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The Importance of Maturity in Security Incident Response Automation

With cyber-attacks on the rise and becoming more and more sophisticated, the need for quality security incident response automation products is also increasing. As with any other technology product, there are a wide variety of vendors offering this type of solution, with many new players emerging at a rapid pace. It’s important to note, however, that not all automation products are created equal. Let’s consider the importance of choosing a mature, established IT Process Automation (ITPA) product and the risks associated with electing a newer option.

The lure of newer products typically stems from budgetary needs. An emerging software provider may offer an ITPA solution at a discounted rate to attract more business. The problem with this is, as the old adage states, you get what you pay for. While not all newer products are necessarily bad, there is an inherent risk involved with choosing a product based on price and ending up with something that isn’t quite up to par. The result is often a solution that doesn’t quite meet the needs of the business or cannot perform at the level desired.

The fact is, security incident response is one of the most important tasks for businesses today. Regardless of size or industry, every company in the world is at risk of having their sensitive data compromised, and the implications can be nothing short of devastating. Whether it’s an incident that causes widespread outages or costly system down time or a serious security breech in which confidential information ends up in the wrong hands, businesses can end up on the brink of losing everything.

For something so critical, it’s equally important that the product chosen to prevent such a catastrophic event be of the highest quality. The most effective way to ensure this is by carefully selecting a security IT Process Automation provider that has years of experience in IT Process Automation and can back their product up with real numbers and proof of performance.

One area in which maturity becomes even more crucial is that of integration. Most companies already have security incident and event management (SIEM) tools in place to monitor incoming threats. To maximize security and create a more close-looped, end to end process, the right ITPA product can be easily integrated with the existing monitoring tools. Newer products often lack this ability, or they are not developed and honed enough to integrate seamlessly. This leaves the business at a greater risk, defeating the purpose of the investment in IT Process Automation.

Ayehu has nearly a decade of experience in IT Process Automation and we are continuously exploring ways to bring that knowledge and experience into the SOC world. We have made some excellent progress with clients who run their SIEM tools with our eyeShare solution for SIM-SOC to automate the alert response, incorporate data enrichment into the SIM tools, as well as managed automated containment and risk mitigation. The below image demonstrates the process more clearly.
The Importance of Maturity in Security Incident Response Automation

You care about the security of your business. Don’t settle for less than a robust product from an experienced, mature IT Process Automation partner.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




10 Ways to Reduce Cyber Security Threats with Automation

How to Create an Effective Incident Response Plan to Avoid Cyber Security AttacksIn today’s day and age, especially given recent events, concern about cyber security is at an all-time high. Businesses, consumers and employees all want to be certain that their sensitive information remains safe and secure at all times. Just consider the recent security breech that occurred with major retailer Target, through which the sensitive financial information of millions of people was compromised by a hacker. So, how can you be sure that the confidential data your organization is responsible for will remain safe from a potential cyber threat? Simple: through Automation. Here’s how.

You probably already have some type of security information and event management (SIEM) system in place, which is designed to protect sensitive data from being accessed by unauthorized parties. The right IT process automation software can essentially integrate with that existing system to both enhance and extend its capabilities. The result is a closed-loop automated process that helps to identify security incidents the moment they occur so they can be addressed immediately. Furthermore, because this is no longer done manually, operational efficiency will improve as an added bonus.

The way it works is simple. Security threats are identified right away so they can be evaluated to determine their level of importance. With the right product, this part of the workflow can incorporate human decision making. The security analyst can review all detected threats, verify their severity and then determine the next step in addressing each one. IT Process Automation is then reinitiated and the workflow can continue instantaneously. The appropriate tasks can be executed over either physical, virtual or cloud environments. IT process automation can monitor security threats both on a case by case basis and via routine scheduled scans to proactively identify and prevent security vulnerabilities.

There are 10 distinct ways that IT Process Automation can help businesses reduce cyber security threats, as follows:
  1. Capture SIEM system security events and automatically execute specified procedures to extract additional information, manage incident resolution and communicate with relevant personnel as needed to solve more complex events.
  2. Capture antivirus system alerts and execute policies to prevent intrusions and the spread of viruses and other dangerous external threats.
  3. Monitor the availability and functioning of internal security systems.
  4. Remotely disconnect any unauthorized devices and/or computers from the network instantly via email or SMS.
  5. Remotely disable/lock access for hostile users immediately via email or SMS.
  6. Conduct remote, on-demand checks of users who are currently logged in to a certain workstation, using either email or SMS.
  7. Generate daily reports of Active Directory (AD) locked users.
  8. Generate daily reports of AD users that haven’t logged in to the domain during or within certain timeframes.
  9. Generate reports of AD users whose passwords are about to expire within the next few days, as well as send alerts via email/SMS.
  10. Enable/disable user logins within certain time frames to maintain better control over remote user connections.

These days, cyber threats are everywhere and businesses of every size and industry must be aware of the dangers, and take proactive measures to protect the sensitive data that they are in possession of.

By integrating IT automation with your SIEM solution, you can more effectively achieve this goal and provide an added level of protection to your sensitive information.





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




Top 10 Cyber Security Trends for 2015

Top 10 Cyber Security Trends for 2015The topic of cyber security is a hot one these days, and poised to remain that way for the foreseeable future.

With online security threats becoming much more sophisticated, businesses of every shape, size and industry are finding themselves in a position to spend time, money and resources to keep sensitive data safe. One of the most effective ways to do so is to remain abreast of what’s happening within the cyber security sphere so you can stay ahead of the game. That said, let’s take a look at the top 10 trends expected to affect this area over the coming months.

1. Shift to More Holistic and Flexible Strategies – With the level, intensity and type of threats changing on an almost daily basis, IT professionals will need to adapt to address these changes. A robust, automated system for monitoring and managing incidents will be required.

2. Integration vs. Single Solutions – There will be no one-size-fits-all approach to handling cyber-attacks. To the contrary, various technologies and systems will need to seamlessly work together to achieve the greatest level of protection. The key will be to find solutions that offer comprehensive integration while also providing out-of-the-box, user-friendly features.

3. Surge in Regulatory and Compliance Requirements – With the increase in security threats, we will also see a rise in the regulations surrounding compliance, particularly within the Government, Retail, Banking and Commodities sectors. These regulations will differ by country and will be based on industry best practices.

4. Rise of Mobile Malware – Cyber-attacks will no longer be confined solely to traditional servers and other equipment. Malware is now being aimed at mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. This remains a significant concern, both for consumers and for businesses, which will need to develop strategies to address this growing problem. This will be particularly high on the list of priorities for the banking and retail industries as well as those organizations who’ve adopted a BYOD policy.

5. Automated Incident Detection – Online security is a 24/7/365 job. In lieu of hiring round-the-clock staff or requiring your IT personnel to remain constantly on-call, automation will become even more widely adopted across the globe. Incidents can be immediately detected, analyzed and prioritized, and the appropriate staff can be notified accordingly for a much more efficient and effective process.

6. Automated Incident Response – Along with the automation of incoming alerts, the response process will also be an area that IT Process Automation can be more effectively leveraged. By integrating a sophisticated ITPA product with the incident management strategy and creating a closed-loop process, the impact of any successful cyber-attacks can be significantly minimized while mean time to resolution (MTTR) can be dramatically improved.

7. Focus on Protecting Embedded Platforms – Platforms such as telecom infrastructure, hand-held devices and POS terminals have been exposed as targets for cyber criminals, as evidenced in the recent attacks in the retail and oil/gas sectors. Stronger security strategies will need to be developed and implemented to account for this added risk.

8. Increased Automation of Security Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) – Not only will enterprises need to continue to adhere to various regulatory and compliance standards, but there will also be a pressing need to maintain a level of flexibility and sustainability in doing so. In order to effectively manage audit requirements, more and more organizations will begin to adopt automated solutions.

9. Shift from Awareness to Best Practices – The previous strategy of simply raising employee awareness of information security will no longer be sufficient. Instead, organizations must focus their efforts on employee training and implementation of “best practices” to ensure proper risk-based behavior.

10. Proactive vs. Reactive Approach – With the trend toward automation leading the way for incident management and response, there will be a natural shift toward a more proactive approach to cyber security. Whether the adopted model is internal, outsourced or a hybrid of both will vary by organization based on industry, location, cost, level of risk and a number of other unique factors, but all will need to adapt accordingly.

While each of these trends comes with its own set of circumstances, the one common thread that ties most of them together is the growing importance of IT process automation in keeping critical information safe from cyber-attacks.

Is your business protected? If not, the time is now. Download your free trial today and help your organization stay ahead of the game over the coming months and years.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response