What Is Automated Incident Response?
Incident response automation is what it sounds like—applying automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to the incident response process. At its most basic, this could be as simple as replacing manual reporting and notifications. More advanced incident response automation takes this further, autonomously detecting, assessing, and responding to security incidents and threats.
Automated incident response essentially leverages automation to remove many of the traditional pain points from an organization’s incident response process, significantly improving efficiency.
Benefits of Automated Incident Response
The benefits of incident response automation include the following:
- Significantly faster response and remediation
- Reduced workload on the security team and incident responders
- Lower mean time to resolution (MTR)
- Greater visibility into IT infrastructure
- Improved context during disruptive events
- Reduced risk of human error
- Better, more effective response strategies
- Lower costs
- Better collaboration and communication between departments
How Automated Incident Response Works
Incident response automation is driven by cyber threat intelligence and data from within your own organization. It ingests, orchestrates, and analyzes enormous volumes of that data for insights that allow it to manage and mitigate emergencies far more quickly than any human. The tools from which an automated incident response platform might draw data include:
- Network and application logs
- Intrusion prevention and intrusion detection systems
- External threat intelligence
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools
- Endpoint protection tools
- Data feeds from SIEM/SOAR
- Third-party sources such as vendors and business partners
An incident response automation solution then leverages this data to achieve three things:
- Differentiate false positives from genuine threats
- Prioritize alerts based on risk, severity, and impact
- Identify the potential origin point of any malicious software or threat actor
Automated Incident Management Use Cases
There are many different use cases for automated incident management, including, but not limited to:
Detecting and blocking abnormal network traffic by examining real-time logs
Troubleshooting connectivity and compatibility issues
Monitoring processes, equipment, and systems to proactively detect issues
Intelligently assessing and prioritizing incidents to cut down on notification fatigue
Automatically resolving simpler, non-critical incidents
A root cause analysis process
Leveraging reporting and analytics to provide deeper insights about an organization
How to Automate the Incident Response Process
To successfully introduce automation into your incident response process, you’ll need to start by considering a few basic details:
- What does your current incident response toolkit look like? How well does this toolkit integrate with new additions?
- How does your organization handle permissions, and how might this apply to incorporating automation?
- Are there any regulatory concerns or barriers that could cause problems? What are the compliance implications of doing so?
- What type of incident or crisis does your organization face most frequently?
- What does your attack surface look like? What about your overall ecosystem?
- What data and intelligence can you feed into your automation platform to ensure accuracy?
- What specific data do you need your platform to support?
With these questions in mind, you can start assessing the different incident response automation vendors to see if one would be a suitable fit.