WootCloud Blog

Bad guys are using automation to attack your networks. Why Not Use the Same Techniques To Defend Yourself?

I was recently reading the latest edition of IBM’s annual cost-of-a data-breach study and found a key finding that may surprise you. The average cost of a data breach at organizations that have deployed security automation technologies – such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, and automated orchestration – was far less than at organizations that have not yet deployed these technologies. In fact, the average cost of a breach at organizations with fully deployed security automation was $2.45 million, compared to $6.03 million at organizations with no security automation, or a difference of $3.58 million.

Security automation is important

Security automation is hugely important because cyberattacks are happening every 39 seconds and organizations often receive thousands or even millions of alerts each month. Without security automation, SecOps must resolve threats manually. Moreover, with the huge explosion of connected devices, and the merging of IT and OT – manually configuring the network, devices and user access can introduce human errors making the network extremely vulnerable to exploitation. In fact more and more cyber attacks are automated and run through bots. Thus security automation is extremely necessary to deal with the complexity associated with protecting a business network. 

How security automation can help

There are four major areas where security automation can be utilized effectively to help with security orchestration and the zero trust architecture.

  • Automated discovery of devices in airspace and network. 
  • Access control, vulnerability scan and risk escalations can all be automated via policies.
  • Automated policies to continuously monitor the discovered devices and ensure that devices have the right configurations, meet the right compliance goals, part of the right segments and have the right access they need.
  • Correlating data from all attack vectors, identifying groups of threats to create automated policies to mitigate threats. Machine learning and automation make all this happen faster, more effectively, and more accurately.  

Security automation helps in a low friction successful deployment of a zero trust architecture by

  • Better utilization of operations team assets, improving ROI on existing security tools and technologies.
  • Increased productivity by reducing security operations fatigue from alert and task overload.
  • Quick response to incidents and events, offloading the mundane tasks of monitoring and regular enforcement tasks on millions of devices from humans.
The biggest thing we see impacting breach costs is an organization’s ability to respond quickly to an attack, and a lot of this comes down to planning and preparation. Technology, particularly that which enables automation at different data points and across many levels can play a big role in speeding response and lowering overall breach costs. Cyberattacks have become heavily automated. Automation is the only way to reduce the volume of threats and enable faster prevention.

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Contributing Authors:

Ali Jalbani

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