Author: Doug Olenick
Today’s most successful business leaders know that every decision must be aligned to strategic goals. Whether acquiring another company or engaging in a full-scale digital transformation, successful businesses always keep their key objectives in mind. Until recently, the exception to this rule was when seeking network security policy management automation, because solutions were not flexible enough to allow each business to automate at its own pace and on its own terms.
New and innovative network security policy management tools have opened the doors for today’s business leaders to align automation with overarching strategic objectives. Thanks to the evolution and flexibility of these tools, there are now four forms of automation for security experts to consider. Each of which help to improve efficiency and realize savings, while also providing other tangible business benefits that grow as organizations progress through the forms of automation.
1. Automated Design
By automating design, businesses can create efficiencies that lead directly to cost savings. This first form of automation empowers security and IT teams with a basic level of network security policy automation, including network design recommendations and proactive compliance and risk scoring. The efficiencies in network security design and management resulting from this type of automation can reduce the painstaking design process from weeks or days to hours or minutes.
2. Automated Implementation
This second form of automation drastically reduces the risk of introducing human errors when implementing network changes or configurations. According to a Gartner study, 99 percent of security breaches through 2023 will be caused by misconfigurations due to overworked security staff relying on outdated manual change processes. By automating rule staging, commitment and documentation, businesses can relieve the pressure on staff and reduce human-introduced errors. This also allows them to further trim manual processes and redeploy security personnel to more strategic initiatives.
3. Zero-Touch Automation
Zero-touch automation used to be considered the ultimate form of automation. It allows security staff to enable the automated system to fully implement routine processes that enforce network policies. The automated assessment capabilities built-in to this form of automation can help businesses validate configuration requirements and alert staff when violations occur, ensuring consistent policy compliance across multiple platforms and applications. Zero-touch automation also provides additional business benefits by enabling integration with SOAR tools, including incident response and threat intelligence platforms.
4. Adaptive Network Security
Industry innovations have now led to a fourth and final form of network security policy management automation, which continuously monitors and adapts network enforcement to move past the point of implementation. By utilizing adaptive and contextually aware enforcement tools to auto-detect infrastructure, network and platform changes, businesses can continuously protect and refine their security policies. This form of automation offers a cost-effective way to elevate operations by creating and implementing global security policy changes and corrections in real-time.
When deployed strategically and in combination with each other, these four forms of automation can propel organizations to previously unimagined heights of efficiency, efficacy and growth. The key to fully unlocking those new achievements is through using adaptive network security tools, which allow businesses to keep their hands on the wheel while selectively freeing up valuable security staff time and resources. No matter what form of automation is selected, network security policy management solutions can be a powerful complement to an existing security team and help every aspect of a network run at the speed of business.
Author: Doug Olenick