What is Security Automation?

The world is embracing digital transformation, where software and automation mean less human support is necessary to perform repetitive tasks in a business process. Security automation is no different; we’ve seen massive automation in security in recent years, and that trend continues unabated.

Let’s explore security automation in detail and determine whether it’s time to automate your security operations.

What is Security Automation?

Security automation is the automatic execution of security tasks without human intervention. This includes any security action involved with detecting, analyzing, preventing, or remediating cyber threats that are automated (therefore, machine-based) contribute to the overall organization’s security posture, and play an active (or better yet, proactive) role in the future security strategies.

Before automation, many tedious security tasks were performed by practitioners and analysts who went through numerous alerts, analyzed them, and decided whether and how to respond to them.

With security automation, security teams are now equipped with a solution that can work for them and take on all the security tasks that took time from security professionals. Valuable time that could be used for involvement in more strategic activities and work on proactive security measures.

security automation

Why is it important?

You already know security automation serves the primary role of assisting risk and security analysts so they can focus on essential components of the job. Now, here are some other key benefits of security automation:

Speeds up threat detection

Intelligence is the mechanism that allows a computing device to learn from patterns and plan from repetition. Intelligence in threat detection allows for security response to trigger based on learned behavior that signifies a threat. This allows for faster, more responsive threat protection that plays a critical role in security infrastructure.

Improves incident response

In the same way, it speeds up threat detection, it also improves incident response. When analysts are overwhelmed with security alerts, they can only mitigate the most critical on the list. By taking a share of the workload from the security analyst, the incident response becomes standard practice.

Increases visibility of security metrics

When you orchestrate your automated security, you integrate with tools that can help you track and report on security metrics. This leads to greater visibility of your security issues and processes.

Encourages standardization in security management

When fully orchestrated, you can have visibility of all infrastructure security from a centralized hub. This helps security departments standardize security management processes across departments to ensure consistently that goals are met.

Types of Security Automation Tools

Some of the main types of security automation tools include:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): SIEM solutions are designed to collect, aggregate, and analyze security data from across an organization’s IT environment. SIEMs help to detect and provide contextual information about security incidents while eliminating the need to collect and aggregate data across multiple sources manually.
  • Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR): SOAR builds on the capabilities of an SIEM solution by adding automated response capabilities. In addition to providing threat alerts to human analysts, SOAR solutions can shut down potential threats automatically, reducing the impact on the organization.
  • Extended Detection and Response (XDR): XDR solutions combine SIEM, SOAR, and other security capabilities into a single, centrally managed solution. Based on enriched raw data and threat intelligence, XDR can proactively move to prevent cyber attacks.

security automation

Security Automation Best Practices

Take the time upfront to plan

Security automation requires a thorough assessment of the current situation to identify areas that could most benefit from automation. Walk through the processes that will be automated and determine the best way to roll out the new systems, including when and how transitions occur between people and machines.

Monitor, test, and measure

Throughout the process of deploying and working with security automation, continuously monitor, test, and measure to ensure that objectives are being met as well as to optimize systems and processes

Incorporate training into the rollout

As part of the security automation deployment plan, including training for the teams that will manage the new systems and those who will consume the output. This ensures that handoffs between machines and humans are smooth and effective.

Restrict access

Limit access to automated systems to essential employees and contractors.

Leverage the power of security automation

Move as much manual work to automated systems as possible, using tools to collect and correlate information and people to interpret key findings.


Security automation is essential to keep up with rapidly growing cyber threats. It is no longer a “nice to have.” It’s a must in today’s complex environments. Amid the rising number and severity of potential threats and cyber attacks, there’s a shortage of top-flight security talent. Automation maximizes the job satisfaction and engagement of your best security analysts by automating mundane, repetitive tasks.

Security automation allows you to drastically reduce your incident investigation and response times and stay ahead of threats. Tasks that could take hours — or even days — can be reduced to mere seconds. That means you’ll be able to faster address threats and better protect your customers while safeguarding your business’s reputation and bottom line.


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