It’s a tale as old as time. Like many technologies, automation has evolved from a simple process into a complex system of controls that operate machinery and functionalities across various industries. Automation in security operations and incident response has become extremely popular amid the cybersecurity skills shortage, growing adoption of automation by hackers, and increased volume of sophisticated cyber threats. As our dreams of a smart, connected world become a reality and cyber threats become harsher, it’s imperative that security teams embrace automation.
Automation is everywhere. From manufacturing and transport to utilities and information technology, automation is transforming applications to control and monitor areas and perform tasks that were previously performed by humans. Automation is best suited to replace manual, repetitive tasks and can drive down costs and reduce delivery time with little human intervention; however, the vulnerabilities and challenges associated with automation are a hacker’s paradise.
It’s all fun and games until someone get hacked. The ROI on the most high-tech devices and automated processes can be squashed in seconds if they’re not properly protected. Hackers waste no time when trying to exploit vulnerabilities, meaning defensive measures have to happen quickly – that’s where security automation comes in.
Security automation eliminates tedious tasks that divert security professional’s time away from strategic activities. Properly implemented, it can also combat alert fatigue, reduces incident response time, decreases the possibility of human error, and ultimately improves operational efficiencies. Oh, and those security analysts and CISOs might actually get that vacation they’ve been dreaming of.
With the right automated response tools, IT teams can detect and respond to threats in record time. Here are the best practices for adopting security automation:
- Train, train, train: Baby steps, y’all. Don’t throw your team to the sharks; train them on how to properly interpret the new solution and incorporate automated tasks into the workflow. Most importantly, make sure they know where to pick up where automation leaves off. From detection to remediation, each incident should be handled with care and no gaps should be left unattended.
- Closely review third parties: Nearly all vendors and third party organizations require access to internal systems. Unfortunately, this can introduce new vulnerabilities. If third parties or integrated apps are introduced, be sure to closely review their security policies and replace numerous point solutions with fewer, more comprehensible products.
- Know the dos and don’ts of automating tasks: There are certain tasks that should and shouldn’t be automated. Consider which tasks need to be automated the most by recognizing which incidents they address, the sources or activities of most incidents and the areas where your security team spends most of their time.
- You can’t replace people: Automation should never be truly automatic – especially when it comes to security. A level of human involvement and oversight will ensure there is control over processes and keeps security at the forefront. Regular monitoring can provide insight into what actions could introduce a security vulnerability or workflow issue.
Carolina Advanced Digital offers a breadth of solutions to automate security and network operations, including SIEM, UEBA, and SOAR technologies, plus AI-driven wired and wireless, NAC, zero trust security, and dynamic segmentation. We also offer consulting and vCISO services to help identify where security automation may help fill gaps in your workflows or compliance objectives. Contact us today to schedule a free call with a team member to discuss your needs.