There’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.