The Future of Security in the New World, IT News, ET CIO

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By Vishak Raman

The move towards a digital first world after the disruption caused by the ongoing pandemic has created its own set of challenges. And cybersecurity risk tops the list. Today, cybercrimes organized in the form of malware and ransomware attacks are on the increase. Even the total number of daily security alerts that organizations face is steadily increasing. According to CERT-In, over 6.07 lakh cybersecurity incidents were observed in the first six months of 2021.

According to a Cisco study, 70% of Indian organizations have seen a more than 25% increase in attacks during the pandemic. Therefore, companies need to put security practices in place around what we know is coming in the future as the surface of the threat continues to expand. It is humanly impossible to secure all endpoints when all stakeholders, whether employees or customers or any party related to the supply chain, are fully distributed.

Therefore, intelligent cybersecurity automation is essential to design an effective security architecture that protects the business against emerging threats. In fact, a Cisco study found that 77% of organizations plan to increase the automation of their security ecosystems over the next few years.

The role of automation in staying on top of the evolving threat landscape

With today’s constant deluge of attacks and complex corporate infrastructure, a successful security program requires the right mix of ingredients. It requires analytics, intelligence, and automation to empower security teams to take control of their environments and schedules through more proactive defenses.

Not only is the investigation of all alerts quite cumbersome, but correcting the anomaly may also slow down the system. In turn, the risks of operational disruption are not excluded. Intelligent cybersecurity automation can help detect unknown threats and policy violations and also reduce alert fatigue among security teams. Moreover, it can provide the optimal solution to organizations in a cost effective manner.

Cyber ​​security automation tools can be security automation and orchestration (SOAR) products, robotic process automation (RPA), and custom-developed software and code that automate processes and perform analyzes. Whatever cybersecurity automation a business adopts, it needs to be an integrated approach that filters data from every endpoint. Most importantly, the automation solution must be powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), as well as data analytics to make it truly smart.
While AI provides better information for decision making, ML detects threats by continuously monitoring network behavior for anomalies. It also helps identify “bad neighborhoods” online, preventing users from logging into malicious websites. So companies need to embrace automation solutions that harness analytics, intelligence and automation under one roof, because we no longer have room for human error.

Cyber ​​security automation can’t be an afterthought – it must be a top priority

As malicious elements launch cyber attacks against organizations for financial gain or to create reputational risk, organizations need to be proactive in detecting threats. Automation of cybersecurity can go a long way towards achieving this goal. Implementing a Zero Trust Security framework with secure endpoints is only possible through intelligent automation.

Automation also has obvious benefits such as costs and operational efficiency. An automated incident management response enables faster data collection, making it a more dynamic, consistent and efficient process.

Additionally, any solution powered by AI, ML, big data, and other digital technologies provide better insights from the datasets and find patterns that are usually not obvious to the naked eye. Hence, automation leads to better analytical capabilities with regard to threat perception. Usually, robots make fewer errors than humans. The decision-making process is also structured, devoid of any human element, and it also reveals shortcomings that can be corrected by concrete measures for enhanced security.

While the adoption of automation leads to process efficiency, implementation remains the key to reaping the full benefits. Therefore, the level of maturity of the business, the robustness of its IT infrastructure, and the complexities involved in integration must be assessed before embarking on an automation journey. In addition, rigorous testing before full scale implementation is essential to avoid disruption.

Actors change, but threats remain

Cybercrime costs organizations $ 6 trillion in damage worldwide, according to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures. As the pandemic accelerates the pace of digital transformation, more and more cloud-based applications will make inroads into our lives. In a connected world, cyber risks will only increase. Therefore, it is prudent for organizations to take a holistic and intelligent security automation approach as they navigate the landscape of emerging threats.

The author is Director, Security Business, Cisco India & SAARC


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