The world is embracing digital transformation, where software and automation mean less human support is necessary to perform repetitive tasks in a business process. Security automation is no different; we’ve seen massive automation in security in recent years, and that trend continues unabated.

Let’s explore security automation in detail and determine whether it’s time for you to automate your security operations.

Understanding Security Automation

Security automation refers to the use of technology to automate security processes. That reduces the need for human assistance and increases security systems’ efficiency, which ultimately reduces the chaos caused by human errors.

The approach here is to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate IT security operations, employing software-driven processes to detect, investigate, and treat security threats. Automation allows SecOps teams to focus on strategy-driven tasks by automating routine manual work.

Why do this at all? Because as digital transformation escalates, security threats are also increasing at an alarming rate! Nearly every 39 seconds, hackers are targeting websites and using new methods to breach firewalls.

Manual security monitoring can be time-consuming and depends on workforce availability. In contrast, rapid incident response is made possible with automated security tools so that you can tackle cyber threats without delay.

The Significance of Security Automation

For efficient results and better business flow, organizations should move toward less dependence on security teams and analysts and more on software solutions. Listed below are some of the reasons why security automation is essential in today’s highly challenging times, even against the most common cyberattacks:

Improves Incident Response

By automating your security operations, you will improve incident response. It allows you to prioritize threats and handle some cyber attacks automatically with pre-set courses of action. This will reduce human intervention and reaction time, and address security issues without manual effort.

Enables Faster Threat Detection

Security automation allows faster threat detection without depending on any external force. This means that threats like malware, phishing, and endpoint vulnerabilities will be detected immediately by the security system, and won’t require any audits to be identified and treated.

Automating your security system makes it intelligent and quick to recognize threats, limiting the potential for a security incident.

Eliminates Alert Fatigue

Alert fatigue – where staffers are overwhelmed by alerts of potential trouble and can’t investigate them all – is a real risk in cybersecurity. It increases response time and decreases the quality of the investigation. In addition, the massive number of security notifications makes it challenging to identify and remediate critical security threats; analysts can’t separate the signal from the noise, so to speak.

With automated security solutions, most threat-hunting tasks will be handled automatically with pre-set protocols, while the most critical will be routed to the appropriate response team.

Assures Secure Software Development

Automated security operations assure high-end security during the development phase. Automation identifies potential threats and vulnerabilities, allowing developers to fix the issues on the go.

More specifically, security automation helps security systems by using threat intelligence to analyze the attack surface and triage security threats before the program is deployed.

Streamlines Business Processes

Security automation tools help to streamline security processes. That reduces complexity, avoids human errors, improves knowledge sharing, and supports faster decision-making.

Handles Sensitive Data Carefully

If you are a business that faces tremendous cyber threats, handles sensitive data, stores user information, or believes in providing a safe and secure environment to its audience, then security automation is the right choice for you. It will allow your business to save time and money otherwise spent on manually addressing intrusion detection, and make your detection capabilities far more effective.

Security Automation or Security Orchestration?

Security orchestration refers to the integration of security tools and disparate security systems. It streamlines different security processes and boosts security automation, but orchestration and automation are not the same thing.

Security orchestration allows the coordination and flow of data and tasks. It connects the tools, systems, and processes to replace manual processes with contextual decision-making. As a result, you can turn complex processes into streamlined workflows.

How Do Security Automation and Orchestration Differ?

With security orchestration, you save time and effort otherwise spent trying to maximize the use of each security tool.

Security automation streamlines different processes in your security system. So you can automate various methods, but might still need orchestration to automate tasks among the techniques and tools.

When combined, security orchestration and security automation provide tremendous benefits for your security system, including:

  • Faster response rate
  • Improved investigation accuracy
  • Fewer risks to the business
  • Less alert fatigue
  • Cost & time savings

Cybercriminals and their malware are getting smarter and stronger with time. As a result, organizations require high-end security systems and protection against cybersecurity threats. That’s where security orchestration enters the picture: it integrates security systems and processes for detection.

What is Compliance Workflow Automation?

Automating compliance operations that would otherwise be completed manually by workers is known as compliance workflow automation. This technology’s main advantage is that it enables staff to streamline compliance considerations and activities such as risk management and assessments, planning corrective actions, control evaluations, and testing. In addition, it eliminates time-consuming, laborious manual procedures, allowing the team to concentrate on more crucial duties while increasing the function’s accuracy and efficiency.

Why Automation? Automation of the compliance workflow is now a need for almost every organization across every sector. The technology assures that firm policies and processes are created in compliance with legal and regulatory standards and that all organization members follow and adhere to those policies and procedures.

What are some examples of workflow automation?

The benefits of automation include reducing the danger of procedural offenses by making it simpler to guarantee that all processes are followed. This assures that everyone participating in the process is aware of the flow.

Automated Workflow for Health

One easy example in the healthcare field is the rise of electronic health records. With electronic files stored in the cloud, you can assure that medical staff don’t need to transport physical records by car or plane. Instead, data can be sent from one medical institution, office, or lab to another, eliminating the danger of loss, natural disasters, or other accidents (which may be paid for by insurance).

Automated Compliance Workflow

When your compliance workflow is automated, it is simple to follow each step in approving transactions, payments, or other activities. For example, approvals might happen in a more timely manner because all necessary documentation is compiled in one electronic location for quick review.

Workflow for Automated Auditing

Auditors need to follow a transaction’s audit trail to learn what was done, by whom, and when. Automation lines up all that evidence for quick, easy visibility, accelerating the audit and saving money on audit fees (which often accrue by the hour).

Is Security Automation Right for My Business?

Security automation brings tremendous benefits to businesses. With automation, you don’t have to rely on security analysts to handle cyber threats. Instead, the system will automatically react to cyber threats with pre-set responses.

Security Automation Challenges

All that said, security automation does bring its own challenges. For example, it can detect pre-determined and pre-set cyber threats manually fed into the system, but it cannot independently handle new cyber threats and challenges.

Automation also requires security teams to determine the solutions the system might use, and then add them to the automation software so it can determine what responses to implement when something happens. That is, the system still needs a “toolkit” of possible answers.

It’s wrong to assume that security automation will eliminate the need for human support in staving off security breaches. Human oversight will always be necessary. Instead, automation will make life easier for security teams by prioritizing cyberattacks, reducing alert fatigue, and handling common threats automatically.

If you are a business considering security automation, be prepared to encounter resistance from your cybersecurity team. Employees are often reluctant to adapt to technology when they believe their jobs are in danger with technology taking over- but that misunderstands what automation actually does for security teams. So it’s essential to make your employees and stakeholders understand the true benefits and value that automation delivers.

Ready to Automate Your Security Processes?

At Reciprocity, our automation platform helps companies improve their information security by evaluating their cybersecurity risks and implementing the appropriate workflows to meet all your security requirements.

Our ZenGRC can also map your security automation tasks across multiple frameworks such as System and Organization Controls (SOC), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and more. In addition, our dashboard provides a real-time view of your cybersecurity stance, showing you where your gaps are and what security tasks are needed for remediation.

This enables a stronger, more efficient cybersecurity risk management stance and helps compliance officers feel more effective at their jobs while keeping stakeholders informed.

Schedule a free demo today to see how ZenGRC can improve your cybersecurity strategies.