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Ten Reasons IT Leaders Love Automation

Ten Reasons IT Leaders Love AutomationIT automation 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. Here are the real, meat and potato reasons why CIOs, CTOs, CSOs and other IT leaders are embracing automation.

  1. Automating the remediation of incidents. 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. The moment an alert arises, it’s either automatically addressed and resolved, or it gets assigned to the appropriate person. Best of all, it’s easily tracked from start to finish.
  2. Empowering front line IT operators (L1 and L2) to resolve more incidents faster. IT automation eliminates the need for escalation to higher level teams, freeing those high level employees to focus on more important mission-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 spent processing repetitive operational tasks. Automating these tasks, such as password resets and service restarts, allows technology to do the heavy lifting, freeing up talented personnel to be able to focus on key issues that would further improve organizational performance.
  5. Creating a consistent, repeatable process for change management. Effective change management is all about organization. IT 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. IT automation provides the ability to consistently remain in compliance and be well prepared should an audit take place.
  8. Building an up-to-date knowledge-base to reduced training time and cost. Bringing new employees up to speed costs time and money. Having a comprehensive knowledge-base 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 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 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 automation bandwagon? What are you waiting for? Get started with your free trial today and start reaping all of these benefits for your own organization!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

What is Machine Learning (AI) and Why Does it Matter?

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about so-called machine learning, yet despite so much talk, there are a great number of individuals who are still unfamiliar with this technology. As IT automation experts, the team at Ayehu is already harnessing the power of this innovative concept in the automation and orchestration solutions we offer. As such, we thought it might be helpful to delve a little bit into what machine learning is and, more importantly, what it can do for your organization.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence which involves an algorithm that learns a pattern in existing data and then uses that information to predict a similar pattern in new data. Despite the recent attention it has been getting, machine learning is nothing new. But thanks to the overabundance in available data and more affordable tools for gathering, processing, deciphering and storing that data, these algorithms can now easily be applied to produce fast, affordable results for businesses everywhere.

Why does it matter?

From a business standpoint, machine learning can facilitate better decision-making in real-time, without the need for human intervention. Essentially, the technology is intuitive enough to “learn” from past events and adapt for better performance in the future based on that information. By leveraging these precise algorithms, organizations can better identify profitable opportunities and more effectively avoid unknown risks.

Who can benefit the most from Machine Learning?What is Machine Learning (AI) and Why Does it Matter?

Businesses in almost every industry can potentially benefit from machine learning technology, but there are several industries for which this technology is particularly useful. Specifically, organizations in industries that require the handling of large amounts of data are already realizing the benefits of machine learning in gaining insight and competitive advantage.

This type of AI can also be highly effective in the area of information security by automating incident response and using existing data to predict and prevent future cybersecurity risks. As such, the businesses that have already begun leveraging machine learning with great results include those that fall into any of the following sectors:

  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Not coincidentally, each of these industries also happens to be at a greater risk of a cyber-attack due to the sensitive nature of the information and data they handle on a day to day basis. Machine learning can help manage, store and utilize the available data to streamline operations and improve customer experience. It can also help build a stronger defense against potential security breaches by providing round-the-clock monitoring and automated response for faster, more effective remediation.

How Ayehu is Using Machine Learning

The next generation of Ayehu is a simple yet powerful web-based automation and orchestration platform for IT and security operations that leverages proprietary, sophisticated machine learning algorithms to provide decision support via suggestions to optimize workflows and dynamically create rule-based recommendations, insights and correlations. Agentless and codeless, Ayehu is easily deployed, allowing users to rapidly automate tasks and processes, including interoperability across multiple, disparate solutions and systems from one, standalone platform.

To see machine learning technology in action, click here to request a free demo.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

A Human-Less IT Environment? Is it Really Possible?

A Human-Less IT Environment? Is it Possible?Over the years, we’ve talked a lot about the fact that IT automation isn’t something that humans should fear, but rather something that they should embrace. That it is something that will not replace humans, but rather make their jobs easier and more efficient. But is there really a possibility that IT automation will one day completely replace people entirely? And if so, is this an opportunity to embrace or something to fight against? Let’s consider it for a moment.

In one respect, allowing IT automation to handle tasks that humans were previously in charge of is actually a huge opportunity for business, and for many reasons. First, it can drastically reduce the risk of costly errors. People inherently make mistakes – especially when their jobs involve repetitive manual tasks. One simple error can cause huge ripple effects across the entire organization and even result in lost revenue. Shifting to automation for these tasks can eliminate this liability.

Replacing human work with automation can also help to improve efficiency. For example, IT automation can take away the need for manual script writing and replace it with complex automated workflows that perform the required tasks faster than any human worker could. Additionally, self-service automation options eliminate the need for IT personnel to step in and perform routine tasks, such as password resets and system restarts.

So, does this mean that humans are slowly being eliminated from the workforce? Will automated machines – essentially robots – replace people as we move into the next generation of business? Well, yes and no. The fact is, IT automation does present a huge opportunity for companies to save money, improve efficiency and output, reduce errors and much more.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re headed toward a nameless, faceless workplace that is filled with computers rather than people. Why? Because, in most cases the tasks that are being automated were actually meant to be automated. Back when corporations hired people to slave tirelessly, doing the same thing, day in and day out, where no thinking was necessary, there was no alternative. Now, with automation, there is.

So yes, automation will replace many functions that were previously managed by humans – the functions for which computers and software are better suited. What this means for people is not that they will become a relic of the past, but rather that they will be freed up to focus on more important matters – matters for which human input is necessary. Additionally, the adoption of advanced IT automation has actually created new roles for humans that didn’t previously exist.

So while IT automation will most certainly become a key component of ongoing success, the fact is, businesses will always need human collaboration, communication and innovation and these things cannot be replicated by computer programs and technology. For that reason, we foresee a future where automation complements and supports human endeavors, but does not replace them. And from where we stand, that future looks bright for everyone.

Are you still on the fence about whether to implement IT automation in your organization? Now’s the time. Check out the 10 tasks you should be automating below and click here to get started with your free trial of eyeShare today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

How IT Automation is Solving the Healthcare Staffing Shortage

How IT Automation is Solving the Healthcare Skills ShortageA few years ago, an article written recently that pointed out the glaring need for talented IT personnel in the health field, and how the lack of this talent is forcing many hospitals and other health care facilities to make a choice between hiring slightly less-than-qualified staff and training them in the areas necessary, or shifting personnel internally to move clinicians from the role of health care provider into the role of IT professional. We’d propose that there is a third, much more favorable option available for organizations facing this very real challenge: the adoption of IT automation.

The underlying problem is essentially two-fold. It starts with a general lack of highly qualified IT talent that is in the market to work in the health care industry. The other piece of the puzzle is the fact that those people who are qualified are being lured away from smaller organizations strictly on the basis of compensation. If the smaller operations can’t pay up, they lose their talent. It’s that simple. What this lack of resources means is that important current projects become delayed and future projects that could mean great strides in terms of health care for the consumer are being put on hold indefinitely. In other words, we all pay the price.

So, what’s the solution? The article referenced above proposes that these facilities find a way to entice lower level staff members from the front line of working with patients into the background of IT work. The problem with this theory is that the proposed staff members must have a genuine interest in making this change, and more importantly, they must be comfortable accepting the reduction in compensation that such a change would inevitably entail. Provided there are some who are willing, the other side of the coin is the increased workload on those on the front line that must pick up the slack for the ones who have changed roles. Either way you look at it, there are sacrifices to be made.

What if, instead of moving personnel around and creating the need to train clinicians on new IT duties as well as either spread existing work among the leftover medical professionals or hire new ones that aren’t necessarily up to par in terms of skills, we turn to technology to help bridge the gap? With IT automation, many of the routine IT tasks that are necessary to keep healthcare operations running smoothly can be turned over to a sophisticated and customized software platform, eliminating much of the day to day work that the back line IT staff is responsible for.

With automation technology, even the leanest of health care operations can do more with less. This means maximizing what little resources they have so that those most qualified to provide patient care, even on the entry-level end of the spectrum, can continue to do what they do best. More importantly, there is no need to worry about competing financially for talent with organizations that are larger and have greater expenditure. A smaller organization can successfully operate with a skeleton crew of IT professionals, and the medical providers can stick to what they do best.

This proposed solution is not only beneficial for the healthcare providers, but to those of us who seek their assistance and expertise. We’ll receive a higher level of care from qualified individuals that are allowed to stay in the roles they’re most skilled in, and future progress in patient care and treatment can be made via the projects and plans that will be allowed to move forward since there is no more lack of resources.

When it comes to the concept of IT automation, there is a much broader spectrum that can benefit beyond just the corporate business world. IT is something that is critical to virtually every industry, particularly the healthcare field. By embracing automation as a way of life, even the smallest of organizations can succeed, making the quality of healthcare they provide that much better. It’s truly a win-win situation.

Do you run a healthcare facility and are curious about whether IT automation would be right for your organization? Why not try our free trial? There’s no obligation, and you can experience firsthand just how much ITPA can become a powerful and invaluable member of your healthcare team.

 

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Manual Incident Management vs. Orchestrated Incident Management – A Tale of Two Processes

Manual Incident Management vs. Orchestrated Incident Management – A Tale of Two Processes

 

Recently we shared a blog post that explored what orchestration, how it can be used and several of the many existing business benefits. Today, we thought it might be helpful to dig even deeper and provide a real-life scenario to demonstrate the vast difference between manual and orchestrated incident management. So, without further ado, let us present to you: a tale of two processes.


Manual Incident Management

Meet Manual Joe, an IT administrator who is tasked with keeping the sensitive information of his employer secure from potential breaches. Unfortunately, Joe is buried under a sea of manual tasks, processes and workflows.

Whenever an incident occurs, it almost always means a stressful afternoon for Joe and his team. First, they receive an alert letting them know something is wrong. A hard drive has failed. A system or portion of the network isn’t functioning properly. The website isn’t responding. The list goes on and on.

Manual Joe and his team respond to these alerts by implementing a series of documented manual processes. As the day goes on, Joe’s team has to spend hours of their time hammering out these tasks and monitoring their progress. They constantly have to log in and out of various systems and leverage different tools in order to perform their job duties. It’s a huge drag.

When they are able to resolve an event, they’re elated. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should. Instead, Joe and his team find themselves running in circles, chasing their tails and frequently wasting precious time and resources on things like false positives. Complex issues often have to be escalated to senior level agents, which results in frequent delays and a whole lot of frustration.

Meanwhile, because they are overworked and mere mortals, keeping up with the volume of incidents is becoming an exercise in futility. As a result, critical events are allowed to slip by undetected until it’s too late. In some cases, the entire organization suffers as a result.

Perhaps what frustrates Joe and his team members the most, however, is that they are all extremely talented individuals who bring a lot of value to the table. But since the vast majority of their time is spent putting out fires and carrying out repetitive, mundane tasks, those skills and talents go unused. Not only is this affecting the morale of the IT department, but the business is also missing out on the opportunity to achieve greater performance through IT innovation.

This is the life of Manual Joe and his team, day after day after painful day.


Orchestrated Incident Management                                                                                                                  

Down the street, there’s another organization where Orchestration Jane is employed. She too is an IT administrator, but unlike Joe, her company has invested in a powerful orchestration and automation platform which she and her team use to their fullest advantage.

With orchestrated incident management, Jane is able to automatically remediate the vast majority of all incoming alerts and incidents. In most cases, neither she nor her team needs to get involved in the process at all.

In an orchestrated environment, when an incident occurs, the platform automatically identifies it and implements the appropriate course of action to resolve the issue. The orchestration tool can handle every step of the process, from opening an incident ticket to keeping that ticket updated on steps taken or progress made. Once the incident is effectively resolved, the orchestration tool then updates and closes the ticket. All of this is done without any manual effort from Jane or her team.

In instances for which automated remediation cannot be achieved, the escalation process is also carried out by the orchestration platform. The appropriate individuals receive notification and can respond remotely via a number of different methods, including email or SMS text. If the initial contact does not respond in a timely manner, the next appropriate individual will be notified, and so forth. This eliminates costly and frustrating delays.

Jane and her team particularly appreciate the fact that with orchestrated incident response, there’s no need to write, deploy or maintain scripts. Instead, the platform seamlessly integrates and coordinates actions across multiple systems, servers and tools. This is a huge savings of time for the IT department.

In addition to incident response, the orchestration and automation platform Jane’s company uses also allows her to proactively schedule and execute maintenance tasks. This helps to keep the infrastructure functioning better and reduces the number of alerts that will ultimately occur.

Finally, because Jane and her team isn’t bogged down by time-consuming manual tasks, processes and workflows, they are able to focus their attention and apply their skills to higher-level projects, such as those involving planning, innovation and growth. As a result, Orchestration Jane and the rest of her crew look forward to going to work every day because they know their abilities are being put to good use.


The fact is, each of these scenarios is being played out in IT departments across the globe and in just about every industry. If you can relate more to Joe than Jane, it’s time to make a change in the right direction. Start your free trial of Ayehu orchestration and automation platform and experience for yourself what an incredible different orchestrated incident management truly can make for your organization.

Be like Jane. Download your free trial today!

Think IT Automation Requires More Hardware or Virtual Resources? Think Again…

Think IT Automation Requires More Hardware? Think Again...There have been several articles published recently indicating that IT automation tools require a substantial amount of hardware and use up a great deal of virtual resources. While this may have been the case for older, more primitive automation tools, this is absolutely not the case for all automation products.

In fact, if you choose the right platform, the impact on external resources will be minimal. It’s all about doing your homework, understanding your options, and choosing wisely.  If you’re in the market for an IT automation tool that won’t drain your resources, here’s what to look for.

Lightweight

Choosing a more lightweight IT automation platform provides many benefits, not the least of which is the amount of resources it demands. These types of products are also much more flexible and can adapt to change much more quickly and seamlessly than their heavyweight counterparts. Lightweight automation products are much less expensive and less time consuming to implement, so they are up and running and fully functioning in a shorter amount of time, delivering immediate benefits. They also provide almost instant feedback, so the results can be measured and processes tweaked in a timely manner for optimum results.

Agentless

Agentless solutions make the entire process of automation much more efficient. They also take up fewer resources because deployment is shorter and more concise. These products can also be customized to meet the specific SLA’s of each given task and can handle all of the system monitoring, freeing up agents to focus on more important tasks. Alerts and notifications are dispatched the appropriate parties immediately, often allowing problems to be corrected before the end user is even affected.

Smaller Footprint

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to choose a platform with a big footprint to achieve big automation goals for your organization. Many of today’s IT automation solutions offer equivalent results without taking up much room at all – either physically or virtually. It used to be that in order to get substantial results from an automation product, one would have to make sacrifices in terms of how much hardware and virtual resources were to be allocated. Today’s products offer the same big results without having to make these sacrifices.

Non-Intrusive

In the past, implementing automation took a great deal of time and resources because it was difficult to integrate with other legacy software that was specifically designed to be managed by humans. As a result, the marriage between the two was complex and time consuming and the outcome was often less than impressive. These days there are non-intrusive IT automation platforms on the market that were specifically developed to be seamlessly integrated with a wide range of existing software and internal systems in a way that is virtually undetectable. The result is that automated tasks are performed in the background, without the need for human oversight and completely unnoticed by the end user.

If you want to introduce automation into your IT department but are hesitant about having to allocate so much hardware and virtual resources to doing so, you’ve come to the right place. When you know what to look for, and where you can find a more effective and efficient IT automation solution, you’ll be able to harness the power of automation without having to sacrifice precious resources, and still get the results you want.

Try it yourself free for 30 days! Simply click here to launch your trial of Ayehu today.

 

IT Process Automation Survival Guide

Firewall Outages Plaguing Your Business? IT Automation Could be the Key

Firewall Outages Plaguing Your Business? IT Automation Could be the KeyWithout question, we live in a world where staying connected is critical – especially in business. Today, organizations of all sizes and industries rely on technology to manage day to day operations and remain competitive. What kind of an impact would an outage have on these businesses? What if that outage was to last for several hours or more? In many cases, the trickle-down effect could be devastating. So, how can one prevent such an outage from occurring in the first place? The answer is simple: automation.

In many instances, the problem of system-wide outages can be tied to the management of the company’s firewall. Every business has a duty to protect confidential information, which is typically done through the use of a firewall. This essentially allows users to access the web while also automatically weeding out and protecting against incoming hackers, viruses and other malware. Unfortunately, when that firewall experiences some type of failure, the entire connection becomes suspended, leaving end users with the inability to access the web, either externally or internally.

What is the main cause of these devastating firewall errors and, more importantly, how can they be prevented? Recent research revealed that the main source of firewall outages is human error. In fact, a whopping 1/3 of businesses have admitted to having this issue. The problem is mainly due to the fact that so many organizations still continue to manage firewall changes manually, which leaves the door wide open for costly mistakes and serious miscues. The result is often a systemic shut down across the entire network.

Just how many and with what frequency are these outages occurring? At last check, some 33% of organizations polled admitted that they had experienced at least 5 or more outages in the past year – outages that were directly related to their firewall management. What’s more, among companies that are categorized as being in the financial services industry, 17% reported that they’d experienced more than 11 outages over the last year. That’s nearly one outage each and every month!

So, what’s the solution? What can be done to combat these statistics, particularly in a climate that is shifting more and more toward cloud adoption and virtualization? The fact is, with all of these changes, network security is simply becoming too complex to be handled by humans. Even the most seasoned IT professional is capable of making a costly mistake, of which, even small ones can cause significant, system-wide problems. The only way to truly reduce the risk associated with managing firewalls is through IT automation.

When the human component is removed from the process, not only does the risk of error go down significantly, but it also frees up IT professionals to focus on other important business matters that cannot be automated. The good news is, more and more key decision makers are starting to realize this fact and are embracing IT automation as a valuable tool to improve IT performance while maintaining security and compliance, and most importantly – reducing incidents of down time.

What impact would a firewall outage have on your organization? Don’t take any chances. Protect your company with IT automation. Click here to start your free 30 day trial of Ayehu today.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Ayehu Receives Application Certification from ServiceNow

Next generation IT automation platform integrated with ServiceNow delivers next-level ITSM workflow productivity and efficiencies

Orlando, FL –- May 9, 2017Ayehu, provider of a leading enterprise-grade IT automation and orchestration platform, today announced that it has received ServiceNow certification. To earn the certification, Ayehu has successfully completed a set of defined tests focused on integration and operability, security and performance. Additionally, the certification ensures that Ayehu utilizes best practices when integrating and implementing its software platform with ServiceNow.

“ServiceNow is a leader in IT Service Management and many of our customers recognize that adding automation delivers game changing benefits,” said Gabby Nizri, CEO of Ayehu. “Our integrated solution saves valuable time and dramatically improves results for the IT team. The certification validates our automation and orchestration platform, and improves our ability to reach new customers.”

Rapidly scaling, complex technologies have driven the need for integrated automation solutions. Ayehu acts as a force multiplier, driving efficiency through its simple and powerful IT automation and orchestration platform.  The platform provides ready to use, closed-loop workflow templates that extend ServiceNow’s ITSM capabilities. Using Ayehu, IT operations teams can reduce time spent on manual and lengthy service desk procedures, accelerate incident response and mean time to resolution (MTTR), and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure.

Ayehu’s integration with ServiceNow provides users with the ability to:

  • Automatically open, update, and close tickets and query tables in ServiceNow
  • Dramatically reduce alert storms
  • Bridge heterogeneous platforms through unified workflows
  • Accelerate the reporting, escalation, and resolution of incidents
  • Enforce problem and change management procedures such as ticket status

Ayehu’s next generation IT automation and orchestration platform is available at the ServiceNow Store.

Ayehu will provide live demonstrations of its next generation platform at ServiceNow’s Knowledge17 Conference (Orlando, Orange County Convention Center, May 7 -11) in its booth #708.

For more information, visit https://ayehu.com/integration-packs/servicenow-integration/.

About Ayehu

Named by Gartner as a Cool Vendor, Ayehu’s IT automation and orchestration platform is a force multiplier for IT and security operations, helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. Trusted by major enterprises and leading technology solution and service partners, Ayehu supports thousands of automated processes across the globe. For more information, please visit www.ayehu.com and the company blog.  Follow Ayehu on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Leveraging IT Automation to Drive Business Growth

Leveraging IT Automation to Drive Business GrowthBy now you’ve probably seen the correlation drawn between IT automation and increased efficiency. In fact, automation in its inherent design is meant to help businesses do more with less and many companies across the globe – from small businesses to large enterprises – have leveraged automation technology for this very purpose. What you may not have considered, however, is that today’s ITPA platforms can actually go well beyond this and be used to drive overall growth of the business. Let’s take a look.

Invest in a quality IT automation product. It all begins with the selection of a high quality automation and orchestration platform that offers robust features and can integrate seamlessly with a wide variety of existing systems and tools.

Develop an automation strategy. The ability to not just automate routine IT tasks, but also streamline complex workflows is paramount to leveraging ITPA as a catalyst for business growth. Develop a strategy that will include what processes should be automated and in what order.

Embrace virtualization. The end-goal is to develop and implement a singular, seamless workflow and in order to achieve this goal IT automation must be leveraged in both a physical as well as a virtual infrastructure. CIOs must consider and embrace virtualization in order to maximize ITPA’s fullest potential.

Start small and build gradually. Most businesses invest in IT automation to help reduce costs and streamline certain operational functions. That’s a great place to start, even just by focusing on one silo at a time. The eventual goal, however, should be to bridge the entire infrastructure so that there are no more isolated processes, but rather an all-inclusive, “big picture” automation strategy. Start small and work your way up from there.

Include IT automation in data center consolidation. To fully realize efficiency and cost-savings benefits of IT automation, it must be incorporated into any and all data consolidation projects.

Think beyond ROI. Certainly measuring return on investment is an excellent tool for gaining executive buy-in for ITPA. CIOs must resist the temptation to stop there and instead be willing to explore the more far-reaching and ongoing benefits, such as continual cost containment. In other words, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

If you consider how the process of ITPA truly works, and its many benefits, it’s easy to see how this tool can also be a catalyst for business growth. When internal processes are streamlined, efficiency is maximized. This improves both internal and external service levels. It also frees up key personnel to be able to focus their talents and expertise on strategic business objectives, including growth. As a result, employees and customers are more satisfied, workflow is completely optimized and talented personnel are more tuned into driving the business forward.

What could IT automation do for your organization? The best way to find out is to give it a try! Download a free 30 day trial today to get started.eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Guest Post: How to Effectively Isolate Malicious Files Before They Spread

Virtually every organization deals with a firehose of potential malware on a daily basis. Infosec teams are often overwhelmed with arduous digital forensics and incident response (DFIR) processes dealing with the flood. Typically these DFIR processes involve manual, repetitive checks. Sound familiar?

Chances are your organization, like many others today, struggles to stay ahead in the fight against malware. Evasion techniques employed by sophisticated zero-day malware, manual processes, which increase the workload of security teams and open the door to human error, and the lack of automated orchestration tools to deal with malware attacks are just a few of the many challenges that most organizations are faced with today.

Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform combined with VMRay’s agentless malware detection and analysis engine enables security teams to mitigate the risk of potentially malicious files through fast automated threat analysis and detection.

How does it work?

Alerts from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms are usually the trigger for infosec teams to begin investigating potential attacks. Simple integrations with SIEM platforms like Splunk enable Ayehu to receive alerts of suspicious files in an organization’s network. Through an automated process Ayehu submits the suspicious file to VMRay Analyzer for further analysis.

The file is automatically vetted through VMRay’s built-in reputation engine, which has the ability to determine if a file is known malicious or known benign within milliseconds. The ability to deal with known threats so quickly using a fully automated process makes threat mitigation processes much more efficient and effective.

Ayehu VMray Connector

What if the reputation engine cannot classify the suspicious file as known good or known bad? How can I protect my organization from zero-day malware?

If the reputation engine returns an “Unknown” reputation score, the next step in the analysis process, is to automatically put the file through a detailed behavioral analysis.

The suspicious file is detonated in a customized virtual machine and is monitored for all system interactions. With this approach, it is almost impossible for the suspicious file to detect the analysis engine and evade analysis. The dynamic analysis engine then returns a VTI (VMRay Threat Identifier) score by considering several factors such as:

  • Filesystem, registry and network activity of the suspicious file
  • Process creation, code injection or driver installation performed by the suspicious file
  • Evasion techniques used by the suspicious file
  • System Persistence techniques used by the suspicious file
  • YARA rule matches

If a file is deemed malicious by VMRay Analyzer, Ayehu can automatically escalate it as a top priority by generating alerts to security teams. With specific playbooks, Ayehu has the ability to automatically quarantine a user’s device by:

  • Blocking IPs/Hashes
  • Disabling the User
  • Terminating Processes

Automated analysis eliminates the risk of allowing potentially malicious files into your environment while relieving your security team of manual, error-prone processes.

To learn more about how VMRay and Ayehu can effectively isolate malicious files before they spread, click here to launch your free trial of Ayehu or contact VMRay.

Read the Ayehu and VMRay solution brief

 

About the Author…
Rohan Viegas – VMRay, Product Manager
Rohan brings over 12 years of experience in product development and management roles to VMRay. In his role as Product Manager for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, prior to VMRay, Rohan managed a portfolio of products including network management and security software.
At VMRay, Rohan’s responsibilities include product roadmap planning, project management, and technical collateral development.