Posted: 3 Min ReadExpert Perspectives

The Top Misconceptions About Security Automation

Doing more with less and reducing risk

Today’s fast-changing economic climate is pushing CISOs to do more with less while still reducing risk to their environment. Automation can play a role in increasing efficiency and improving security posture. In this blog series, Broadcom Software partner Braxton-Grant will look at the key factors to consider when implementing automation in your network.

During these uncertain economic times, CISOs are under pressure to do more with less while, at the same time, reduce risk to their organizations. Many companies are increasingly looking to security automation as the answer. In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at the most popular misconceptions about security automation today and next best steps to move forward.

Breaking Down Security Automation Myths

Security automation can improve productivity, reduce costs and help enforce security and compliance rules and regulations. Just like Zero Trust, the promise of automation needs to be realistic. It also needs to meet companies where their infrastructure – and business – is today; not where they plan to be 5-10 years from now.  Let’s break down the most popular misconceptions surrounding automation:

  • Automation is Only for Large Enterprises. Do you have to be a big organization to invest in automation? The answer is no – automation can benefit all sized organizations, from smallest to the largest. In fact, you might even say that automation provides a greater value to small organizations because they are resource constrained – most likely, they have a small security team who wears “multiple hats” at the company.
  • Automation is only for DevSecOps or Identity and Governance. Automation may have started with identity access management or service orchestration, but it can also be used to automate network security workflows. Some say network security automation is just for testing your network. There are tools out there to test the network security posture of your organization, but this is not what we're referring to when we refer to security automation. Instead, we mean automating security policies to maintain your security posture – not just testing your network to make sure that your security components are at the right level or configured correctly.
  • Automation Eliminates the Need for Human Interaction. Automation can help team members streamline repeatable, tedious tasks, but they are never completely out of the security equation. Automation enables security members to prioritize and spend more time troubleshooting more complex security issues. As we previously discussed, a policy audit can help you identify what tasks should be automated, modified, or completely removed.

These are just a few of the popular misconceptions around automation. As you begin to implement automation in your own enterprise, your team will most likely confront – and break through – their own biases and perceptions about it.

Next Step: Make A Plan

Automation requires a plan, but keep in mind that there isn’t a single “blanket” plan that works for every organization. As discussed in other articles in this blog series, your “plan” should be based on outcomes of your assessments, policy audits and conversations with your company’s key stakeholders.

Don’t forget to align on your company’s pain points: a time-based pain point, staff turnover, compliance, etc. When we work with our customers, we ask them to bring a list and help them break it down into components where we think automation can benefit. We help them quickly identify where automation can provide the most immediate benefits and also set realistic expectations about what automation can – and can’t – do.

As we discussed in the first article in this series, “Improve Your Security Posture with Automation,” it’s important to think out-of-the-box and get creative when you are considering what – and how – to automate. Before you add another shiny tool to your defense-in-depth strategy, first consider whether you are fully leveraging your existing tools which may already have built-in automation components.

Start your security policy automation journey today!      

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About the Author

Aileen Kara Hudspeth

Technical Director - Braxton-Grant Technologies, Inc. (Broadcom Software Knight)

As a cybersecurity engineer for 20+ years and Broadcom Software Knight since 2013, Aileen architects technical solutions for a wide variety of government agencies and industries. With a relentless passion for developing new approaches for complex missions, Aileen uses her analytical skills and experience to help organizations solve real-world challenges.

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