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What is Security Automation?

Security automation is the automation of security tasks, including both administrative duties and incident detection and response. Security automation provides numerous benefits to the organization by enabling security teams to scale to handle growing workloads.

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What is Security Automation?

The Need for Security Automation

As cyber threats become more numerous and sophisticated, the concept of zero trust security was created to help manage enterprise cyber risk. Instead of implicitly trusting internal users and systems, zero trust security approves or denies access requests on a case-by-case basis driven by role-based access controls (RBACs).

 

The granular security provided by a zero trust architecture has significant benefits, but it also creates a significant amount of overhead. Security automation is essential to building a secure, scalable, and sustainable zero trust strategy.

The Main Benefits of Security Automation

The primary goals of security automation are to enable faster incident response and to increase security agility. These two objectives are accomplished in a few different ways.

Reduce Security Administrator Workload

Security teams are increasingly overwhelmed by ever-growing workloads. Corporate IT infrastructure is growing more complex and distributed, making it more difficult to monitor and secure. At the same time, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated, requiring more sophisticated detection and prevention capabilities.

 

Security automation can help security administrators keep up with their expanding responsibilities:

 

  • Security Procedure Automation: Converting repetitive and tedious security tasks into customized workflows that are executed automatically, scheduled, or event-driven helps to reduce wasted time and enables security tasks to be completed more quickly and correctly.
  • Updates to Objects and Policy Rules: Dynamically linking objects in the security policy to external object stores (such as Microsoft Active Directory, Cisco ISE) can help to free up significant staff time and decreases the chance of mistakes due to human error.
  • Admin Role Delegation: By delegating policy management to the relevant organizational unit, security automation can reduce unnecessary communication and coordination across the enterprise for routine policy updates.

Automated Incident Detection and Remediation

Cyberattacks are growing more numerous and are increasingly automated, decreasing the time from the attacker’s initial access to achieving their final objective. Minimizing the risk and impact of these attacks requires rapid incident detection and response.

 

As cyberattacks become more automated, incident detection and response must be automated as well to keep up. Security automation can aid incident detection and response in a couple of ways, including:

 

  • Centralized Security Management: Security automation can use algorithms and best practices to identify security incidents and incorporate remediation via changes of access policy rules or by quarantining devices or users via integration with network controllers such as Cisco ISE and other NAC solutions.
  • Incident Response (IR) and Ticket Enrichment: Integration between Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions, security solutions, and threat intelligence feed provides the SIEM with rich contextual data about security incidents such as event logs and threat intelligence. The SIEM can analyze this data, identify likely threats, and trigger policy changes or generate indicators of compromise (IoCs) for further incident detection and remediation.

Integrated Corporate Security Architecture

Many organizations’ security architectures are composed of an array of standalone solutions designed to address certain threats on a particular platform. This complex security infrastructure is difficult to monitor and manage, impeding security teams’ ability to identify and respond to potential threats.

 

Security automation can help to address this issue by integrating an organization’s range of security solutions. With the use of APIs, an organization can link standalone security solutions together, enabling centralized monitoring and management and enhancing sharing of threat data across the organization’s security infrastructure.

Types of Security Automation Tools

Some of the main types of security automation tools include:

 

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): SIEM solutions are designed to collect, aggregate, and analyze security data from across an organization’s IT environment. SIEMs help to detect and provide contextual information about security incidents while eliminating the need to manually collect and aggregate data across multiple sources.
  • Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR): SOAR builds on the capabilities of a SIEM solution by adding automated response capabilities. In addition to providing threat alerts to human analysts, SOAR solutions can shut down potential threats automatically, reducing the impact to the organization.
  • Extended Detection and Response (XDR): XDR solutions combine SIEM, SOAR, and other security capabilities into a single, centrally managed solution. Based on enriched raw data and threat intelligence, XDR can proactively move to prevent cyberattacks.

Security Automation with Check Point Infinity

As organizations work to adopt zero trust security models, security automation is essential to closing the gap between an organization’s existing security and a zero trust security posture. To get started on your zero trust journey, take the Check Point Zero Trust Security Checkup.

 

Closing these security gaps requires a security solution that offers extensive automation capabilities. Check Point Infinity centralizes and automates security management and streamlines incident detection and response, enabling an organization to minimize its cybersecurity risk. To learn more about implementing zero trust with Check Point Infinity, check out this webinar.

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