Sponsored

Finding security zen

When you’re focused on the small things, it’s easy to miss the big ones. Automation can help you rebalance

Imagine if every time you sneezed, stubbed a toe or had a slight itch, you reacted in the same way as if you had broken your arm, rushing to the doctor and raising the alarm. Aside from annoying your GP, you would also be wasting money and making it harder for anyone to realise when something is actually seriously wrong.

Thankfully, for the most part, we ignore these minor things, with our own immune system springing into action. This isn't just more convenient, it's also more cost effective and means that when something really has gone wrong, everyone can act appropriately and quickly. 

In many ways, this is what information security in businesses should be like, with IT professionals focusing on preventing bigger (and, indeed, real) threats, while the more routine monitoring and resolution is automated. 

Getting to know what's normal 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

One of the most important things when it comes to monitoring the security of a company's systems is knowing what normal looks like. As each business is different, even if they are direct competitors operating in the same field, this baseline will vary from organisation to organisation. What's more, even within the same business, systems can look different from day to day the number of connections being made to corporate systems and data being accessed or transferred on a Saturday evening will look markedly different to a Monday morning. 

But getting to know these patterns of normal behaviour isn't easy and a human could easily miss a small blip that's the first indicator of something more serious on the horizon, or take it to be an emergency when it's a harmless anomaly. 

What's more, it's time-consuming, tedious and inefficient for organisations to pay an IT professional to monitor systems for signs of security breaches or breach attempts, not to mention impractical to have a person monitoring all day, every day. 

Much like the immune system is the body's automated monitoring and defence system, risk intelligence delivered through security information and event management (SIEM) tools can establish what's normal, monitor system operation 24/7, and raise the alarm when something is wrong - all without human intervention.  

Increasing business value 

Security monitoring automation tools do more than just improve efficiency and reduce tedium, however they also improve the value of IT staff to the business. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Instead of focusing on whether all systems are functioning as normal and there is no suspicious behaviour going on, IT departments can instead focus on more strategic security initiatives. This could include developing and enforcing security rules and procedures, acting in an advisory capacity for new security investments, and preparing for and responding to large-scale attacks, such as a sustained DDoS or APT, should such an event be detected by the SIEM risk intelligence system. 

In most organisations, the IT professionals who deal with security are, in the main, not full-time IT security staff, so they are also given more time to attend to the other parts of their jobs. 

There when you need it 

The mantra that it's not a case of if a company will suffer a breach, but when, still holds true and this is as important a part of risk intelligence as the day-to-day automated monitoring. SIEM tools provide an early warning system, yes, and they do allow businesses to deal with a potential data-loss situation as quickly and efficiently as possible. But, equally importantly, they provide an audit trail. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

This vital for audit purposes, but it also gives IT departments the ability to easily determine where, when and how the compromise happened, and work out how to prevent it happening again. 

So when investing in risk intelligence and security monitoring automation systems, the question is not really can you afford it, but can you afford not to? 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Want to learn more about security monitoring automation? Click here to download a whitepaper. 

This is an independent article written by IT Pro, sponsored by SolarWinds MSP to celebrate thought leadership in IT. Learn more about SolarWinds' MSP Risk intelligence  and enjoy a free 14 day trial by clicking here .

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/internet-security/354417/avast-and-avg-extensions-pulled-from-chrome
internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019
Visit/security/354156/google-confirms-android-cameras-can-be-hijacked-to-spy-on-you
Security

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354526/memes-and-viking-funerals-the-internet-reacts-to-the
Microsoft Windows

Memes and Viking funerals: The internet reacts to the death of Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/network-internet/broadband/354530/openreach-offers-free-full-fibre-installation-for-thousands-of
broadband

Openreach offers free full-fibre installation for thousands of homes

14 Jan 2020