10 truths about security automation

Last updated on

Written by Aoife Anderson

Automation has become a vital part of cybersecurity today.

Organizations, whatever their purpose, size, or industry, are investing more in SOAR solutions every year in a bid to reduce the burden on their security teams, 83% of whom say they are overwhelmed by the volume of alerts and complexity of tools. 

Despite the increasing number of daily alerts and threats, many organizations continue to rely on manual processes in favor of embracing automation due to a number of myths and misconceptions.

To help ensure your expectations are in line with reality, here are ten truths about security automation, starting with the most obvious.

1. Automation won't replace humans 

Every day, a new headline suggests automation will render highly skilled professionals irrelevant. In reality, it's a very co-dependent relationship. Security teams need automation tools to save time, reduce human error, and allow them to focus on more important and engaging work. Automation tools, in turn, depend on humans to be the brains of every process and to apply their hard-earned skills and judgment where it matters most, which is different for every organization.

2. Not all SOAR tools are made equal 

Best-of-breed automation tools can handle extremely complicated, multi-step workflows across the cybersecurity lifecycle. These tools easily integrate across your technology stack and thrive in dynamic environments. Not only will they take the action you define while keeping your credentials secure, but they'll also facilitate human intervention as per your unique rulebook. Highly flexible tools will enable you to maintain and evolve your processes as your organization scales and grows in complexity. Do your technical due diligence to find out if a SOAR tool is truly capable of delivering what you need.

3. No-code is the future 

There's a common misconception, likely rooted in legacy software, that automation tools are tough nuts to crack. But the days of having to rely on developers to build and maintain your automated workflows are over. No-code SOAR tools are built to be more user-friendly and flexible, meaning those that know your security processes best, frontline analysts, play a central role in building, maintaining, and evolving them. Great no-code tools remove all of the unnecessary complexity of coding while keeping the power of automated workflows.

4. Automation is not a silver bullet 

Some vendors can’t seem to handle this truth, but there is no cybersecurity silver bullet. There are brilliant tools and strategies you can implement to reduce your risk, but there isn't a single solution or suite of tools that will make your business impermeable to attacks in today's heightened threat landscape. More often than not, human error is the weakest link. Ensuring your employees practice good security hygiene and embrace a cybersecurity-first culture is the best way for your organization to achieve an optimal security posture.

5. Automation is great for offense (not just defense) 

While automation helps security teams detect and mitigate threats in real-time, it can do much more than that. When implemented correctly, automation can be used to identify weaknesses and transform processes in line with your business objectives before new threats have even had a chance to emerge. For example, you can achieve clear visibility into every device accessing your network at any given time.

6. All teams can benefit from automation 

Most security teams are implementing automation, no matter how mature, talented, or well-resourced. The right tool will help you aggregate alerts, manage endpoint security systems and security logs, save time, and eliminate human error. You’ll also be in a better position to go toe-to-toe with cyber attackers, more of whom are attempting to leverage automation to launch increasingly disruptive attacks.

7. Effective automation requires some time and consideration 

The best security teams figure out how to do something well manually before automating it. Rubber ducking is a great way to produce additional knowledge of shared processes across multiple flows that can lend themselves to better automation during implementation. Once you have the right tools in place and a set of well-defined, repetitive processes, a moderate and steady approach to automation will help you demonstrate its value and enable you to iterate as needed, ensuring your time and effort pay off considerably in the long run.

8. Automation offers greater control 

Trust is one of the biggest barriers to adopting automation; there’s often a fear that some automation tools might not easily allow for human intervention. The best automation tools enable you to apply your judgment, knowledge, and experience at various points along the way, giving you greater control of your environments and systems. Also, as we highlighted above, the beauty of no-code automation tools is that those who know the processes best can also build and maintain their own workflows, giving your security team more control than ever before.

9. One size doesn’t fit all 

Some vendor playbooks might lead you to believe there is only one way to approach security, which is a very harmful misconception. For your security team to effectively mitigate and respond to threats, it's critical to regularly undertake a thorough analysis to understand the intricacies of your environment and make informed decisions. Inflexible, one-size-fits-all security solutions and services are unlikely to give you the protection you require. 

10. More tools aren’t always the answer 

The best teams don't care about having the latest and greatest tools; it's all about having interoperability. The problem with many legacy SOAR tools is that they're incapable of interacting well with each other, let alone across different teams. Best-of-breed tools with a greater focus on deeper integration are the key to eliminating tool sprawl. The first step in the arduous journey of curating your technology stack is figuring out where your blind spots are and if there's any overlap.

Ultimately, whether Tines is your no-code automation tool of choice or not, it’s important to implement security solutions that will help you protect your network and data. If you want to hear more, be sure to follow Tines on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube to stay up-to-date on our latest developments.

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