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The Current State of Security Automation
Understanding the Threat Response process
- Preparation - Collection of threat information, creation of policies and procedures for threat response, defining roles and communication guidelines, etc.
- Detection and Reporting - Monitoring security events to detect, alert, and report threats.
- Triage and Analysis - Collecting data for threat analysis, hunting down the threat, planning mitigation measures, etc.
- Containment and Neutralization - Implementing threat mitigation measures, implementing recovery process for affected entities, etc.
- Post-response Activity - Documenting the threat, identifying preventive measures, updating security processes, etc.
The Scope for Security Automation in Threat Response
The Many Advantages of Threat Response Automation
- Reduced Noise in Threat Alerts - One of the most common issues faced by security teams is the unending stream of alerts they receive on a daily basis, many of which can turn out to be false positives or false negatives. Out of the hundreds or thousands of alerts received every day, security teams can only respond to a select few based on several factors such as the severity and relevance of the alert. Thankfully, with automation, it becomes easy to identify and remove false positives or other kinds of non-useful alerts based on contextual factors. Thus, it helps analysts focus their attention where it is most needed.
- Expedited Threat Analysis - While investigating a potential threat, analysts need to gather and analyze the data from existing security and network controls to spot anomalous activities. They may also need to correlate different threat data to nail down the patterns of malicious activity by threat actors or malicious software. These and other such analytical tasks can be performed with automation to augment and quicken the threat analysis process.
- Improved Consistency in SOC Processes - Security professionals often carry a lot of operational knowledge gained through many years of experience. However, this kind of knowledge is not always well-documented and transferred to all team members. This causes inconsistency in security processes which can prove costly, especially in the case of threat response actions. Using threat response automation, security teams can tackle this issue by documenting their operational know-how into the form of playbooks. These can then be automated to ensure a rapid and consistent response every time without the need for human intervention.
- Simplified Threat Management - As the complexity of an organization’s security operations increases, it becomes more difficult to govern and maintain visibility over various ongoing processes. Managers and executives running security operations need to make decisions in many areas such as incident escalation, case assignment, response procedures, and so on. It is important to effectively utilize human resources so as to be able to maintain a strong defense against every potential threat. Threat response automation reduces the complexity in security decision-making by helping automate many day-to-day threat management activities based on an organization’s unique context and requirements.
- Streamlined Reporting - Documentation and reporting enables security teams to build a knowledge base of learnings that help improve the threat response process in the future. However, it requires a lot of manual effort to organize relevant data, present it in a human-readable form, and deliver it in a timely manner to the right people. Automation can provide the capability to generate on-demand customized reports, alerts, statistics, and more to aid the decision-making process for security leaders and improve overall performance.
The Final Word
Posted on: March 12, 2020
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