Automated Incident Response: Everything You Need to Know

4 Minute Read

Learn how security automation streamlines incident response processes for faster response times and maximum efficiency.

Cybersecurity management is a challenge. Many organizations lack the resources and staff needed to tackle the growing number of threats to their organization. This inability to handle the volume of alerts results in many threats going uninvestigated. And that leaves organizations susceptible to serious attacks.

Up to 70% of security alerts are ignored due to staffing and workday restrictions.

The Problem: Security Operations Teams are Overwhelmed

Cybersecurity teams are overwhelmed. Large organizations, handle upwards of 10,000 a day. It can take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes to manually investigate a single alarm in some cases. That’s why as many as 70% of all alerts end up never being investigated.

Current Security Workflows are Inefficient

Overwhelmed employees rely on manual workflows and playbooks to help streamline their alert response management. But when workflows are inefficient or too time-consuming, alert management suffers. A number of factors contribute to sub-optimal security workflows, such as:

  • Inconsistent response times for critical threats
  • Triage methods ignore a large number of threats
  • Inability to integrate available technology
  • Loss of security knowledge due to staff turnover
  • Changing compliance regulation on security policy

What is Automated Incident Response?

Automated incident response uses automation to monitor security alerts and automatically respond with pre-defined IR processes from your incident response plan, which allows SOC analysts to focus on strategic and proactive threat hunting.

It is a popular solution for dealing with the overwhelming number of security threats your organization faces. With automated incident response, alert monitoring is streamlined and response times significantly decrease. Cyber incident response automation allows you to address every alert and reduce risk exposure.

Automating your response to security threats enables your security operations team to triage alarms more effectively, respond to critical events faster, and seamlessly integrate your existing security solutions into a more efficient and comprehensive incident response program.

How Incident Response Automation Works

An automated incident response solution provides your organization with the tools to model and automates many of your manual and labor-intensive response processes.

Tasks that can be automated include:

  • Reviewing and analyzing threat intelligence sources
  • Investigating incidences involving log gathering and analysis
  • Updating tickets
  • Gathering metrics and creating reports
  • Sending email alerts
  • Resolving alerts

With every automation, security teams can save precious minutes on each alert, which quickly accumulates into hours of saved work and improved security incident response.

An example workflow showing how two tasks can be automated

Benefits of Automating Incident Response Processes

Incident response automation allows your organization to handle more threats without increasing workload or headcount. Other top benefits of incident response automation include:

Get Critical Event Context and Insights in Real Time.

Address risk management planning and future security needs with real-time insights into incidents. You can gain a deep understanding of your organization’s current security posture with the help of intuitive dashboards. These also make it easier to provide reporting for security audits and compliance as well.

Gain Visibility into Your Technology Stack.

Some incident response platforms offer the ability to integrate with anything, This allows your SOC analysts to pull data into a single case management platform, instead of bouncing between tools to find threats.

Improve SOC Analyst Job Satisfaction

Automated incident response processes take manual work off the shoulders of SOC analysts, which saves them time and reduces burnout. In turn, analysts can focus on training, skill-building and triaging strategically. This force multiplier has the additional positive effect of increasing morale and lowering staff turnover as the tedium and stress of the workday is reduced.

Improve Security Performance Metrics

Automation allows you to consistently respond to security alerts and enable your incident response team to analyze and remediate more threats. It makes your security operations more efficient, improves mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) and automatically quantifies ROI by reporting on incident response metrics in a unified dashboard.

What to Look For in an Automated IR Solution

Not all automated incident response solutions are built the same. Core capabilities and features to look for include:

Approachable Automation: You’ll gain the most value from incident response software that makes automation simple. Make sure the solution offers easy-to-build, modular playbooks that the whole team can utilize.

Endless Integration Capabilities: Look for an extensive library of out-of-the-box integrations, as well as the option to integrate with anything.

Dynamic Case Management: Case managements helps to speed up investigations, ensure compliance processes and make it easy to resolve more security alerts.

Intuitive Dashboards: Seek out a solution that offers customized dashboards designed to fit any use case. You’ll see exactly how your IR processes are functioning with detailed analyst views and macro-level management dashboards.

Customized Incident Reports: Reporting capabilities help your team quickly pull relevant data into high-level visual insights and in-depth reports.

Incident Response with Low-Code Security Automation

Low-code security automation, like the Swimlane Turbine platform, replaces your organization’s manual and time-consuming incident response methods with a centralized automated system.

With low-code security automation, you can:

  • Track enterprise security tasks automatically
  • Centralize data into accessible reports, dashboards and metrics
  • Standardize the threat response and notification processes
  • Leverage endless APIs to rapidly respond and prevent attacks sooner

Watch how your team can use Swimlane to automate incident response processes.

Automated incident response has become increasingly necessary as today’s threat landscape continues to grow. When it’s time to select a solution, look for one that can adapt to your organization’s future security needs, on top of providing immediate support. Cyber threats are here to stay, so make sure your automated incident response tool can stand the test of time.

Gartner: Create a SOC Target Operating Model to Drive Success

‘Security and risk management leaders often struggle to convey the business value of their security operations centers to nonsecurity leaders, resulting in reduced investment, poor collaboration and eroding support…’ — Access this Gartner SOC Operating Model report – courtesy of Swimlane.

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