2017 – Part 1It’s virtually impossible to accurately predict everything that can and probably will happen in the realm of cybersecurity over the next year. Today’s hackers are a whole new breed. They are constantly scheming, plotting, looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit and improving their tactics to achieve their desired results. But while these sophisticated criminals will certainly give security experts a run for their money, there are a few things we believe we can expect to occur over the next six to twelve months. In the first of a two part series, here are five cybersecurity predictions to keep in mind as we head into 2017.

  1. IoT security takes a front row seat. As more and more organizations and individuals alike are adopting smart, connected technology, more doors will be opened for potential security breaches. That means everything from consumer devices, like smart watches, to the plethora of intuitive devices being used throughout offices across the globe will become even more of a focal point for hackers in 2017. Cybersecurity pros will need to pay close attention to keeping these ports of entry safeguarded.
  2. A move to greater cloud adoption. In years past, organizations that were most vulnerable to cyber-attacks, such as those in the financial industry, have been leery about adopting cloud technology. But as newer, stronger and more enhanced compliance, regulations and security features have been rolled out, more of these institutions and companies will begin making the shift. Additionally, more organizations will begin allowing the increased use of connected devices within their networks in conjunction with cloud solutions. As such, a renewed focus on developing and implementing stronger cybersecurity methods to address the increase in vulnerabilities will be equally important.
  3. Greater government involvement. In the US as well as other major countries around the world, it’s become abundantly clear that the topic of cybersecurity isn’t just about corporate network breaches and consumer data protection. In the wake of the fact that cyber criminals are now leveraging the internet to further their own political or social agendas (think power grid outages and water system interferences). As a result, world governments are cracking down and instituting stricter and more complex regulations surrounding cybersecurity. These changes will also affect businesses, so leaders should take note.
  4. A steady growth in insider threats. It’s no secret that one of the weakest links in corporate security lies with the employees and other “insiders,” like contractors and consultants. Unfortunately, despite this relatively widespread awareness, successful security breaches through tactics like phishing schemes and ransomware continue to rise. To combat this, organizations must reframe how they approach cybersecurity, acknowledging that the threat often lies within and investing in the appropriate safeguard measures, like employee training and automated incident response.
  5. Addressing the skills gap. While there have been recent strives made in terms of identifying cybersecurity as a critical role for up-and-coming IT scholars to focus their studies on, until these professionals officially become available, the skills gap will remain. As such, organizations must find a way to bridge this gap, whether it’s the lack of qualified experts on the market or the lack of resources necessary to employ such experts. Expect to see increased reliance on MSSPs and/or greater internal adoption of automation to help lighten this load over the coming months.

Are you prepared for these predictions? Will your organization remain secure over the coming year? Stay tuned for part two as we reveal five more cybersecurity trends that we believe will occur over the next 12 months.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Cyber Security Incident Response: Shifting from Reactive to Proactive

Cyber Security Incident Response: Shifting from Reactive to ProactiveIn 2015, Symantec reported a total of 9 “mega” security breaches with the number of reported exposed identities reaching an alarming 429 million. Of course, this is only inclusive of those organizations that shared their data. Many companies choose instead not to reveal the complete extent of their data breaches, which means in reality, these numbers are likely much higher. What this tells us is that business leaders are struggling with their cyber security incident response, and often with devastating results.

What many fail to realize is that the issue lies not so much in whether or not a breach happens, but goes much deeper into what must be done if and when that breach does occur. It’s the aftermath of a cyber-incident that truly impacts an organization. System down-time can cut directly into profits while precious data can be exploited, leaving the business’ reputation in shambles. Ultimately, it is the hours, days, weeks, months and sometimes even years that follow a successful cyber-attack that cause the most damage.

So, how can this be addressed? Well, for one thing, security professionals must begin to shift their thinking and their approach to cyber security incident response from one that is reactive – once a breach occurs – to proactive, preventing that breach from occurring in the first place. To accomplish this, the incident response plan must incorporate a strategic balance of prevention, detection and response.

These days, having a basic monitoring system in place is no longer adequate. Cyber-criminals are devoted to their craft and they are working tirelessly to identify new vulnerabilities and develop more pervasive, intricate and often creative ways to expose and exploit those weaknesses. They are also attacking at a relentless rate. To combat these increasingly complex and sophisticated attacks, enterprise security personnel must be prepared to do battle using the same technologies and mindset as their enemy.

Monitoring systems must be fortified and supported by round-the-clock, closed loop processes that can not only instantly identify incoming threats as soon as they occur, but also immediately analyze and prioritize them based on the appropriate steps to resolution. Incorporating automation into the cyber security incident response provides this high-level of protection. What’s more, because intuitive technology is doing most of the work, that protection is available 24/7/365 – something even the most highly skilled, dedicated human staff cannot accomplish.

Automated cyber security incident response also helps organizations achieve the last piece of the security puzzle: remediation. And by eliminating the need for human intervention in the majority of incidents, the majority of threats can be stopped in their tracks quickly and effectively – before they have the opportunity to wreak havoc. Those rare incidents that do require attention from human decision makers can be automatically categorized and prioritized, with notification sent to the appropriate party. Once action is taken, the automated workflow can then continue until the issue is resolved.

The bottom line is, if the response to a cyber-incident occurs only after the breach is successful, it’s already too late. Instead, security professionals must think before, rather than beyond the breach. Automation technology can help achieve a greater level of preparedness that can more effectively protect against security incidents.

Travelers 2015 Business Risk Index reports that cyber-security is now considered the second biggest issue keeping business leaders up at night. Sadly, it also happens to be one of the risks they feel least prepared to handle.

Are you among these concerned professionals? Don’t wait. Download your free 30 day trial of eyeShare today and make your cyber security incident response as strong as it can be.

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Bridging the Gap Between Security and IT Operations

Bridging the Gap Between Security and IT OperationsAll too often there is a serious disconnect between a company’s security and operations teams which, on the surface, may not seem like much to be concerned about. Unfortunately, a lack of synergy between these two critical groups could make the organization much more vulnerable to a cyber-attack. For instance, a breach is discovered by the security team but the ops team is slow to react or IT operations might be focused on correcting an application failure that, in reality, is a system hack. These two teams must find a way to work in unison. The good news is, incident response automation can help bridge this gap.

The underlying issue stems from the fact that, traditionally, IT operations and enterprise security were considered entirely separate functions. These silos unintentionally made it difficult if not impossible to quickly identify and respond to potential security threats. As IT departments have continued to grow and take on more responsibility, and with cyber incidents becoming more complex and relentless by the day, it’s become increasingly evident that collaboration between the two departments is absolutely necessary in order to ensure compliance and security of the organization.

Defining Roles & Responsibilities

The functions of each of these teams, at least from a traditional standpoint, are pretty straightforward and logical. Enterprise security is tasked with defining, documenting and implementing the strategies for identifying and remediating potential threats to the network and the operations team is responsible for executing these strategies. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s much more convoluted and significantly more challenging. Some of the issues with this setup include:

  • Tasks are being performed manually or using individual, siloed tools. The result is a slower process that’s wrought with error.
  • Lack of integration amongst systems results in security and IT operations failing to share and manage data interdepartmentally, further isolating the functions of each team.
  • Security scanning tools that are audit-only and lack integrated remediation functionality (closed loop compliance). This approach can cause significant delays at critical moments.
Closing the Gap

In order to close the existing gap between security and IT operations within your organization, a fundamental shift in thinking must first take place, particularly around how the firm can and should handle risk and governance as well as achieve compliance. Furthermore, there must be a clear and complete understanding of what the goals are for each group. Ultimately, both teams want the best for the organization. Aligning the goals and tying them into each other can help them achieve this together.

To further address these challenges and create a more cohesive SecOps environment, technology that is designed to link and integrate systems can help significantly. Specifically, incident response automation that eliminates the time-consuming and error-prone manual tasks and provides visibility across both departments will not only help align the two groups together, but it can also dramatically improve the overall process of incident response, remediation and compliance. Employing such an intelligent solution can also lower costs, reduce risk and facilitate more effective collaboration between security and IT operations. As a result, the organization will maintain a much stronger, more fortified defense against potential attacks.

Are you struggling with fragmented systems and siloed teams? Is your enterprise secure enough to withstand the inevitable onslaught of cyber-attacks that are sure to come? Download a free 30 day trial of eyeShare today and start taking the steps to overcome this disconnect and create a more cohesive, collaborative and protected organization.

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Using Cyber Security Automation to Bridge the Skills Gap

Using Cyber Security Automation to Bridge the Skills GapThere’s a lot of talk lately about the importance of cyber security in order to prevent becoming a victim of the ever-increasing instances of online attacks and subsequent security breaches. Another area of glaring need that this movement has uncovered is the shortage of skilled professionals that are capable of handling sophisticated cyber-attacks. Do organizations now have to focus on hiring additional staff or invest in costly retraining of existing IT personnel if they are to keep their sensitive data secure? Not necessarily, thanks to cyber security automation.

If you think this skills gap is being overstated, think again. As recent as 2014, Cisco’s Annual Security Report indicated a worldwide shortage of security professionals topping out at around a million. Furthermore, other research has shown that anywhere from 25-35% of mid to large organizations believe they have a “problematic shortage” of IT and security skills. To address this glaring need, students are being encouraged to focus their studies on security-based programs, which means tomorrow’s IT professionals will be much more prepared to handle cyber-attacks. But what about today?

The problem is only being exacerbated by the marked increase in the number, frequency and complexity of incoming cyber incidents. In 2012, mobile malware issues rose by an alarming 400% in the US alone. There was also an increase in targeted cyber-attacks of more than 40% and the number of records that were compromised went up by 300%. And it’s not just the amount of attacks businesses must worry about. Cyber-attacks themselves are evolving and improving on an almost daily basis, exposing new vulnerabilities to account for. Without qualified security experts, how can a company possibly keep up?

First and foremost, these new and improved security threats, backed by enhanced technology, must involve an entirely new way of thinking and some ingenuity on the part of existing IT leaders. Without access to the highly skilled and specially trained workers necessary to combat these attacks, businesses must turn to the same technology that’s being used against them to bridge the gap and achieve solid protection and defense. This is where cyber security automation comes into play.

By fortifying the incident response strategy with automated technology, IT gains access to a virtual army of defenders that are at the ready, prepared to be deployed against would-be attackers at a moment’s notice. With cyber security automation, no stone will go unturned; no threat undetected. Even as the number and frequency of incoming attacks continue to rise at a head-spinning rate, automation will match it, incident for incident. Furthermore, each and every potential invasion will instantly be assessed, prioritized and addressed according to its risk level and other key criterion.

Even the most well-staffed, skilled IT department cannot keep up with this type of protection. In reality, even as more and more IT professionals complete their education and enter the workforce, the ability to stay a step ahead of cyber-attacks is something that human workers will simply be incapable of doing effectively – that is, without the assistance of technology. Those organizations that invest in cyber security automation now will continue to be rewarded for years to come with stronger defenses, more enhanced security and a greatly diminished risk of becoming the next target of cyber-crime.

Don’t let the skills gap make your organization more vulnerable to a cyber-attack. Take that first step and fortify your data protection with cyber security automation. All it takes is a simple click of a button.

Don’t wait – download your free trial now.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response