The increasing complexity and sophistication of cyber threats today has far outpaced the ability for most conventional security strategies to keep up. Adding more security devices, as many IT teams have been doing to this point, simply isn’t enough to keep their networks safe. Billions of dollars have been spent taking this approach, yet countless organizations have continued to fall victim to savvy cyber-criminals. The good news is, there’s a solution that’s less expensive and far more effective: automation.
A particularly telling statistic is that 90% of all organizations are attacked on vulnerabilities that are several years old. Furthermore, 60% of those attacks target vulnerabilities that are a decade old or older. One of the biggest reasons these existing vulnerabilities remain is because companies are often afraid that patching or replacing apps and devices will disrupt critical processes and services that depend on them. Being offline even for a short amount of time can result in lost revenue.
For devices that are deemed too critical to be taken offline, network segmentation should be implemented so that in case of compromise, the impact will be restricted only to a small segment and not the entire network. Furthermore, redundancies must be in place to enable traffic to flow around it during an update. Lastly, automation should be leveraged to help identify any and all exposed devices within your network.
Another tactic that has made it possible for cyber-attackers to be so successful is their ability to hide inside networks for long periods of time and then go virtually undetected by mimicking normal network traffic and behavior. This is where intelligent automation can really make an impact. Automated platforms powered by AI and machine learning can continuously collect and analyze network data, identifying anomalies and addressing threats far faster than any human security professional could.
Cybercriminals are already using automation as a way to scale their attacks, making them more effective and reducing the amount of hand-holding required in traditional attacks. What’s more, threats are evolving far more quickly than security personnel can keep up with. In order to compete, organizations must effectively fight fire with fire. This is why automation has become a critical component of a robust, multi-faceted and equally sophisticated defense. Intelligent automation is capable of covering an entire network, identifying new and existing threats and making decisions on its own to mitigate them.
In order to accomplish this, the security infrastructure may require retooling. Isolated security platforms and devices must be replaced with a system that is fully integrated and interconnected. Traditional security tools (those that are still relevant, that is), such as firewalls, secure gateways and intrusion prevention systems, must be combined with advanced cybersecurity tools like intelligent automation. Once a threat is detected, a coordinated response and remediation can then be automatically initiated, thereby mitigating risk.
Most importantly, all of this must happen instantly, automatically and simultaneously across the entire network, including physical and virtual environments, remote offices, distributed data centers, mobile and IoT endpoint devices and deep into the cloud.
Simply put, the future of cybersecurity is cohesive systems powered by automated processes that utilize artificial intelligence to enable autonomous decision-making. Only organizations that adopt such an approach will survive the ever-evolving threat landscape.