4 Ways SecOps Teams Can Streamline Work and Save Time
If your IT department handles data protection mainly via manual processes, it might be time to streamline security operations to improve efficiency and decrease your risk of cyberattacks.
What does that process look like?
You may already have the human resources to manage security operations (SecOps) like implementing safety policies, procedures, and standards. But are you leveraging your available automation tools to optimize your SecOps efforts completely?
In this guide, we’ll explore four methods you can use to streamline security operations for your business. We’ll break down the risk assessment process, examine automation tools you can use, discuss access restrictions, and walk through training program protocols.
1. Assess Risks
Before making improvements to any department, you must identify which elements need changing. So assessing your procedure’s existing and potential risks is crucial to streamlining the process, which generally includes:
- Searching for vulnerabilities in your system related to:
- Technology solutions (e.g., software, hardware, networking)
- Standard operating procedures (SOPs)
- Staff’s role in the system
- Exploring automation tools that can seal those cracks
- Writing SOPs that implement:
- Useful automation tools
- Manual processes
While we’ll cover items 2 and 3 in sections to follow, let’s hone in on your initial risk assessment. The following questions can help guide your internal audit process:
- Which IT tools are we using, and are they working?
- Are we currently mitigating any risks inherent in our current system?
- Do our SecOps SOPs adequately explain what staff should do to:
- Perform daily tasks?
- Mitigate risks?
- Report and respond to breach incidents and close calls?
- Does our current team have the knowledge and expertise to:
- Refine our existing tools to reduce risks?
- Examine and implement new solutions to improve risk management?
Once you identify potential areas for improvement, you can start examining methods for streamlining your SecOps.
2. Email Security Automation Tools
Let’s explore a critical part of your SecOps—email security. It’s one of the most complex elements of data security plagued by:
- High alert volumes
- Overly-cautious users
- Manual and redundant procedures
- A multitude of possible attack vectors
The following tools could immensely streamline security operations for your IT department.
Natural language understanding (NLU) deals with machine reading comprehension and understands the content and context of written data (like email communications) to:
- Establish connections between words, phrases, and events
- Identify meaning and intention
- Find patterns in large volumes of data
Incorporating an NLU-powered email security tool.) into your email security system can alleviate away up to 97% of manual tasks that typically fall on your SecOps staff, with automated processes like:
- Reviewing and remediating reported emails
- Identifying potential risks across vendors and third-party contacts
- Creating rules to protect end users and your organization from targeted email attacks
SIEM and SOAR
Security information event management (SIEM) and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) are two solutions you can use to streamline your email security efforts while achieving other risk mitigation goals.
- SIEM solutions collect and consolidate data from your network, hardware, and applications that you can use to identify risks before they occur.
- SIEM isn’t built to respond to incidents – that piece of the security puzzle is still missing.
- SIEM tools also typically need regular tuning to understand and differentiate between anomalous and normal activity. The need for tuning leads to security analysts and engineers wasting precious time making the tool work instead of triaging the constant influx of data.
- SOAR solutions prioritize threat management, incident responses, and SecOps automation by collecting and analyzing data.
- SOAR helps SecOps teams streamline incident responses by putting all of their security assets in one place. When those processes, applications, and mechanisms live under one system, incident automation becomes second nature.
- When a security incident occurs, every second makes a difference. That’s where SOAR truly shines. SOAR cuts unnecessary manual tasks off the SecOps’ to-do list by creating automation and synchronization. The result? Your team spends less time checking off time-consuming boxes and more time improving their MTTD and MTTR.
Abuse Mailbox Remediation
NLU-based security tools can help SecOps teams automate a critical but time-consuming task in threat review and remediation—user-reported threats.
Armorblox’s Abuse Mailbox Remediation automates the remediation of user-reported threats to respond to the four main problems that befall email security systems listed above:
- High alert volumes: Automation tools that analyze and respond to high volumes of written data can decrease manual time spent sorting, categorizing, and responding to email threats.
- Trigger-happy users: Overly cautious users can report safe emails to the SecOps team. Abuse mailbox remediation automatically identifies these emails, allowing security teams to return them to end users’ inboxes safely.
- Manual and repetitive response: The sheer volume of reports and alerts creates a tremendous workload for SecOps teams. Auto-remediation email solutions reduce this workload so security teams can focus on the most pressing threats that need human review.
- Multiple attack vectors: Threats can come from many directions—both internal and external. NLU can identify threats in existing vectors and help prevent attacks in unexpected ones.
3. Restrict Access
Employees in small to midsize businesses (SMBs) can wear multiple hats. This can complicate system access permissions, potentially exposing the infrastructure to unnecessary risks.
When you refine your system access, you automatically alter your risk profile—more user access creates increased risk, and vice versa.
So developing an access management SOP bolstered by automation can ensure that the right people have access to sensitive information and that only the right people are viewing this sensitive information.
4. Train Your Team
Simply put, SecOps can’t happen without people—IT staff and end users who diligently report cybersecurity issues.
Staff is a linchpin of a functioning security system, and their training should reflect that. As you incorporate new cybersecurity tools, train your staff to use:
- Automation tools – When training non-IT staff about your new cybersecurity tools, resist the urge to keep it simple. Instead of just “trusting the system,” encourage your team to understand the system. With a clear grasp of automation tools’ functionalities and purposes, employees are better equipped to use them effectively.
- SOPs – If you incorporate new standard operating procedures for end users, ensure that everyone uses best practices anytime they interface with the company network, apps, and hardware.
- Efficiency incentives – To combat resistance to change, consider implementing incentives or rewards for improved efficiency and time savings after training is completed.
Armorbox is Security Teams’ Secret Weapon to Streamlining and Reducing Manual Work
The effort invested in streamlining security operations can produce considerable returns. Assessing your system, implementing automation tools that make sense for your organization, honing in on your user access, and training staff to operate within an automated system can all lead to improved efficiency and a more secure company network.
When it comes to streamlining and automating your email security, there’s no better solution than Armorblox. Our all-in-one security platform integrates with your email applications of choice to stop even the most sophisticated email threats.
And our automation tools are powerful—with our NLU-powered solutions, you can automate away more than 75% of your abuse report inbox management without creating any rules.
If you’re ready to make automation the secret weapon in your email security arsenal, contact us for a free risk assessment today.