Prioritizing cybersecurity and security operations can feel like an overwhelming obligation for organizations. As threats continue to evolve and become more dangerous, decision makers find themselves searching for more effective and efficient cybersecurity resources.
To address this problem more systematically, companies now allocate more network and security operations responsibilities toward security operations centers, or SOCs. Tasked with developing and enforcing security policy, SOCs respond to threats in real time and provide operational assurance that cyberdefenses perform IT infrastructure management as intended.
Having a single team oversee all security concerns is undoubtedly more effective, but this approach can be problematic if the team is unable to keep up with the scale of the work. Security infrastructure automation, or SIA, can help teams fill any potential gaps to ensure a smooth end-to-end security process.
SIA in Practice
Security automation represents the ideal solution because it can handle the operational workloads a security operations center doesn’t have the time or resources to handle. SIA involves collecting performance and configuration data from security devices, performing routine administrative verification tasks, and triaging events that require immediate attention. In short, SIA significantly reduces the liability and legwork of security engineering and operations professionals.
Automation is built to do the work that humans shouldn’t have to do, making SIA a real asset for SOCs that are stretched too thin. Once SIA is in place, everything about your security infrastructure improves as a result. Here are three real-world examples of the benefits of infrastructure automation:
- Trinity Health: Improved Visibility – Health data is highly sensitive and highly regulated. Trinity Health operates a network of 94 hospitals that collectively use thousands of data-collecting medical devices, making cybersecurity a top priority.
The security team relies on SIA to help manage firewalls by monitoring performance, measuring system state, and automatically sending notifications when issues arise. SIA provides security teams the visibility they need to identify and address problems efficiently and to minimize potential cybersecurity liabilities.
- Industry Leaders: Improved Productivity – Major companies in financial services, healthcare, retail, and government all rely on SIA for their IT infrastructure management. Users come from such a wide range of industries because SIA streamlines the processes for all the cybersecurity teams that implement it.
Rather than having staff members spend hours each week locating and analyzing massive amounts of data filled with minute details, automation does the same work faster and more accurately. Security teams are only involved when their attention is necessary, and they spend the rest of their time focused on improving (not monitoring) cybersecurity.
- O’Reilly Auto Parts: Improved Agility – With more than 5,000 stores and a growing e-commerce presence, O’Reilly Auto Parts had a massive digital footprint and an equally significant cybersecurity burden. Once SIA was in place, a five-person IT team was able to mostly automate firewall management and ensure data protection across online and brick-and-mortar locations.
O’Reilly can now pursue an ambitious agenda, including opening 200 new stores a year. Why? Cybersecurity concerns no longer prevent the company from acting boldly and adapting quickly.
SIA isn’t a panacea, but it does have a potentially wide-ranging and profound impact on modern security and network operations centers. Companies don’t have to choose between a manageable security strategy versus one that’s agile — SIA enables both.