What is Automated Incident Response? 6 Ways It Can Benefit Your Business
Threats to organisations continue to grow according to a report by Netherlands-based Surfshark. Based on the VPN company’s findings, 108.9 million accounts experienced data breaches in the 3rd of 2022—a whopping 70% surge on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
The continuing rise in successful attacks despite the availability of tools that can help monitor incoming threats may be attributed to the lack of cybersecurity incident management. This means that security alerts that could have effectively warned against impending risks were left unattended, leaving enterprises vulnerable.
How Organisations are Handling Security Incidents
Every enterprise has an incident response process at some level. The question however, is whether the incident management processes deployed are actually working to allow organisations to competently identify threats, and investigate attacks so that the impact they create is reduced. Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t doing it right.
While most businesses are fully aware of the damage that these threats could potentially cause, the reality for many businesses is that there just aren't enough work hours for IT support and cybersecurity personnel to manually monitor and investigate every security alert that comes in. Some of the common issues include:
Absence of a consistently applied process in place;
Prolonged response times;
False positives that lead to alarm fatigue;
Inability to bring together the right people, processes, and security infrastructure.
If your company is facing this problem, the best option for you is to utilise automated incident response.
What is Automated Incident Response?
Automated Incident Response (IR) is the process of implementing a proactive and systemic response to a security incident. It is generally referred to in the security industry as Security Orchestration and Response or SOAR because it merges three previously distinct technology processes: automation, security incident response, and threat intelligence.
As with all matters of cybersecurity, time is always of the essence. An effective automated incident response tool ensures that IT support and security teams can triage alerts efficiently and respond to critical incidents in real-time. This ability not only contains the damage but also allows for remediation of the cause to prevent similar attacks in the future.
6 Key Benefits of Automated Incident Response
Aside from faster response times which is one of the primary goals, investing in IR tools can benefit your enterprise in several other ways. Here are the six top advantages of using automated incident response solutions:
Streamlined operations with fewer manual processes
Manually analysing events delay resolution of the problem and only serves to heighten the vulnerability of organisational data and applications. IR tools can automate different parts of the process such as data gathering and analysis, forensic investigation, triage, ticket generation, incident response, and report generation. The fewer manual tasks done, the more standardised the processes will be, helping to ensure that analysts are focusing their efforts and skills on the areas where these are needed most.
Optimised threat intelligence
Automated IR platforms and SOAR solutions automatically collect and integrate data from various sources, ensuring that your security applications are up-to-date with the latest known threats. This eliminates the need to manually update every tool in your arsenal and allows your security team to put their focus on devising appropriate strategies to remediate threats.
Reduced false positives, less alert fatigue
Manually going through an overwhelming number of alerts that turn out to be false alarms is a cumbersome task, causing frustration among analysts and IT personnel. Once this leads to fatigue alert, there is a higher chance that real threats could go undetected or ignored for long periods because the security team has become desensitised to such alerts. A survey conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) on over 300 US-based IT executives reveals that companies with over 500 employees don’t look into 27% of alerts.
Improved efficiency for security teams
With automated IR unloading manual processes off security personnel, they, in turn, are less stressed, and experience fewer burnouts. They are also likely to work more efficiently, increasing their morale and overall job satisfaction, and reducing security staff turnover in your company.
Better cost-efficiency of tools and resources
Many businesses may contend that with the limited security budgets they have, it’s difficult to put IR automation on top of their priority list. An effective counterargument for that however, is that an automated incident system allows the company to take care of threats efficiently without augmenting headcount or workload. Further, SOAR platforms allow you to use your existing security tools, automating and integrating these for a streamlined workflow, and giving you more bang for the buck on your current solutions.
Improved decision making
Without a well-thought out plan in place, the situation could easily go from bad to worse when an actual breach happens. Automating incident response simplifies decision making because it puts a standard guideline in place that defines what the proper steps to take are in such an event. This also promotes greater visibility across the organisation where each executive, IT leader, and employee knows what to do in case a serious incident does take place.
Automated IR and SOAR platforms could very well be the technologies that can create the necessary system to protect your organisation from threat attacks and data breaches. Consult with your IT managed services provider today to know how your enterprise can make the most of your existing security tools with incident response automation.