Enterprise cybersecurity has devolved into a war zone. Today’s cyber adversaries are armed with cutting-edge tools to launch sophisticated and devastating attacks and data breaches; and companies cannot afford to take a reactive stance to cyber defense.

The need of the hour is a disciplined, programmatic way to identify, detect, investigate, and remediate incoming security threats before they can cause too much damage. Here’s where security automation comes in.

What Is Security Automation?

Security automation is the use of technology to identify and remediate security issues and triage and prioritize security alerts, all in an automatic fashion. Software automation tools weed through and triage alerts and take appropriate action if they detect a threat.

The expanding cyberthreat landscape and the increasing complexity of enterprise infrastructure make it harder for security operations centers (SOCs) to manage security and protect the organization manually. Those manual processes slow down threat detection and remediation, leaving enterprise systems vulnerable to many kinds of attack.

Automated security tools will do everything security teams would normally do, including:

  • Review and prioritize alerts
  • Perform threat hunting to identify new threats
  • Contain and resolve threats to mitigate damage to enterprise assets

Since human intervention is not required for these repetitive, time-consuming activities, teams can focus on other high-value work to strengthen the organization’s security defenses, such as:

  • Automating security procedures
  • Updating and implementing policy rules
  • Creating customized playbooks and workflows for incident detection, response, and remediation

Automation also allows security personnel to avoid “alert fatigue” – when security staff are overwhelmed by large alert volumes and end up ignoring many alerts. Some of those missed alerts may indeed refer to real threats, so ignoring them increases the organization’s risk of attack.

What Is a Security Automation Platform?

A security automation platform allows centralized threat monitoring and security management. It scans the corporate infrastructure for security vulnerabilities to provide more rapid and timely threat detection and remediation compared to human analysts.

Security teams can create customized playbooks with encoded logic and rules. The platform can then automatically act to contain a security issue. That reduces incident response times and mitigates cybersecurity risk.

Examples of such actions include:

  • Block a suspicious URL on enterprise endpoints
  • Quarantine an infected device
  • Delete a malware-infected file

The best platforms integrate multiple standalone security processes and solutions to streamline security operations and boost enterprise security.

Common Security Automation Tools

The most common (and popular) types of automation tools are:

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

A SIEM platform collects, aggregates, sorts, and analyzes security information from a range of sources. It collates and presents all this data from one centralized location and raises alerts that can then be verified and investigated by security analysts.

Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR)

A SOAR platform strengthens a SIEM tool with automated incident response processes. That is, SOAR can not only collect security data and raise alerts, but also respond to threats automatically. It can reduce the harm of a threat more effectively than a SIEM platform alone.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR)

An XDR platform extends the capabilities of SIEM and SOAR. Based on advanced technologies such as machine learning, the tool provides a central way to consolidate security systems and threat intelligence, respond to security incidents, and prevent serious attacks.

Tips to Implement Security Automation

First, define your security goals and use cases based on your industry and business; then identify the tools you need. Look for a low-code automation platform that’s easy to use and can integrate into your security infrastructure easily. Also, select providers that can train your security team and provide 24×7 technical support.

Instead of automating everything at once, prioritize the security tasks that need to be automated immediately and can deliver immediate value. Ideally, define the first automated playbooks based on the most time-consuming and repetitive processes. In this way, you can effectively address more incidents and make adjustments wherever required.

Enhance Risk Management and Data Security with the Reciprocity ROAR Platform

As we have seen, your organization needs automation to better understand and respond to IT and cyber risks. Make automation work for you with Reciprocity’s advanced security automation platform ROAR (Risk Observation, Assessment and Remediation).

ROAR will give you a unified, real-time view of risk that’s framed around your business priorities and processes. It will reveal the business implications of this risk so you can drive informed, data-driven decisions to protect your assets, customers, and stakeholders.

Get rid of security gaps and blind spots with ROAR and get expert-provided guidance to understand your risk posture. With contextual insights and a pre-built content library, ROAR provides a single source of truth so you can better understand your threat landscape and act proactively to safeguard the enterprise from harm.

Get a demo of ROAR.