The growing popularity of cloud providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure over the last decade has brought considerable change to the way we build, use and operate web services. As a result, the enterprises’ production environments have become larger and more complex – and it’s getting more and more difficult for a typical security team to safeguard them manually. As security teams struggle to keep pace using old best practices, automation is a key enabler of performing the team’s work effectively at scale.

The problem is that security is often seen as the biggest obstacle to cloud adoption, but when automated it can be its greatest accelerator. Automating the cloud security process enables organizations to work on deeper analysis and higher-level tasks, to secure their cloud environments and to focus their efforts on innovation and growth. Automating the security processes that are conventionally created and deployed manually brings a new evolution to the cloud.

Before we go deeper into the security automation benefits, let’s first start with what security automation is, what it means in the current threat landscape and how to get the most out of automation.

What is security automation?

Security automation is the automatic execution of security tasks without human intervention. This includes any security action involved with detecting, analysing, preventing or remediating cyber threats that is automated (therefore, machine-based) and contributes to the overall organization’s security posture and plays an active role in future security strategies. It’s no wonder more and more often, enterprise businesses that have undergone digital transformation are looking to automated security as an asset for their organization.

Using security automation, risk analysts can focus on proactively identifying security problems instead of remediating existing tickets. This allows these professionals to use their skills in a way that adds more value to the organization.

How Businesses Benefit from Security Automation?

  • Reduction of routine tasks

The most valuable benefit to automation is that it handles the time-consuming repetitive tasks. This reduces fatigue and saves the company resources which can be directed toward projects that provide additional value to the organization. Moreover, it saves time and efforts for the employees and gives them the opportunity to be more productive.

  • Speeds up threat detection

Security automation allows faster threat detection, without depending on any external force. This means that threats like malware, phishing, and endpoint vulnerabilities will be detected right away by the security system. This allows for faster, more responsive threat protection that plays a critical role in security infrastructure.

  • Improves incident response and resolution time

In the same way security automation speeds up threat detection, it also improves incident response. When analysts are overwhelmed with security alerts, they can only mitigate the most critical on the list. By taking a share of the workload from the security analyst, incident response becomes standard practice.

By quickly identifying and differentiating between opportunistic scans and other sources of security alerts, security automation reduces the time needed to respond to an incident. It addresses cyber threats in real time, prioritizes them, determines whether to take any action, and if so, escalates them to a designated security analyst who takes the next steps toward ensuring the incident is contained and resolved. All of this makes the organization more resilient in the face of different types of cyber crime.

  • Ensures Secure Software Development

Automated security operations ensure high-end security during the development phase. It is able to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, allowing developers to fix the issues on the go. Security automation helps security systems by using threat intelligence to analyze the attack surface and to triage security threats before the program is deployed.

  • Streamlines Business Processes

Security automation tools help to streamline security processes. That reduces complexity, avoids human errors, improves knowledge sharing, and supports faster decision-making.

  • Operational efficiencies and cost

All of the above-mentioned benefits come down to this one final, security automation benefit – improved ROI on automation. When you have tools that aren’t integrated well with one another, you don’t have resources for developers to build custom integrations and automate tasks, you have a staff shortage due to the cybersecurity skills gap. By adopting automation, organizations can allow their analysts more time to spend on deeper analysis and more strategic involvement into security procedures within the same time frame, yielding increased returns on automation investments.

Automation has become a central component to growing and successful businesses. This holds true in the cybersecurity sector as well, specifically with identity and access management, patching, and network change management. At PATECCO we have supported organizations on their path to automating security tasks for many years. We have the know-how and experience to help organizations make the most out of their investment into security automation.