Automating Incident Response to Security Events

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The unabated expansion of the information security infrastructure and enterprise IT compels organizations to have security management and incident response plans in place. A McKinsey survey estimates that nearly 75% of industry experts consider cyber threats to be one of the major concerns. The growing popularity and adoption of digital solutions add to the risk of cyberattacks, which has further aggravated the post-COVID pandemic.

To stem the exacerbation of the data and information loss, cloud service providers have rolled out many effective incident response services. These services help security teams to detect and assess events quickly and automate incident response activities. Key capabilities of incident response services include

  • Security Automation – This allows to automate incident response with the help of security playbooks, which are automated workflows effective at speeding up the response time.
  • Analytics & Intelligence – These support the security teams to collect event data and integrate it with tools and threat intelligence for identifying security events without much effort.
  • Workflow Support – This helps security teams to collaborate on events through case management, which allows them to open event cases, collect assessed data, and make it available for analysts.

Common Drawbacks of Incident Response Strategies

While most organizations do have an incident response plan in place, they don’t effectively operationalize these plans. Some of the common drawbacks in the usually implemented incident response plans include –

  • Outdated documentation that triggers actions against security events
  • Lack of integration with business units across an organization, which inhibits sharing best practices and valuable insights
  • Single point of failure due to absence of data-driven decision making
  • Sluggish responses entailed incident response plans that improperly codified

Opportunities in Incident Response Automation

Cyberthreats are inevitable and they continually grow in frequency and scale. Current manual methodologies of incident response inhibit the nimbleness required for breach identification and corrective actions. Automating the process of incident response using technologies like artificial intelligence and threat intelligence can help organizations accelerate security investigations and remediations. Following are some key opportunities for an incident response that organizations can set up.

Faster Response to Security Events

Automating incident response, unlike standard manually-led plans, equip security teams to easily monitor countless security events daily. The time to handle security events is drastically reduced due to near-real-time risk identification and near-zero recovery time.

Categorizing Response Duties

Incident response management, when automated, provides security teams with suggestions with respect to the allocation of resources. They expedite responses to security events based on their nature, which is usually assessed in terms of availability and expertise of resources.

Risk Analysis

Seamless integration of security protocols into all stages of the software development lifecycle enables a robust incident response platform. Developing algorithms of ML/AI-based on historic and contemporary data further facilitates identifying anomalies in operations that cause security events. This makes risk analysis easy, as ML/AI models are capable of recognizing threats from risk patterns, evaluating these patterns, and classifying them.

Improved Process Management

Incident response automated using AI and threat intelligence allows organizations to

  • Manage security events at a scale
  • Focus the right resources on high-risk activities
  • Prioritize every incident response activity

Leveraging Threat Intelligence

An omnipresent capability among security tools, threat intelligence is an integral part of the security architecture that enables the identification, triage, and investigation of threats. It improves organizations’ response capability through high alert quality, added coverage for most sophisticated cyberattacks, and low investigation time.

While modern security tools are able to leverage and ingest threat intelligence, they exclude guidance with respect to the most feasible approach to using it. Improper use of threat intelligence results in false positives, which makes thoughtful planning critical. Assessing threat intelligence’s effectiveness through its metrics and impacts while using the information on threats combined with their attributed observables can help prevent data losses for organizations.

To Sum Up

Every organization that has security monitoring in place must also have a plan for incident response, which outlines corrective measures for handling specific security events. All organizations across industry sectors face the challenges of cybercrime. However, effective, automated incident response can make it simple for them to manage security events, maintain stable operations, and improve cybersecurity.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veeraj Thaploo

Veeraj Thaploo

Veeraj Thaploo is the co-founder & CTO at Blazeclan and Director at Cloudlytics. Veeraj is renowned for his expertise with cloud, automation, and analytics solutions. Over the last 15 years, he has been instrumental in delivering tr