The future of cybersecurity automation

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In this digital age, cyberattacks are growing more sophisticated and slyer every day. Malicious actors use new technologies to implement their offensive strategies, and you need to keep up to remain ahead of these cyberthreats.

An estimated 30,000 websites are hacked every day around the world, which equates to a new attack every 39 seconds. You have likely already experienced a cyber threat.

Cybersecurity is a complex and ever-evolving field that requires constant vigilance to keep up with the latest developments. Utilising automation tools can help to reduce the time and effort required to protect information systems and data.

What is cybersecurity automation?

The use of automation in cybersecurity operations is to make the process easier on organisations and businesses by automating some of the more repetitive tasks. Automation is a force multiplier; it allows a small security team to accomplish more with less resources and reduced error.

Manual approaches are not sustainable anymore. Human error and misconfiguration are the biggest factors leading up to data breaches. By automating response and configuration in the first place, you reduce the chances of being breached.

Security automation can be highly efficient, when implemented properly; it is able to recognise, investigate, and automatically handle cyberattacks on a computer with a machine-based procedure.

Cybersecurity automation commonly utilised by businesses:

These days, cybersecurity is a particularly difficult area to navigate with the sheer number of devices, and attacks are becoming more varied. In 2019, it was estimated that 40% of businesses and organisations lack the required cybersecurity skills to improve their security posture. Anything can be automated, but only an estimated 30% of businesses have the skills manage security automation.

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and machine learning, and tools such as security automation and orchestration, are all being widely utilised on both sides of cyberattacks. Knowing how these technologies work is the first step to understanding how they can be used to protect your data.

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The benefits of cybersecurity automation

According to an EBM data breach report, cybersecurity automation made the biggest difference in the total cost of data breaches throughout the first half of 2021. Businesses that implement cybersecurity automation not only increases overall security, but streamlines workflows and allows workers to focus on business productivity.

Incident response

By automating repetitive and tedious security tasks, the response time is greatly shortened while reducing human error. Businesses are able to perform threat detection and incident response at scale, increasing the speed of response to incidents in real time.

Data management

Automating tasks like data collection makes security operations more efficient and frees up user time; employees are able to turn their attention to other tasks.

Governance and compliance

AI-powered tools can navigate your systems and discover non-compliant processes without needing full-scale audits, which also streamlines workflows. Staying on top of regulatory compliance is essential, and keeps systems secure.

End-to-end assessments

It’s estimated that over half of security breaches are caused by human error. An automated workflow process continuously maintaining security checks increases the accuracy of regular end-to-end assessments. A vulnerability assessment, for example, would either launch the assessment of implement fixes based on the assessment.

SOAR solutions in the database

Security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) platforms are a collection of security solutions for your business that provides you with tools to access and collect data from various sources. A combination of human and ML is then used to analyse the data to understand and prioritise incident response actions.

The term SOAR describes three software capabilities:

SOAR alleviates the challenges security analysts face – overwhelming numbers of alerts, correlating data to separate genuine threats from benign events, co-ordinating appropriate responses – through:

Success through implementing SOAR tools will vary from company to company, but are well worth trialling. It’s projected that by the end of 2022, 30% of businesses or organisations with an IT security team of more than five people will use SOAR tools.

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Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) use complex algorithms to solve digital problems, and learn to complete tasks by going through data. AI and ML take on data sets, develop data models, and make predictions based on those models. In cybersecurity, this is used to try to predict which users are most likely to steal data, which combination of vulnerabilities and misconfigurations can lead to a breach, and when users/IPs exhibit behaviour out of the norm. Machine learning is becoming more and more crucial to cybersecurity; it processes great volumes of data extremely quickly, and is able to separate strange information from the masses faster than people. AI models are able to identify security threats and malicious activities and stop them before they start causing harm to systems or devices. AI can also analyse network traffic patterns and suggest functional workloads grouping and security policy, optimising and tailoring network, workloads, and processes to a business’ specific needs and uses. According to a recent report, AI and ML are being used to enhance multiple cybersecurity areas, including:
Data centres

Advanced calculating powers and monitoring abilities offer valuable insights into optimising IT infrastructure security and efficiency by enhancing and tracking processes in the data centre.

Threat detecting

Signature-based techniques detect up to 90% of threats, while AI-based detecting raises it to 95% – but with more false positives. A combination of the two would raise threat detection up to 99%, recognising false positives faster and lessening them as much as possible.

Network security

AI can improve network security by analysing network traffic patterns, and use the data gathered to suggest more efficient workloads grouping and security policies for the business.

Vulnerability management

AI and ML can help recognise patterns between the systems on your network and seeing what software vulnerabilities exist on them, and possibly offer solutions.

The advancement of DevOps

DevOps-based security automation is another trend making waves into cybersecurity automation. Using a combination of interrelated practises and tools that increase the speed of application development and delivery, DevOps is about building security into development processes right from the start.

This new code can be automatically tested for vulnerabilities, and any faults can be stopped from going ahead into production.

Is cybersecurity automation right for your business?

Cybersecurity automation is proven to reduce human error, increase the speed of data management and threat response time, facilitate informed decision making, and reduce false security alerts and human error.

Malicious actors are using every tool available to eavesdrop, steal data, and ransom businesses – and this includes automation. Businesses and organisations need top tools to keep their – and their customers’ – data secure.

By implementing cybersecurity automation, you can guard against your digital assets and build brand loyalty. These automated tools have not yet reached their full maturity, but are already wholly necessary in the battle against cyber threats.

If you’re overwhelmed by security alerts and are looking to resource augmentation within your company, talk to the IT experts at RODIN today about implementing cybersecurity automation.

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