Are You Using Enough IT Security Automation?

Are You Using Enough IT Security Automation?

IT security automation is no longer a pipe dream reserved for companies with deep pockets. It’s a reality you need to embrace if you are going to keep up with today’s threats. Alas, your enthusiasm for this innovative technology may not be enough to bring your company on board. To help you make a case for IT security automation, we’ll help you answer a critical question that will open up new possibilities.

What Are The Possibilities For Increasing Automation?

With this question, you focus yourself on the possibilities of automation instead of fixating on what could go wrong. Right now, few organizations are making effective use of automation technologies. Consider the financial services industry as an example. According to PwC research, less than 20% of surveyed companies have achieved an “enterprise-wide scale” with automation. That means you have a golden opportunity to act now and seize efficiency gains before these practices become widespread. Even better, we are no longer in the high-risk “early adopter” phase for automation technologies. Now let’s turn to your overworked, stressed-out IT security department and ways we can help them thrive with automation.

What It’s Like To Work In IT Security Today

When we speak with IT security professionals, a few points are immediately apparent. Most security professionals are passionate about their field, enjoy researching new threats and looking for ways to improve. However, their comments also reveal a passion for IT security can only take you so far. Without robust software tools, you are sharply limited with how much you can achieve. In practical terms, IT security professionals face demands to respond to user requests for password help and other administrative changes. As a result, strategic activities to protect the company in the long term are squeezed out of the picture. Reviewing new apps for security vulnerabilities, delivering security training and threat monitoring all suffer when IT security staff are pressed.

How To Focus Your IT Security Automation Project 

By introducing IT security automation software, you can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your cybersecurity defenses. To deliver these improvements, use the following strategies.

1) Review and refresh your IT security strategy and goals

We discuss IT security goals and strategies frequently for a good reason. Simply leaping into action may be exciting, but all that energy is likely to be wasted if you are not focused. When you look at your strategy, consider whether you are striking the right balance between maintenance and growth. By maintenance, we mean tasks and activities that maintain your basic security. By growth, we mean innovative and proactive projects to detect and prevent emerging security threats.

2) Identify IT security tasks for elimination

Before we begin to automate anything, look into activities you can eliminate first. For instance, take a look at all of the monitoring and reporting activities you carry out. Are there one or two of these reports that could be eliminated? Alternatively, propose reducing reporting frequency from weekly to monthly. This simple exercise is an excellent way to free up a few hours per week, which is all you need to make further improvements.

3) Create an inventory of recurring IT security tasks

As with any corporate function, IT security is a mixture of project work, strategic priorities and recurring tasks. In most cases, recurring tasks are critical to maintaining security. For instance, you might ask your IT associates to walk around the building after hours to see if people have followed physical security requirements. You may also have a service level agreement to respond to user account changes in 12 hours. Your key focus in this step: make a list of all of the IT security tasks that have happened more than three times in the past 90 days.

Keep working on this step until you have found at least ten recurring IT security tasks.

4) Categorize your recurring IT security activities

If you have been following along with each step of the process, you will have a clear strategy, eliminated low-value tasks and a list of security tasks. The stage is set for a breakthrough in IT security productivity.

Go through the inventory you created in the above step and classify the tasks into two groups: rules-based and non-rules based. Rules-based tasks such as password resets are not exactly engaging for people to work on every day. On the other hand, routine rule-based IT security tasks are perfect fodder for automation. By transitioning these tasks to chatbots and other technologies, your staff will smile and finally be able to work reasonable hours. Let’s show how you can do it.

5) Implement IT Security Automation Tools

Historically, implementing an automation solution was tough. You had to hire expensive consultants, engage a project manager, and patiently wait for months before seeing any results. That’s all started to change over the past few years as specialized AI tools have taken off in popularity. In IT security, let’s look at how you can deliver IT security automation with Apollo.

Designed for IT security, Apollo is made to deliver quick productivity results. It is fast to implement because there are no complicated apps to install. Instead, your staff can interact with Apollo using chat tools like Slack and Skype. This means you can deliver a quick win in IT security for once! Once you impress your executives with your increased productivity, the door will be open for you to propose more IT security improvements.

Now, Here Is What You Need To Do NextOnce you have IT security automation up and running, take a moment to celebrate! Your organization is now significantly more secure than others. Your next step is simple – look for your next security improvement project. In our experience, there are a few reliable ways to quickly improve IT security. First, take a hard look at employee training so your staff avoids common security problems. Second, reduce the security risk exposure from your contractors. By equipping your people to thrive and containing insider threats, your organization will be much less likely to suffer hacking incidents.

Written by Nelson Cicchitto