New forms of security threats have been appearing in recent years and this will continue to be the case going forward. As a result, the need for improving the ability to effectively detect and combat these threats is going to become even greater. Cybersecurity automation tools and technology are one solution to this problem.
All industries today require heightened cybersecurity, especially as cyberattacks are becoming more prevalent and deadly than ever before. Nowadays, cyberattacks are automated and sophisticated enough to penetrate even the toughest networks.
It is, therefore, vital for any company to protect itself from such threats. By using the same tools as attackers, you reduce the time needed for securing your network, which is usually unsuccessful against automated threats.
The last twelve months have seen a huge increase in the number of cyberattacks on business globally, with the average cost of security data breaches costing $4.24 million USD per event. The biggest factor in reducing the financial impact of data breaches was the use of cybersecurity automation in companies that used it.
So, let’s look at the future of cybersecurity automation, and how your business can use this technology to defend against increased attacks.
What is cybersecurity automation?
Cybersecurity is the way systems, programs and networks are protected from being attacked by malicious actors. Security systems require monitoring, vast amounts of data that need to be analysed, checking threat alerts, looking for vulnerabilities and so on.
As cyberattacks become more complex and sophisticated, the ability to meet the demands for security protection becomes too great. Automation of these repetitive, manual tasks means the process of detection, investigation and action can happen rapidly and threats are stopped before they are able to disrupt business operations.
Cybersecurity automation can:
- Automatically search for threats
- Determine which potential threats need further investigation
- Decide if further response is needed and send alerts
- Contain and resolve the threat with preset protocols.
Automation allows these repetitive workflows to take place in just seconds, without needing any human intervention which can take hours, days or even weeks to perform, depending on the type and complexity of the cyber threat.
Industry experts, when talking about best practices in automation, will refer to security technology such as:
- Robotic process automation (RPA) – software that is programmed to do basic and repetitive tasks, by creating and deploying a software robot that can launch and run other software
- Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR) – a collection or IT stack of security software solutions and tools for browsing and collecting data from various sources.
These security measures can collect and analyse threat data, prompt a security team member to act, or deploy automated reactions to data.
Are there benefits of cybersecurity automation?
It’s no secret that cybersecurity is one of the biggest concerns for organisations today, with data breaches and security attacks increasing every month.
Thankfully, there are plenty of security solutions available so businesses can keep their IT environments safe, and their data protected.
While many businesses have dedicated IT employees on site to handle the day-to-day running of systems, cybersecurity is becoming more complex and requiring far more investment in resources and time.
To mitigate this problem, cybersecurity automation can alleviate the time and necessity for human intervention, while addressing security threats.
Going forward, the future of cybersecurity automation is pretty much assured as organisations continue to invest in tools to help keep up with the rising complexity of the cyber security landscape.
Automation mitigates human error
We all make mistakes – but unfortunately human error is a contributing factor in 95% of cybersecurity breaches. Human error in the security context refers to unintentional action or lack of action that results in security breaches occurring. Cybercriminals know security measures are only as effective if humans properly use them and will look for and target those weaknesses.
Many businesses are security aware but may not understand the sheer scope cybersecurity protection entails, leaving IT staff to try and manage as best they can while supporting the business environment. Trying to detect and prevent cyberattacks can be such a time drain that IT staff are unable to put in place preemptive defenses, leading to mistakes and consequently threats that infect systems.
Automation is more efficient
Threat data is one of the most important tools in protecting businesses from cyberattacks. However, this huge amount of data from security technologies, both within and beyond the organisation, as well as attack vectors, needs to be collated and scrutinised.
The data is used to identify groups of threats that predicate an attacker’s next step. The more data collected, the more accurate the results are, and it reduces the chances the groups are just an anomaly. This is where it’s important to choose automation software that collects data from internal security systems and aggregates global threat intelligence data.
The analysis must also have enough computing power so it can keep up with the volume of threats coming through, which is unable to be done manually.
Automation and machine learning means data can be processed faster, with more accuracy. Combined with threat analysis tools means this approach can detect more advanced and unique cyber threats, much faster than possible if done manually.
Increasing levels of security alerts and event management means security teams have to spend more hours of valuable time trying to find and resolve issues. Because there’s many false positives (or mislabeled alerts), that time is often wasted when it could have been spent on more important tasks.
Security automation means those human hours aren’t spent on repetitive processes. Security teams are freed up to deal with cyber threats more effectively.
Automation improves security innovation
While machines can be fast and efficient when given the right conditions, they can’t be innovative. This is one of the biggest advantages of automation that businesses will benefit from.
When security processes and the repetitive workload is lifted from security teams, this allows the ability to work more effectively towards improving your business risk profile by focusing on problem solving. Automation allows IT teams to work on mapping out the actual security processes that make automation successful before they’re implemented. Strategic planning is what humans do better than machines, as it requires insight and creative thinking.
Automation improves compliance
Organisations must meet and comply with regulations when it comes to cybersecurity, and many of these regulations require automated security processes. This means to stay compliant with regulations, businesses need to adopt automated security solutions.
Automation also helps companies to stay up to date with compliance standards and is essential for those in regulated industries such as finance and healthcare where data protection is critical.
Is cybersecurity automation the future?
As cyberattacks become more sophisticated and frequent, automation tools will become incredibly critical in the act of detecting and preventing such attacks. Automating repetitive tasks such as detecting the same type of attack or scanning for malware bolsters security procedures and improves protection.
Automation doesn’t replace people, but it does help security teams, enabling them to deploy more specialised security solutions rather than having to constantly plug holes.
As the security landscape becomes more complex, companies will need to continue investing in tools to ensure their data, devices, and users are protected.
If you’d like to know more about how cybersecurity automation can protect your business, talk to the security experts at INTELLIWORX today.