Trustworthy automation is the key to operational cyber security

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The success of a modern cyber security operations centre (SOC) is only possible with the right balance of systems, people and culture. Cyber security analysts need to work as a team, leveraging strengths and supporting weaknesses to deliver the best security outcomes. Furthermore, technology must be adaptable to the business’s environment, allowing automated processes to underpin analysts’ activities.

Cyber Security Analysts must drive automation

Nevertheless, there is one significant issue that needs addressing before starting to automate parts of the cyber security process: Analysts must be confident in the technology to allow them to trust that nothing is being missed.

A SOC is a significant investment and requires careful planning, along with well-controlled integration with existing systems. The sophistication of modern cyber security threats makes detecting real attacks difficult, with most SOC technologies delivering more false positives than real threats.

Cyber security threat overload

The reality is that there is usually more work than a security team can cope with. So, the technology chosen for the SOC needs to be capable of automating as many routine tasks as possible. Furthermore, making sure the security workforce (both the existing team and new hires) are suitably trained to react to these new, sophisticated threats as quickly as possible.

There have been a variety of skills-related initiatives launched in an attempt to improve on the industry’s cyber skills shortage. The lack of suitably trained and experienced security professionals is one of the greatest threats to privacy and resilience in the modern age. This deficit will continue to be challenging for many years unless the problem starts to be tackled today, but doing more with less staff is certainly a reality for security managers.

It is heartening to hear of initiatives like Cisco’s investment programme, known as the Global Cybersecurity Scholarship . Hopefully this investment of $10 million will boost the available talent pool but for now, there is an ongoing need to focus on automating as many analyst tasks and reducing the workload as much as possible.

Smart technology + Smart people = Success

For organisations lucky enough to have the best people and technology in their SOC, there’s still something missing: the ability to respond to threats is impacted by increasingly large volumes of threat intelligence and data, resulting in analysts wasting time investigating large numbers of false positives and complex threats that sit within a growing queue of alerts. The time-at-risk for many organisations is unsatisfactorily long, with indicators of compromise getting lost in the noise, while operational risk increases through the vagaries of analyst subjectivity.

The malware and cyber attack outlook is worsening

The answer lies in the approach to industrialising the organisation’s cyber security incident management. This needs to be a robust, systematic, repeatable process model that provides intelligent feedback that allows a cyber security management team to hone and improve the services that they provide to the business and customers alike.

The latest release of Huntsman Analyst Portal®, incorporating automated threat verification (ATV) can help automate the manually intensive tasks analysts undertake, verifying the nature of threats, while eliminating false positives.

Our ATV technology is truly game changing, with improved data visualisation and labour-saving tools that improve operational team efficiencies and, through automation, improve accuracy and streamline workflows. ATV offers an unsurpassed level of sophistication, automating event correlation across all log sources, thus ensuring analysts don’t get burned out chasing ghosts.

Optimising the cyber security ISMS

Huntsman Analyst Portal® delivers measurable improvements in operational efficiencies and summary screens allowing analysts to easily investigate and resolve threats. This helps establish the nature of the automated processes and satisfy analysts that the new way of operating can be trusted to demonstrate a repeatable outcome. This is an essential step in building trust before the automation process is fully operationalised.

Providing analysts with the option to quarantine malicious or suspicious activities, results in risks being safely isolated from operations until the threat has passed. This is part of Huntsman®’s wider development roadmap, where safe and trustworthy automation, building certainty so action can be taken quickly, is the underlying philosophy of everything we do.

By adopting a scientific approach to automation, Huntsman® has effectively redesigned the Incident Management process to address the modern threat landscape. This serves to free up analysts’ time for research so they can dig deeper into real cyber threats to support the objective of reducing cyber security risk to the business.

Further insights are available in our White paper, please download it below: