There is a war being waged between criminals who want to infiltrate a company's defenses and cybersecurity professionals who are determined to keep their organizations safe. If all goes well, the security analysts can breathe a sigh of relief and head home at earthly hours, knowing that they’ve kept organizational systems and data secure. but on bad days, bleary-eyed analysts end up burning the midnight oil trying to plug breaches that could spell financial ruin for their companies if left unchecked. Despite all the time, money, and mindspace being poured into threat detection and response, analysts still often tread water when it comes to dealing with alerts.
Is Automation the Answer?
Automation is definitely part of the solution. It is an effective tool to reduce analyst effort and possibility of error in the face of repetitive attacks and false positives. With automation handling all the low-hanging fruit, analysts are freed up to deal with more sophisticated attacks and strategic thinking, thus increasing their productivity.
However, there are a few caveats that prevent automation from being a one-shot panacea to all analyst woes. However robust an automation system is, it will probably still leave behind a large number of alerts that analysts must work through. Moreover, even standard attacks have enough tweaks and eccentricities that analysts don’t feel entirely comfortable automating end-to-end containment and remediation. Therefore, a mix of machine-led and analyst-led decision making represents the ideal response mechanism to cyber attacks today.
The problem lies in finding this proper mix between manual activities and machine-driven responses. The solution lies in security orchestration.
What Is Security Orchestration?
It has become increasingly common in the industry to use the terms "automation" and "orchestration" interchangeably. Many cybersecurity professionals consider orchestration as simply the latest buzzword for automation or the latest phase of security automation. However, security orchestration can actually provide you with much more than mere automation.
Orchestration is a strategy of connecting and integrating disparate security tools and data to give security teams the sweeping functionality required to respond to threats. When executed correctly, orchestration streamlines processes and empowers analysts.
Simply stated, finding and eradicating threats by reacting to individual alerts is a losing game. Humans need context to perform accurate assessments. Orchestration helps them develop a threat storyline that can provide the insights they need to respond to an alert correctly. Comprehensive orchestration can provide the capabilities to navigate operations and response from start to finish. Typically, the keystones of effective orchestration do not vary by team size or maturity level.
- Automation: Security automation requires a customized approach rather than a generic formula. The key is to maintain flexibility when integrating automation. For example, automation could encompass basic playbooks, the entire incident response, or portions of the workflow.
- Context: Contextual threat storylines that cover relationships across intelligence, alerts, and security data help analysts determine priorities and recognize trends.
- Staff Empowerment: Analysts need a 360-degree view of the incident to ensure that they eradicate the threat instead of just addressing symptoms. With the proper visibility and tools, analysts are able to intervene as needed during both investigation and response. The response process can be a coordinated effort that involves both machines and analysts.
Cyberattacks are only going to increase in the coming years. Currently, the average cost of a security breach is over $3 million, highlighting the need for companies to take them more seriously than ever. Many companies are actively recruiting cybersecurity analysts, but the talent gap has made it impossible for every organization to hire as many qualified analysts as they need. As of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were more than 200,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the nation, while industry insiders predict a global shortfall of 1.5 million by 2019.
All these factors make it necessary for organizations to improve analyst productivity, increase the volume of mitigated threats, and shorten the time to remediation. To do their jobs properly, analysts need a comprehensive, single-pane orchestration platform to achieve the proper balance between human insight and automation.
At Demisto, we understand the challenges that you are facing. We can help you identify, manage and respond to threats in less time, reducing your response time and helping your team members be more productive. Our comprehensive platform can help you automate processes and workflow, manage incidents efficiently, automate threat hunting and improve collaboration. Contact us today to learn the many advantages you can gain.