There is no shortage of cyber security solutions on the market today. But often, these valuable tools do not work together. Moreover, juggling multiple solutions, where special training is required for each disparate platform can lead to inefficiencies within the security incident response workflow.
Even if teams create their own integrated automated workflows, these customized solutions often come with overwhelming maintenance requirements. Plus, if an employee leaves, critical design and operation know-how of this custom solution may be lost, leading to process breakdown.
With no-code automation, however, you still get all of the benefits of integrating products within your organization, while eliminating most of the issues that come with handling multiple platforms.
No-code automation provides an easy-to-use, GUI-based interface to connect the multiple components in a typical environment, without the hassle of custom code and ongoing maintenance. It can also eliminate the tedious, repetitive tasks that often lead to employee burnout.
No-code solutions usually provide an application-based marketplace, whereby pre-made integrations are provided by various partner companies. Simple integration is key here, and it couldn’t be easier. In addition, maintenance and support become the responsibility of the integration vendor.
Consolidating the workflow
When responding to an incident, SOC teams rely on a number of disparate sources of information to make informed decisions. Collecting this data from multiple interfaces takes up valuable time—time that could be spent fixing the issue and containing the scope of the organizational impact. What’s more, prioritizing these issues at scale becomes impossible, with security responders mired in repetitive tasks.
No-code security automation can streamline this process. By following an integration playbook, many menial tasks can be handed off, freeing up valuable time and reducing alert fatigue. In addition, no-code security automation can help with critical response tasks, especially when responding to large-scale incidents.
In some cases, some parts or even the entire incident response process can be executed without any human input. This could include integrations with threat intelligence feeds, endpoint security detection and response solutions, Active Directory, phishing response solutions, and much more.
Another key advantage is that these playbooks can be designed and implemented by users who are less experienced/technical, freeing up highly trained incident responders to focus on their core tasks.
Get more out of your existing tool stack
While implementing an automated solution may seem like adding yet another tool to the stack, it is a one-time investment that pays off in the long run—it is far cheaper than hiring additional experts. Moreover, automation eliminates the risk of human error and works nonstop.
As previously noted, much of the work required in shifting to a no-code automated environment is done up front. There are some considerations to be made around prioritizing integrations for the best return on investment and for ease of implementation. Luckily, many implementations can rely on pre-built market applications. With these types of integrations, it’s often enough to paste in API keys and then run a test to verify it’s working.
Assuming most of the more well-known products in your environment have market apps, the work then shifts to prioritization.
Prioritizing means creating a list of the most useful security tools in your security stack. First, rank those tools in order of usefulness. Compare this against available integrations, as well as the ease with which they can be set up. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to think about how you use these tools, both separately and in concert with one another.
2. Customized playbooks
With this knowledge in hand, it’s time to think about the actual step-by-step process that’s executed for investigating and closing a security incident. Each process from end to end constitutes a playbook. Ideally, you and your team will recognize many of these playbooks as the tasks you perform every day. Many products also come with basic playbooks that you can customize to align with your specific organizational requirements.
Starting with the most simple and repetitive tasks (e.g.,password reset) is generally best. You’ll create a trigger based on some security information, such as a ticket opened for a phishing email that was accidentally clicked on.
Rather than wait for a human to open the ticket, fix the issue, complete the ticket, and email the user, the entire process can be handed off to automation. This frees up both the user and the security analyst to work on more pressing tasks, and accomplishes the security outcome in a fraction of the time it would normally take.
After the prioritized list has been created and the playbook of each step decided, comes the fun part.
With no-code security solutions, you can quickly start implementing the various processes you’ve defined. A web-based portal provides access to a number of widgets. Once the initial setup of authentication is complete, it’s often as simple as dragging and dropping widgets and deciding the logic that makes them go.
It’s also advisable to run all processes in a test environment or sandbox, if available.
Once you’ve verified that each step is working reliably, it’s time to make it live. From this point, you can watch this task with decreasing frequency as you verify correct functionality.
It’s always a good idea to check periodically that everything is still working as intended, especially following an upgrade of your no-code platform or its integration partner.
Finally, as you work your way from simple, monotonous tasks to more sophisticated ones, the ROI should be clear, with a reduction in analyst workload and a streamlined incident response process that does more in less time.
One of the most challenging aspects of migrating to a new platform is getting buy-in from organizational team members and senior leaders.
Education is the first step. It can be valuable to define the return on investment of no-code automation tools in dollars spent, with a specific focus on both analyst response times, time to containment and reduction in organizational impact. Once again, automation works 24/7, and the overall impact on an organization’s resilience versus the actual dollars spent can’t be ignored.
Technical users who should understand the value of automation can serve as influential voices in validating such an approach and its potential benefits for the company.
For the most part, the challenges encountered with no-code security automation take place during the initial setup; and even then, they can be addressed with the help of the vendor’s customer support.
If implemented thoughtfully and wisely, organizations should be able to see value quickly.
Wrapping up: The future of automation
As an increasing number of companies embrace automation, we’re seeing new and creative implementations in every sector—from healthcare to finance. These organizations must be able to respond to an ever-evolving threat landscape.
Despite easier integration, interacting with the resulting data at scale can be overwhelming. To address this, user interfaces are expected to increase their reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) to answer complex questions with quick and simple answers.
These AI/ML algorithms can be used to improve efficiency and speed. And perhaps more importantly, they can enable security teams to ask simple questions in natural language, rather than having to learn complicated query languages or code. Thus, less experienced incident responders too can work efficiently, even without many years of training and experience under their belts, as required today.
The power of no-code security automation is in what you don’t have to do.
Envision a future where no-code systems provide near-instantaneous response to attacks too sophisticated for a human responder to even detect; internal systems that work together without the need to be constantly maintained by highly trained integration engineers; and incident responders that are only involved when they’re really needed.
While cyber attacks continue to evolve in size and sophistication, there is a major shortage of trained cyber security professionals. With that in mind, the only way to bridge the skills gap may be through substantial adoption of no-code security solutions.
Solutions like the Vulcan Cyber risk management platform help teams leverage automation to take care of the data processing and assessment work, leaving them to focus on what really matters – addressing the actual risk most relevant to their businesses. Get a demo today.