The Three Most Important Tasks That Should Be Automated in Your SOC
In order to respond to the speed and volume of the security alerts your team receives daily, it is critical that many of your repetitive processes be automated. It also cannot be stressed enough how much overall improvement can be seen through automated security operations. Automation increases the overall efficiency for SOCs by freeing up wasted time and energy that would be more effectively used in hunting for complex attacks and creating processes for resolving said attacks.
So the question arises: What exactly should SOCs automate? Unfortunately, there is no single conclusive answer to this question because each organization must carefully examine its own operations to determine which would save the most resources if automated. BUT! There are a few repetitive, low-complexity tasks that almost all SOCs would benefit from automating.
The first being False positive identification. A study of 630 IT security professionals done by The Ponemon Institute found that organizations waste roughly 395 hours per week on average investigating false positives. The same study later showed that only 41% of organizations use automation tools that characterize threats as real or false. Those that do leverage automated security solutions estimated that about 60% of malware containment could be handled without human input. Those numbers indicate that false positives deplete a substantial amount of time from SecOps teams and automation is the solution to saving all those wasted hours.
The second operation that should be automated would be ticket generation. Many senior staffers spend a substantial amount of time copy and pasting information from support emails to and from detection tools which is a complete waste of time. The time spent doing so could be more efficiently spent developing new threat mitigation techniques and training junior team members to improve the overall productivity of the SOC. Ticket generation, being one of the most repetitive and mindless tasks, is the perfect place for automation to step in.
Report generation is the third operation that deserves mentioning. Monitoring key metrics is crucial for CIOs and CISOs to improve staff turnover and more closely monitor overall efficiency. Converting such data into a simple and easy-to-analyze dashboard is especially important for when C-suite requests a security update. Reporting and data analysis is a vital SOC function and completing it manually can be both a nightmare and not completely accurate. Automation fills those gaps by completing the task without human intervention, accurate numbers, and an easily interpreted display of the data.
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