Scott McKellar is currently a Technical Consultant at Mimecast where he has been since early 2019. Scott has been working in the technology industry for fifteen years and is passionate about technology & security. Scott enjoys understanding his customers and prospects often complex business challenges and aligning them with technology to solve problems and add value. Prior to his role at Mimecast, Scott headed up the technology team for an Australian leading Wi-Fi analytics SaaS and IaaS provider; Discovery Technology (a Data#3 company).
Bring on the robots: How cybersecurity automation can boost your defences
With the explosion of digital services, especially after the pandemic, the demand for skilled cybersecurity talent is skyrocketing. But as we’ve discussed earlier, there is a crippling shortfall in the number of skilled workers in the Australian market.
IT departments and cybersecurity teams are struggling to keep up with the rapidly growing threat landscape, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting many new workers anytime soon. What is a security-conscious data-driven organisation to do?
Automation just might be the answer. The right automation tools and technologies can greatly augment the capabilities of your current team and accomplish far more for your cyber resilience goals at a much lower cost.
But automation can do more than just plug your organisation’s skills gap. Hackers are already using automation to carry out faster and deadlier attacks, and cybersecurity automation can help your defences keep up. After all, manual methods and traditional solutions have their limits, even if you throw all your manpower behind them.
Security automation can reduce risks, address errors and fix issues before hackers can exploit them, all without harassing your human cybersecurity team. Having your own ‘robot’ cybersecurity army sounds like a great idea, but what would it look like in practice? Let’s take a look at some specific cybersecurity automation technologies and what they bring to the table.
The Essential Automated Cybersecurity Tools
Most businesses don’t need highly complicated automation solutions for their needs. A great way to get started with automation is to focus on where cyber risks are most likely to come from: your employees. Here are some automation technologies that will help safeguard your people.
1. Automated traffic monitoring - Your very own robot detective
Smart firewalls (bolstered with AI and machine learning capabilities) can detect threats in real-time and automatically update the system’s responses accordingly. This type of automation technology can monitor and detect risky websites and emails, automatically filtering out suspicious messages or attachments. It also continually updates its database of threats, so you always get up-to-date protection.
2. Automated malware removal - Your digital disinfectant
Once malware has infected your systems, it can be an extremely labour-intensive process to manually scan and remove all traces of it. But a suitable automated tool can do the job for you. As a neat side effect, it also removes human error from the equation, making sure lingering malware doesn’t sneak through the cracks.
3. Automated backups - Save face by saving your data
Let’s be honest: no one enjoys making backups. It’s a chore, it never seems urgent, and it’s easy to keep putting off. But data backups have saved the skin of many companies that got hit by a vicious ransomware attack. In fact, it can be the only thing protecting you from a company-crushing ransomware incident. Luckily, there are automated backup tools that can automate and schedule regular backups to the cloud or an on-premises data centre. In the event of an attack, your data will still be under your control, leaving any would-be hackers thumping their fists in helpless anger.
4. Automated security testing – Trust your early-warning system
It’s easy to think you need massive budgets for cybersecurity, but that’s not the case. Cybersecurity effectiveness should be the goal, not spending. And continuous, automated testing can be just the ticket to make sure your cybersecurity tools are performing at maximum effectiveness. Penetration testing and attack simulation tools safely simulate common types of cyberattacks and can point out any security gaps, while also advising you on how to fix them. In effect, you get enterprise-grade benefits at a fraction of the cost.
Automation can support your people, but can’t replace them
It’s important to understand that cybersecurity automation technologies are not ‘plug and play’. They need well-trained people to run them effectively. They won’t replace your human team, but automation tools can greatly extend their capabilities.
Most cybercriminals are already taking advantage of automation to deploy high-stakes attacks on organisations. Levelling the playing field through cybersecurity automation that can constantly scan, patch and protect your key systems and thwart malware is now a business essential. When it comes to securing your organisation from malicious cyberattacks - which are happening more and more frequently - don’t risk it. Just automate it!