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Security Automation System And Its Impact On The Digital World

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Security automation offers organizations multiple benefits, including simplifying security tasks, establishing a secure zero-trust network, and improving incident response. By automating the collection, analysis, and handling of security data, organizations can reduce the workload on security administrators, ensure continuous threat monitoring, maintain industry compliance, and expedite threat detection and response. Security automation frees up time for professionals to focus on critical tasks, enhancing overall security.

Security automation involves using software applications to automate security tasks, such as administrative work, incident detection, and response to cyber threats. By utilizing security automation, organizations can gain several advantages.

Let’s explore these benefits in more detail.

What Is Security Automation System?

Security automation simplifies the process of automating security tasks. It utilizes specialized software that enables users to monitor, utilize, and defend against cyber threats.

The security automation system incorporates advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. These powerful tools enable the system to identify different threat behaviors and establish their cause-and-effect relationships.

Given that cyber attacks can occur at any moment, it is crucial to adopt a proactive approach by implementing an automated security system. This ensures constant vigilance and readiness against potential threats.

Why Is Security Automation Required?

As cybercrimes continue to evolve in complexity, the idea of “zero-trust security” has emerged as a way to combat organizational cyber threats. In contrast to blindly trusting internal users and systems, zero-trust security evaluates access requests on a case-by-case basis, granting or denying access based on specific conditions.

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While the zero-trust network brings several benefits, it also introduces considerable complexities. However, security automation plays a crucial role in establishing a secure, scalable, and functional zero-trust network infrastructure.

How Does It Work?

Implementing cybersecurity measures involves performing various tasks to safeguard a network. One of these tasks is threat detection, which typically involves conducting multiple security checks such as vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and patch management.

However, carrying out these tasks manually can be time-consuming. Monitoring cyber threats manually 24/7 is practically impossible. This is why security automation is introduced.

Security automation systems consist of three key components: data sources, analytics tools, and response mechanisms. These elements work together to automate the collection and analysis of security data, allowing for efficient responses to potential threats.

Data Sources

The security system consists of data sources containing information about current activities, such as network traffic, security logs, and cyber threats. These data sources are continuously monitored. The system relies on accurate data for effective performance.

Any elimination of data can negatively affect the final results.

Analytics Tools

Automated systems collect raw data that is often disorganized and imperfect, which makes it difficult to ensure its accuracy.

To address this challenge, the data is sent to analytics tools for proper processing and organization. These tools use AI to identify threat vectors, which are the potential sources of harm in the data. The main objective of the system at this stage is to distinguish harmful traffic from other types of data.

Response Mechanism

When an analytics tool detects a threat vector within the data, it immediately alerts the response mechanism to take appropriate action in order to prevent and address the threat. The initial step is to block the affected section of the network to prevent the threat from spreading further. Once blocked, the system proceeds to remove the threat.

Following the removal, the system generates a notification to inform the user about the action taken against the threat, so further actions can be taken.

What Are the Advantages of Using It?

The primary objective of security automation is to effectively and swiftly respond to incidents and enhance overall security. This goal is accomplished through the implementation of various methods within the security system.

Downgrade Security Administrator Work pressure

Cybersecurity specialists frequently face significant work pressure due to the increasing complexity and distribution of corporate IT infrastructure. Moreover, cyberattacks themselves are becoming more sophisticated, requiring expert-level protection.

This workload can be minimized by taking the following actions:

  • Security procedure automation

Security procedure automation streamlines and automates cumbersome and repetitive security tasks, transforming them into manageable processes. Doing so saves time and enables security work to be executed more quickly and accurately.

  • Modernize policy rules to reduce human error

Modernizing policy rules by utilizing advanced applications (like Microsoft Active Directory and Cisco ISE) can significantly reduce the possibility of human errors in security management.

  • Admin role transfer

By transferring policy management to the appropriate organizational roles, security automation can significantly reduce unnecessary communication and coordination across the company when it comes to routine policy updates.

Continuous Threat Monitoring

If a human were to monitor the system, they would be able to identify all potential threat vectors that could harm the system. However, due to limitations, humans cannot monitor the system continuously without experiencing exhaustion.

In contrast, a security automation system can perform its tasks efficiently alongside continuous system monitoring without experiencing fatigue. This allows for uninterrupted and tireless surveillance of the system.

Following Industry Compliance Standards

In order to operate within a standard industry, it is necessary to meet compliance requirements. In sensitive subjects, the methods of data collection and usage should be verified. Adherence to these requirements becomes paramount, especially when multiple individuals are involved in the process.

Manual management of such critical issues poses a risk, as important details can be overlooked or forgotten. In this case, implementing a security automation system configured with the latest compliance standards can mitigate these risks. By deploying security automation throughout the network, organizations can ensure that the necessary compliance requirements are consistently met.

Prevent Alerts

Security professionals face the challenge of dealing with multiple threats on a daily basis, which can be exhausting. Prioritizing and addressing these incidents can become a major headache. However, security automation offers a valuable solution by leveraging the latest AI technology to handle numerous threats effectively.

One of the key benefits of security automation is its ability to understand the impact of alerts and prioritize them accordingly. This feature, often referred to as cyber triage, allows security automation systems to assess the severity and potential consequences of each alert.

Types of Security Automation Tools

Some of the popular security automation tools include:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): SIEM collects and analyzes security data from across an enterprise IT infrastructure;
  • Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR): SOAR is equipped with automated response capabilities, as well is able to send threat alerts to human analysts;
  • Extended Detection and Response (XDR): XDR solution is a combination of SIEM, SOAR, and other security features in a single centrally managed tool that can wisely prevent cyberattacks.

The Bottom Line

Manual processes can impede the speed of threat detection in complex IT environments, potentially leaving businesses vulnerable to security breaches. However, by implementing security automation, organizations can expedite the identification, validation, and escalation of threats with minimal manual effort.

A security automation system serves as an autopilot, reducing the need for performing repetitive tasks manually. By automating these processes, security professionals have more time available to focus on activities that require greater awareness and expertise. This allows them to dedicate their attention to critical tasks such as threat analysis, incident response, and strategic security planning.

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Kuntal Chakraborty

Kuntal Chakraborty is an Information Technology Engineer by profession and education and the founder of Philarity.com. He has rich technical expertise working as a Systems Engineer and Network Engineer at Siemens and Atos. Kuntal has also worked in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) domains in different roles. Besides, he has a deep interest in Cyber security and published a few articles on it in some international publications. He has also created and successfully published some Alexa skills as a part of Amazon Alexa crowd developer community.