Katie Burton

Maintaining forward business momentum hinges on properly managing information and processes. Businesses unable to secure their infrastructure technology see those effects negatively carry over into other parts of their operations.

Rather than let these problems catch them off guard, companies can get out in front of these issues with a more proactive mindset. Deploying security infrastructure automation, or SIA, can empower both CIOs and administrators to strengthen their decision-making across the board.

At the Front Line

When tasked with integrating technology with long-term business objectives, it helps to be forward-thinking on a micro and macro level. Security operations professionals receive hundreds of alerts a day, and each of those alerts requires a series of micro-decisions. 

First, the administrator must determine whether an issue is valid. If so, the level of importance is ascertained. If the problem is urgent, the administrator decides how to take immediate steps toward a solution.

Indeni’s automation modules use the world’s best practices. Our solutions have a low-signal, high-frequency result, which means there’s a high likelihood of an ongoing or upcoming issue if you’re notified by Indeni. In addition to the details of the problem, our notifications include contextual information surrounding the alert. High-accuracy reporting provides the administrator with all the insights necessary to make proactive decisions.

Being able to greenlight more revenue-initiating projects is essential for IT leaders. At the macro level, IT projects fall into two basic categories:

  • Monitoring and maintaining the existing security infrastructure.
  • Delivering a stable and secure network based on new business needs.

When CIOs can commit to initiatives that maintain existing growth and create net new growth, they are employing what is known as bimodal IT. Bimodal management allows decisions based on exploration and predictability, exploiting known factors while experimenting with new solutions in areas of uncertainty.

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Both Kinds of Decisions Matter

If your company is acquiring an existing business, the acquisition eventually will include merging or discontinuing existing security infrastructure. The potential for IT chaos during acquisitions is immense, so planning for consolidation to a single security infrastructure — of a single firewall vendor — is essential.

Best practices will evolve as more users adopt new features of security products, so focused micro-level thinking also figures into critical decisions. The performance and configuration of critical security devices will change, and it’s essential for security engineers to be ready to fix the attendant issues.

Keeping networks stable and secure is a matter of planning for inevitable change, such as configuration drift of device settings. Planning for inevitable mistakes also happens at this level. An overworked, well-meaning employee could accidentally leave a debug mode enabled after a troubleshooting escalation, causing a degradation of performance in the near future.

These examples point to a need for secure, automated IT infrastructure that helps companies become more anticipatory — and thereby take more proactive action.

Shifting From Reactive to Proactive Decisions

The IT Process Institute reports that poorly planned changes are the cause of 80% of unplanned network outages. But informed planning is necessary at every level of IT management. Getting ahead of the game in these three areas will prepare you for the inevitable changes your company faces:

1. People: The knowledge your employees need today to support the health and stability of your business will change tomorrow. Arm them with a dynamic knowledge base so that they can stay ahead of operational issues, and give them the bandwidth to support revenue-driving initiatives.

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2. Process: The old approach of manually doing system checkups, documentation, and remediation does not scale. Build a system that continually updates itself with the world’s best practices to automatically detect and triage issues. In essence, automate low-risk tasks that no longer require human intervention.

3. Technology: The security threat landscape will continue to evolve with your business, which means the technology needed to support and secure your network will also continue to grow. Be sure you’re getting the highest return on your IT investment.

With security infrastructure playing an ever-increasing role in the growth of companies, CIOs now view IT as an investment rather than an expense. Implementing automated security infrastructure management solutions will ensure that your devices are operating as intended, enabling your company to be proactive in its decision-making.