How Security Automation Can Improve Your Overall Security Posture

The latest trend in enterprise security is automation. By automating various aspects of your security posture you can provide stronger security with faster reaction times – without increasing IT security staff. Here’s how it works.

Why Does Security Automation Make Sense?

Let’s face it, the more data your organization has to manage the more difficult it is to protect that data. Instead of constantly increasing IT security staff and spending more money on traditional cybersecurity solutions, it makes sense to automate some of your security-related activities. Automation enables your security to scale as the amount of data you manage grows.

As Amazon Web Services’ security segment lead Dudi Matot recently said, “The more that customers expand their footprints — within AWS or within a hybrid cloud strategy — they need to embrace more automation.” AWS utilizes Infrastructure as Code (IaC) services that enable automated infrastructure management using software code instead of traditional manual hardware management. This enables AWS customers to build security automation at scale.

Automating cybersecurity is also crucial for companies dealing with the growing shortage of qualified IT security staff. According to a CNBC survey, 57% of tech executives say that finding qualified IT workers is their biggest current concern – especially when, according to another survey, 72% of tech workers are considering quitting their jobs within the next twelve months. With the number of cyber threats continuing to grow and IT staff levels remaining steady or shrinking, the only way to provide adequate cybersecurity is via automating some of your security activities.

Automation also provides better results than many manually managed security activities. Automated security doesn’t make human errors. It doesn’t get tired. It does react quickly and accurately to cyber threats. Cognitive security automation tools also “learn” from their experiences and adapt to deal with new threats as they develop.

As threats continue to increase in quantity, intensity, and complexity, the only way to effectively deal with them all is through automation. Automated systems can respond faster than human staff and more effectively deal with complex, multi-prong attacks. It’s no surprise that many technology experts believe that automated security tools are the future of cybersecurity

What Parts of Your Security Posture Can Be Automated?

When it comes to automating your organization’s security posture, where should you start? Not everything can be automated and some activities are probably best left as-is.

When it comes to automating cybersecurity, many organizations start with replacing manual monitoring with automated monitoring. Automated systems can monitor activities 24/7 – and do a better job of it than IT staff looking at dashboards and weekly reports.

Monitoring User Privileges

One possible sign of an exploit-in-progress is unexpected changes in user privileges – privilege escalations for lower-level staff, especially. Automated tools can be programmed to monitor all user privilege changes with a special eye on unauthorized changes to configuration files. Automated systems can do this much faster and more accurately than human monitors.

Monitoring Files and Permissions

Another activity to monitor is file permission changes, which can be an early indicator of a data breach. Automated tools can monitor all changes to file permissions to identify unauthorized changes, typically made by malware that has been installed on your system. You can also use automated tools to search for any newly installed files downloaded to your system – and any scripts or users attempting to execute them.

Monitoring Security Tools

Your IT security staff know that some security tools can themselves be used by malicious actors for data exfiltration. Your automated security systems should be configured to constantly monitor the installation and use of all security tools on your system. Unexpected or unauthorized usage should be flagged as it could be indicative of an attempted attack or breach.

Prioritizing Alert Levels

Your staff is likely bombarded with security alerts on a constant basis – so much so that the risk of alert fatigue is very real. Automated security tools can better deal with these alerts, prioritizing them as to low, medium, or high seriousness. Systems can then be set to only alert certain staff with low-level alerts while expanding the audience for higher-level alerts.

By automating alerts in this manner, different types and levels and alerts are always routed to the most appropriate staff, reducing the number of alerts that employees are subjected to. When they’re not inundated with unnecessary alerts staff will respond more quickly and seriously when real dangers appear.

Use Wickr to Automate Secure Communications and Collaboration

Another aspect of your cybersecurity that you can easily automate is employee communications and collaboration. Wickr’s secure communications and collaboration platform automatically protects all text, voice, and video communications with end-to-end encryption and military-grade security to ensure that no communications can be breached either at rest or in transit. Make Wickr part of your automated security posture – and make sure that all your communications remain secure.

Contact Wickr today to learn more about how secure communications can enhance your organization’s security posture.

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