Part Human, Part Machine: Leverage Automation To Bolster Your Defense

May 07, 2021

The sophistication of cybersecurity threats has outpaced the development of conventional security tools. Aside from automated and commoditized hacking methods such as file-based malware, botnets and viruses, advanced persistent threats (APTs) have also risen to become threats to anyone’s security. APTs are persistent malicious actors that attempt to gain access to sensitive information and infrastructure over a period of time.  

APTs normally have access to different methods and tools that allow them to gain entry into networks and evade security measures. These capabilities put organizations, particularly those that only feature conventional security solutions, at disadvantage. APTs can easily evade traditional tools such as firewalls and anti-viruses that can only detect and prevent common and known threats. 

The issues of dealing with these cybersecurity threats are borne by IT security teams. IT employees are tasked not only to oversee the maintenance and management of devices and networks but also lead the cybersecurity automation operations of the organization. Unfortunately, automated attacks now make security 24/7 activities. 

To help organizations deal with these issues, they now have to leverage cybersecurity automation to their advantage. Timeliness is essential in effective threat management, particularly when APTs are actively targeting organizations. Using automated solutions can significantly improve your organization's chances of preventing such attacks. 

Along with all-inclusive security threats, implementing automated security solutions and strict security measures must now be part of the top priorities of your organization. This will help with vulnerability management and vulnerability remediation.

Understanding the Burden of Security 

IT experts are feeling the pressure of being responsible for cybersecurity. Nearly three out of five security experts claim that the shortage in the cybersecurity job market has affected their organizations. 

Current employees have to take on more duties than before. What’s disturbing is that simple IT blunders can have disastrous results. Lapses in security can lead to security threats and cyber attackers can breach your networks.

The IT security team needs to monitor the increasing number of sophisticated threats. Ransomware attacks alone have increased since 2019. IT teams have to keep an eye on automated attacks, which can be a large responsibility. Also, the most experienced IT experts are not capable of detecting every attempt if they only do their monitoring manually.

While investments in security are on the rise, IT professionals are responsible for effectively integrating and deploying these solutions on their infrastructures. They must ensure the proper configuration and deployment of security measures to guarantee protection. 

Even the tools may cause unnecessary stress. IT experts may suffer because of alert fatigue. It’s possible for security solutions to send out huge volumes of notifications as automated threats always probe their defenses. This can overwhelm the employees who are assigned to respond to these alerts.

Using Cybersecurity Automation to Your Advantage

If the IT security team of your organization is among those feeling the crunch, it’s essential for you to take a break and see how you can help them solve these challenges. It can be helpful to always review your techniques and evaluate your security solutions.

Since most threats to breach networks are done automatically, you must always test your organization’s security measures. You can adopt breach and attack simulation (BAS) platforms to assist you to automatically test run all tools and measures implemented in your networks. These tools can offer you quantifiable analysis and suggest corrective actions for you to immediately address the vulnerabilities in your system. 

Additionally, you can leverage IT management platforms to ensure that all your applications and systems are patched and updated. IT management platforms can scan all endpoints to know which of these devices must be updated and can also automatically deploy patches as needed. They can also help streamline the maintenance tasks of your IT team, which allows them to focus on critical detection and vulnerability activities.

Another way to leverage cybersecurity automation to boost your defense is to use smart monitoring and log evaluation tools that can quickly check all the activities that occur within your network. Modern analysis tools, for example, can detect suspicious activities and patterns apart from providing comprehensive reports of all events that occur across services and devices. These insights can reveal the presence of APTs that may be lurking around or targeting your network. Having an accurate and clear picture of what goes on in your infrastructure enables your IT professionals to mitigate and respond to threats. 

Building Expertise 

Cybersecurity automation can assist in reducing your IT team’s workload and boost your capacity to secure your infrastructure. Automation enables you to evaluate huge quantities of data and detect suspicious activities quickly. It can also offer timely suggestions to assist IT experts to make effective decisions.

However, what would make your security more robust is merging the capabilities of machines with human expertise. You can consider investing in your IT staff training and education so that they will be better at keeping an eye on your systems and identifying threats that security tools may have missed. 

Also, standards and strategies are important in cybersecurity and only with skilled IT experts can these practices be completely implemented. Consequently, the combination of half-human and half-machine can help you build a solid defense to protect your organization against risk, threats, vulnerabilities, cyber attacks and hackers.

Cybersecurity automation is essential in boosting your organization's defense. You can achieve this protection by using effective vulnerability management tools like Vicarius. Vicarius is a vulnerability management software that targets cybersecurity officers and operators, as well as IT managers and operators from the U.S. market.

 

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

Written by

Kent Weigle

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