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Security automation is machine-based execution of security actions, which can detect, investigate and remediate cyberthreats with or without human intervention. Security automation has the potential to identify incoming threats, triage and prioritize alerts as they emerge, and perform automated incident response.
Activities performed by security automation tools include:
In this article, you will learn:
Security automation can have significant advantages in the security operations center (SOC):
The following are three categories of tools that can help automate security processes.
RPA technology can automate low-level processes that do not require intelligent analysis. RPA services typically use the concept of a software “robot” that uses mouse and keyboard commands to automate operations on a virtualized computer system.
Here are a few examples of security tasks that can be performed by RPA:
The downside of RPA is that it performs only rudimentary tasks. It does not integrate with security tools and cannot apply complex reasoning or analysis to guide its actions.
SOAR systems are a stack of solutions that enable organizations to collect data about security threats and respond to security incidents without human assistance. The category was defined by Gartner, and applies to any tool that can help define, prioritize, standardize, and automate incident response functions.
SOAR platforms are able to orchestrate operations across multiple security tools. They support automated security workflows, policy execution, and report automation, and are commonly used for automated vulnerability management and remediation.
eXtended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions are the evolution of endpoint detection and response (EDR) and network detection and response (NDR). They consolidate data from across the security environment, including endpoints, networks, and cloud systems, allowing it to identify evasive attacks that hide between security layers and silos.
XDR can automatically compile telemetry data into an attack story, giving analysts everything they need to investigate and respond to the incident. It can also directly integrate with security tools to execute automated responses, making it a comprehensive automation platform for incident investigation and response.
XDR automation capabilities include:
While different security tools operate in different ways, here is a typical process followed by an automated security system. In many cases, an automated security system will perform only one or more of these steps, and the rest will be carried out by a human analyst:
Related content: read our guide to the incident response process
As you prepare to implement security automation technology in your organization, here are a few best practices that can help you make the most of it.
Identify the security events that occur most often, and those that take the longest time to investigate and resolve. Then define use cases and create a list of how security automation can help, based on organizational goals.
Start with manual playbooks
Start with manual playbooks documenting the steps, processes, and best practices your teams use today to effectively address an incident. Ensure teams follow a consistent and repeatable process whenever an incident occurs. Then, identify the most time-consuming, repetitive processes and use them to define your first automated playbooks.
Related content: read our guide to incident response playbooks
Adopt automation gradually
Once you identify all the security tasks you can automate, recognize you can’t automate all of them at once. Start where automation makes the most sense, has high chances of succeeding, or can bring immediate value. Adopting small scale automation, you can monitor your progress, view the results and make adjustments as needed.
Invest in training
You’ll need to educate staff how to use automation tools effectively. Training should not only focus on how to set up and operate automated processes. Define which types of processes and activities should be handled by human operators, and how to escalate smoothly to a human analyst when needed. Ensure that analysts know how to receive tasks from automated security systems, understand the data they receive, and can smoothly continue handling the incident.
Cynet 360 is the world’s first Autonomous Breach Protection platform that natively integrates the endpoint, network and user attack prevention & detection of XDR with the automated investigation and remediation capabilities of SOAR, backed by a 24/7 world-class MDR service. End to end, fully automated breach protection is now within reach of any organization, regardless of security team size and skill level.
Cynet 360 can be deployed across thousands of endpoints in less than two hours. It can be immediately used to uncover advanced threats and then perform automatic or manual remediation, disrupt malicious activity and minimize damage caused by attacks.
Get a free trial of Cynet 360 and experience the world’s only integrated XDR, SOAR and MDR solution.