Information Security: Monitoring Automation

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps: Cybersecurity automationincident response

It is important for your information security strategy to contain elements of both technology and human monitoring of your systems. Threats today will regularly probe both your people and your software for vulnerabilities. Constant monitoring then becomes necessary, as does the need to automate that monitoring to ensure the protection of your sensitive digital information.

Just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen attacks like Spring4Shell, which is exploiting vulnerabilities left open by a lack of automation in software patches and updates. The companies hit hardest didn’t have good monitoring and response systems in place to automatically sound the alarms. That delay caused insurmountable damage in some cases.

What Is Security Monitoring?

Security monitoring is the process of analyzing data for signs of a breach or attempted hacking, followed by proper alarms and alerts. Monitoring your information is an essential part of the NIST protocol for cybersecurity - Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. An effective Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service combines both technology monitoring and human monitoring. Automating these processes is key to maintaining information security.

What Security Processes Can Be Automated?

Any process that is part of your custom software -- including third-party integrations -- is a possibility for automation. The processes specific to cybersecurity include the following:

  1. Monitoring and Detection: This is the constant analysis of your software, detection of threats (breaches and attempts), and alerts/alarms sent to those who will respond.
  2. Incident Response: The faster you respond to a threat or breach, the more you can minimize damage or even prevent a total catastrophe. Shutting down processes, resetting user permissions, updating software, etc.
  3. Investigation: Once a breach or an attempted breach occurs, it is vital to collect data -- affected users and machines, the severity of the threat (is it even real?), etc.
  4. Recovery: The faster you get things up and running the better.

The above list is the reactive side to a threat -- how to find it and react. There must also be consideration for preventing attacks. The prevention processes that can be automated as part of your information security plan include the following:

  1. Auditing Processes: A regular review and assessment of both your software and your team’s training effectiveness.
  2. Inventory: Knowing what systems and data you keep helps you identify potential risks as well as allocation of security measures.

Intrusion Detection System Alerts And Alarms

The bridge between Monitoring/Detection and your Incident Response is the alerts that your system sends out to your team. There is an important distinction in alerts -- alerts versus alarms. An alert can become an alarm once processed by a human or your software can generate the alarm automatically. In either case, creating a system of alerts that doesn’t overwhelm those monitoring them will ensure that your team can react in a timely manner to prevent breaches and/or minimize damage.

Information Security And Process Automation

The custom software we develop at Sol Minion has always been about two primary outcomes -- information security and process automation. The goal is to create efficiency by automating tasks your team performs regularly, so that they can spend their time doing what they do best. Right alongside that is ensuring that your data -- and your customers’ data -- is protected from cyber attacks. When you automate monitoring, detection, and incident response, you have a much better chance of avoiding a business-ending incident.

Want to learn more? Schedule a call with an expert at Sol Minion.

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