#HowTo: Automate your security processes

#HowTo: Automate your security processes

IT security is more complicated today than ever before: teams have more platforms to support, more changes to manage, and more vulnerabilities to fix. This is only compounded by the number of 3.12 million empty security roles around the world, according to ISC2.

In response to this, IT security teams want to use automation to deal with these issues more effectively. Automation can help your team focus on making the most of their skills rather than manual tasks like data preparation. However, you need to approach automation the right way to be successful over time.

The first step is to audit your processes. This should be a straightforward exercise, but it can also show any changes or shortcuts your team has taken to be more effective. These can be checked and then included or deleted. This gives you the opportunity to apply best practices from the start. It also provides an opportunity to check with your team how they are feeling before the project starts and to make sure they are comfortable with the approach.

The second step is to find the right processes with which to start your automation implementation. Trying to cover everything in one go is something to avoid, so instead focus on a few of the high-priority processes your team needs to perform. There are already many great automation resources available to get you started; for example, there are sets of integrations and processes called playbooks that you can customize to meet your needs and then get implemented. Good examples include the processes around phishing attempts, responding to incidents for key applications, and detecting configuration errors.

An important point to consider is that any automation project you start should follow your needs, rather than forcing you to modify your processes to suit the technology you are implementing. Your tools should adapt to how your organization works, rather than the other way around. In the past, implementations that had to adapt to technology invariably failed.

The third step is to help your employees with better analytics and integrations results. This involves examining how your security operations center uses its security incident and event management (SIEM) system to aggregate data from across the enterprise and get those automated results delivered to the staff to work with. . It should be part of the overall playbook you deploy, and SIEM can help you automate data analysis.

However, along with the analysis there are other processes involved to help your analysts work with these results, as there can be hundreds or even thousands of alerts. Using these scan results throughout the incident response process can also be automated using Orchestration, Automation, and Security Response (SOAR) to help your team be more productive with this data.

The fourth step is to look at the metrics to see how well your automation implementations are performing. A good place to start is to compare your pre-automation and post-automation processes to see how much time you save. It can help you demonstrate how long your team recovers and how that equates to cost savings and stopping attacks. By examining your playbooks as part of a larger business process – for example, a bank that examines the time it takes to handle attempted fraudulent transactions or investigating attacks on industrial machines for manufacturers that would otherwise result in downtime. stop – you can also deliver company level results that you have achieved.

The fifth step is to think of automation as part of a continuous improvement process rather than a one-time implementation. Once you’ve completed those initial automation projects, you can look at other processes that can be moved using the lessons you’ve learned and cover more extreme cases over time. You can improve your approach by refining your analyzes, streamlining the way you get work done to analysts, and helping your staff to be more effective over time.

Based on these guidelines, you can increase your team’s data and security efficiency and happier by doing away with frustrating manual work. Of course, no business is the same and everyone will need to embrace automation in their own way. To get the most out of automation, it’s important to take a holistic approach to your processes and people, rather than just seeing technology as a means to an end.

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