Six Benefits of Cyber Security Automation

By Nisha Oommen | 24th October 2021 | 5 min read

In the last year and a half, during the peak of the pandemic ravage, DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks were reported² to have increased in complexity and number. [In a DDoS or Distributed Network Attack, multiple requests are sent to a website, bombarding it with so many requests that the website gets overwhelmed and doesn't function properly.

According to U.S Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen, "Ransomware and cyber-attacks are victimising businesses large and small across America and are a direct threat to our economy."¹

As per ‘Ernst and Young’ ³ 81% of business executives claim Cybersecurity processes were compromised because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Companies spent a whopping $6.7 million on average to recover from a breach.

So how do we proactively prevent this kind of breach instead of working too late doing damage control?

Businesses compromise on their site security when overwhelmed with budget allocation issues and staffing shortages. How can companies resolve this and not compromise on their web security?

What Are the Significant Benefits of Cyber Security Automation?

The significant benefits of cyber security automation are

  • Improved Accuracy
  • Reduced Redundancy
  • Reduced Incidence
  • Reduced Cost and Validation Time
  • Better Insights
  • Better Application Security

Organisations need to prioritise CyberSecurity and protect themselves from these attacks through clever, cost-effective ways. According to Michael Rogers, former Director of U.S National Security Agency,  “Inevitably, as we move to an increasingly digital world, our options are game-changers in safeguarding our society and digital future.”⁴

Organisations with foresight are proactively working on fortifying their digital assets by using automation as their crucial strategy against cybersecurity attacks. Organisations need to partner with technology companies if they cannot maintain an internal team of technical security experts.

They should address incident response, data encryption, API & Security Certificate management, application security, and other areas as the first step against cyber-attacks. Surges in traffic often expose organization to vulnerabilities. Zyxware helped a major media site handle the same. Read more about it here.

Some organisations prefer going the latest way of AI automation. But for Artificial Intelligence-based systems to be effective, they need large data sets to give practical solutions and then there is the issue of bias. When you make faulty assumptions in the Data Model created for the prediction process, it causes bias. It results in skewed outcomes, low accuracy and analytical errors.

Nevertheless, automation is essential to prevent human error. Automation tools help speed up the testing process, handle repetitive jobs with ease, and reduce incidence. The automation process should be clear, transparent, and efficient to catch all possible vulnerabilities and avoid cyberattacks. Let us look at six of the main benefits of cyber security automation: 

 

 

1. Improved Accuracy

Automation testing has many benefits, including preventing human error. To a large extent, it ensures consistency in performance, adherence to compliances and processes, and elimination of mistakes. The 2019 Security firewall report⁵ states the lack of automation as a key challenge for security teams. More precisely, human firewall configuration errors lead to sensitive data breaches. 

2. Reduced Redundancy

According to a Mckinsey article⁶, 40% of IT professionals spend a quarter of their time on repetitive tasks. By automating these tasks, time can be better utilised. Some of the functions that can be automated include asset tracking, release management, incident management and order management (for the e-commerce industry). It helps streamline the processes eliminating inefficiencies and process time.

3. Reduced Incidence

Automation is the best way to manage and eliminate the incidence of any kind. Vulnerability of systems to risk incidence increases in direct proportion to the complexity of technology architecture used. Automation helps simplify the complexity of processes and, in turn, incidence.

 

 

4. Reduced Cost and Validation Time

Automated testing of systems reduces the overall cost and time taken for the system to go live. Thanks to limited dependence on human resources, it can run multiple tests simultaneously. It also speeds up the final software validation process.

5. Better Insights

Creating simulation attacks and penetration tests can help strengthen the database. These help cover more processes and security nodes as opposed to manual testing. It pinpoints weak areas, assisting the developer in closing the vulnerability gaps. Another benefit of automation testing is that it does affect the normal functioning of the website.

6. Better Application Security 

A typical enterprise application manages around 50,000 certificates annually. These are crucial for user authentication, digital document signing, sign-ins for servers, devices, IoT, DevOps applications and services, etc. 75% of websites are said to have been caught unaware of certificate expiration and had to face site outages.

Failure to maintain these public key interfaces properly can cause site down, loss of revenue, security fallouts, loss of customers, productivity issues, compliance issues etc. Web applications are kept secure by automation of processes such as authentication, authorisation and encryption.

References:

  • [1] Treasury Takes Robust Actions to Counter Ransomware, Press Release (online), US Department of Treasury. Link accessed on 24 Oct 2021. 
  • [2] David Warburton, Edgar Ojeda, DDoS Attack Trends for 2020, f5.com (online) Link accessed on 24 Oct 2014.
  • [3] Kris Lovejoy, Cybersecurity: How do you rise above the waves of a perfect storm?, ey.com (online), Link accessed on 24 Oct 2021.
  • [4] Tom Lydon, Cybersecurity ETF Offers Long-Term Allure, finance.yahoo.com (online), Link accessed on 24 Oct 2021.
  • [5] “Misconfiguration” – New Code Word for Human Error, Sets Stage for Increased Automation, firemon.com (online), Link accessed on 24 Oct 2021.
  • [6] Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi, Four fundamentals of workplace automation, https://www.mckinsey.com/ (online), Link accessed on 24 Oct 2021.

 

(Tomorrow: What Are Some Popular Open Source Automated Security Testing Tools?)