Security automation is a machine-based execution of security actions. It enables you to detect, investigate, and address cyberthreats without human interaction. Since cyberthreats require immediate action after they happen, it’s better to automate your security than to deal with recurring attacks.
Security automation tools detect and triage threats. Then, they carry out action-response solutions and neutralize these threats, all without your input! These systems also reduce human errors related to inexperience or negligence.
In this article, I’ll cover security automation basics and review a few security solutions you can add to your network.
First, let’s take a look at what security automation is.
What Is Security Automation?
Security automation is an automated approach to security and relates to all aspects of your company, i.e., IT, OT, and the IoT.
Business solutions are becoming more automated, highly integrated, and complex. This means bad actors will find more security gaps to exploit. To assist administrators in bolstering security, developers seek to integrate automation to help find security issues faster.
You can enable automation through predefined algorithms in “intelligent” solutions, or use artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to identify security exploits and malware.
Let’s see what each of these solutions can do for automating security.
Algorithms and AI in Security Automation
Algorithms are scripts used in a program that can suggest intelligent decisions. An algorithm-based solution can’t “think” or rationalize its decision. Rather, it has to rely on previous input. An algorithm’s reliance on previous data means it can’t address newer threats it hasn’t encountered before. That’s why algorithms are unsuitable for more complex environments.
Conversely, AI allows for simultaneous, real-time data processing in different parts of the system. This means AI processes continuous data sets in real-time to determine if network use is outside of normal levels. As a result, it can detect whether your system is under attack. It also conducts a security action or notifies the administrator.
Additionally, AI can assess network traffic in real-time and compare it against known malware. Windows firewall or antivirus solutions are good examples of this use-case.
AI is often used for processing data from images and videos. As a result, it makes it easier for security cameras to identify intruders that aren’t part of the staff. AI can also help to detect when a staff member shouldn’t be in a particular room at a certain time of day. However, privacy laws limit the excessive use of AI for on-premise security solutions.
Now that you know what security automation is, let’s look at its benefits.
Benefits of Security Automation
Here is a list of key security automation benefits.
1. Protecting Operational Technology (OT)
Security automation helps businesses in the manufacturing sector that rely on OT. A plant’s equipment—including robotic arms, machining stations, power regulation equipment, pumps, or anything else used in the production or operations—is an example of OT.
These systems are often vulnerable to attacks. Attacks against these systems also can cause physical damage. In contrast, IT cyberattacks cause only a loss of data. Many automated production lines attempt to hide OT equipment in nested networks. Those networks can often act as a security barrier to reduce cyberattack risks.
But when system changes take place, security gaps begin to appear. Security automation can help detect threats in real-time and identify potential attack surfaces in the production environment.
2. Securing Connected Devices
IoT also has a major security challenge, as companies in this space don’t care much about security. Instead, they focus on being first to the market with new and exciting features. Good security automation secures the entire network, including IoT devices.
Most security automation will control gateways—like routers and ports—and encrypt all traffic, including automatic updates and VPN data.
VPN encryption for every data packet is an amazing feat to achieve. To put this into perspective, an unencrypted mobile automatic update could allow attackers to implement a wireless-based attack.
3. Improving Siloed Data Security
Companies often work in teams and divisions. To help retain intellectual property and trade secrets, a company will silo divisions and teams, both physically and in terms of their IT infrastructure.
It’s entirely possible, through human error, to grant an unauthorized user access to siloed data. Security automation will block and flag newly authorized users’ access based on company benchmarks and access history.
Such an intelligent system is only possible with AI-driven analytics. The AI will create a traffic and access baseline over a few months. Then, it’ll identify anomalous network traffic behavior.
Now, let’s look at the different security automation tools you can use to protect your business.
Security Automation Tools
You can find many security automation tools on the market. Below are a few common security automation tools that you can implement in your business.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA is a software-based system that mimics a human worker’s actions. Essentially, RPA trains a bot to do your job, which could include processing invoices or performing other administrative tasks. That said, the process isn’t intelligent and doesn’t have a “closed-loop” feedback system.
You can use RPA tools to conduct routine security tasks, like running antivirus scans. RPA is often a proprietary software your company has to buy and download.
Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR)
SOAR is used in containerized environments to automate security through modular components. SOAR is a centralized security control system that visually shows each environment’s security state.
For example, if an environment needs changes to access controls, you can select and update them from the SOAR console. In contrast, traditional environment management requires you to access or query each environment individually.
You also get real-time data with SOAR. For instance, you may create a Kubernetes environment in a container and then create services, including a traffic filtering regime, in a supplemental container to connect the environment to the internet.
Once you’ve set up one SOAR, you can implement the same template across new projects. You can also feed analytics through a centralized management system for each environment you manage. This way, you can view everything in one place.
You can create a system that automatically patches software that you use. Your system can even create push notifications to get your attention. SOAR is excellent in containerized virtual environments and for automating the security process.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
SIEM collects security metrics and logs and allows you to access them from a centralized solution. Instead of searching through multiple security solutions, security management staff can investigate an issue in one place. This is useful if a network is being attacked at the time. SOAR is one example of SIEM.
Another SIEM example is User Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA). This technology monitors user traffic for anomalous access to network silos, like when users are accessing a data silo they shouldn’t have access to. UEBA creates push notifications or automates a response like locking the account out of that data silo.
UEBA can also help you find users that accidentally accessed a restricted area. For instance, an administrator might’ve inadvertently given access to the wrong person. In this case, UEBA identifies the human error. Either way, UEBA raises the issue with the administrator and helps plug security gaps quickly.
Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
XDR is an Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) update that secures a network’s endpoints. XDR also integrates firewalls and other security solutions. This technology works the same way as UEBA in its detection and response mechanisms. It’s often built into firewall or endpoint hardware solutions.
Now you know what security automation options you can implement in your organization, let’s look at the top security software solutions currently on the market.
Top Security Automation Solutions
Below are the top security automation solutions you can use to protect your business. Let’s start at the top!
GFI’s KerioControl is a complete security automation solution. It effectively installs and optimizes itself through a few prompts on security intent from you. Once installed, KerioControl lets you view and manage security in real-time from a centralized command window.
KerioControl is trusted by 30,000+ systems and provides all the features you need in one low-cost package. This includes a firewall, intrusion protection, an antivirus solution, and an endpoint VPN.
Control everything, including router and firewall traffic rules, ports, and IP filtering. You can even prioritize bandwidth across the network. All this frees you up to spend more time growing your business.
GFI KerioControl is a diverse solution with price points to tailor the solution to your business needs. GFI also provides integrated gateway solutions to give you extra performance benefits.
Overall, KerioControl provides you with a high-quality all-in-one solution at an appetizing price point!
Check Point provides individual solutions for every security scenario. You can use Check Point solutions for any business, from startups to global companies.
Check Point offers cloud, container, and application-based security solutions. It also provides you with DevOps security, which is excellent for larger companies creating and managing their own software solutions.
You can secure all major third-party hosting solutions with Check Point. That includes AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. You can also use Check Point in hybrid network solutions and for multi-site SD-WAN.
Additionally, Check Point lets you secure IoT-connected devices, run zero trust security zones, and supports Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
Check Point gives you all the tools you’ll need to protect your business and help you grow security as your company scales.
That said, unlike KerioControl, Check Point solutions are modular. They also require more time to utilize and manage.
IBM has its own security offering called QRadar. It’s designed to protect the network, reduce your risk from advanced threats, and maximize security boundaries.
QRadar analyzes networks in real-time to assess threats. It has a lot of features common to KerioControl and Check Point. However, it’s classified as a network detection and response (NDR) security option.
IBM also offers complimentary software, similar to Check Point, to improve security and potentially charge you more for individual solutions, like SIEM, SOAR, XDR, and EDR.
Overall, all three solutions can give you adequate security automation capabilities. But KerioControl is a stand-out offering that gives you the most value for your money with its all-in-one security solution.
Let’s wrap up!
Security automation helps reduce threats to businesses across complex and highly automated environments. Integrating RPA, SOAR, SIEM, XDR, and similar security automation tools enables you to identify threats and automate responses. These tools also notify you from a user-friendly, top-level view of the entire network in a centralized command window. This helps the administrator effectively identify threats and mitigate them quickly, ensuring your business is always safe from threats.
Use GFI KerioControl’s all-in-one security automation as an integrated solution to help you protect your business and allow you to get on with business-related tasks.
Do you have more questions about security automation? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below!
What is security automation?
Security automation relates to all aspects of security for IT, operations technology (OT), and Internet of Things (IoT) in a business that contains automated detection and response features. If you need an all-in-one security automation solution, consider using GFI’s KerioControl—it’s trusted and used on 30,000+ systems.
What is XDR?
XDR is an update on Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) that secures endpoints in a network. XDR also integrates firewalls and other security solutions. Generally, XDR solutions are able to take action against threats to your network.
How can I use security automation to protect my business?
Security automation helps administrators to implement security solutions in growing businesses. Additionally, it helps you manage the complexity associated with business maturation. Security automation can find attack surfaces and assess the business risk that administrators may miss. It can also screen heavy data traffic and user events in real-time. If you need an all-in-one automated security solution, try GFI’s KerioControl.
What is SIEM?
SIEM solutions collect security metrics and logs and allow you to access them from a centralized solution. This stops security management from having to search through multiple security solutions to investigate a security issue. It’s also useful if a network is under attack. SOAR is one example of SIEM.
What is SOAR?
Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR) is used in containerized environments to automate security using modular components. For instance, you can create a Kubernetes environment in a container and then create services, including a traffic filtering regime in a supplemental container to connect the environment to the internet. SOAR provides you with a top-level view of each container.
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