Five Signs You’re Using “Good Enough” Automation

3 Minute Read

In an industry grappling with a surplus of vendors, a persistent cybersecurity talent shortage, and an overwhelming volume of alerts and data to analyze, it’s crucial to avoid settling for “good enough” security automation. While automation is foundational in modern business practices, not all security automation is created equal. Many organizations mistakenly believe “good enough” security automation will suffice, but this approach can lead to significant inefficiencies and missed opportunities within modern security operations centers (SOC).

As Swimlane’s Field Chief Technology Officer (CTO), I engage with security operations (SecOps) teams, SOC analysts, and decision-makers at all levels. One key message I emphasize is that premium products distinguish themselves through their ability to scale with an organization as it continues to grow, advanced features, and superior user experience. These products are designed to meet both today’s demands and tomorrow’s challenges, offering greater long-term value and cost-effectiveness. 

Below are five indicators that you are settling for “good enough” automation.

1. Frequent Manual Interventions

If your automated processes frequently require manual intervention to correct errors or complete tasks, you’re not truly benefiting from automation. True automation should reduce the need for human touchpoints, allowing your team to focus on more strategic activities. This sign of “good enough” automation gives a false sense of efficiency because the time saving is negated by the time needed to monitor and tune.

2. Inconsistent Outputs

If your automation platform’s outputs vary significantly between vendors, it indicates inadequate data transformation capabilities. Inconsistent outputs can lead to quality control issues and increased rework which diminishes the benefits of automation.

Automation should provide reliable and consistent results.

3. Limited Scalability

“Good enough” automation might work fine on a small scale, but as your business grows, its limitations will become apparent. This can create bottlenecks, increase errors, and force greater reliance on manual processes, ultimately stunting your ability to grow your security operations and efficiency.

4. Poor Integration Capabilities

If your current security automation solution requires extensive integration workarounds or custom development, you’re settling for “good enough”. Look for a security automation vendor that integrates seamlessly with your existing tech stack to facilitate a smooth flow of information and the ability to automate a vast set of use cases.

5. Lack of Analytics and Insights

If your security automation platform lacks detailed reporting and actionable insights, you’re missing opportunities for continuous improvement. Automated and scheduled reporting helps CISOs save time when reporting on security posture and risk management to the C-level and board. It ensures consistency, making it easy to see how decisions made six months ago impact security posture today.

“Good enough” security automation tools often stop at task completion, leaving you in the dark about how to optimize your operations further. They lack reporting and dashboard capabilities entirely, have very limited offerings, and fail to provide metrics such as Mean Time to Detect (MTTD), Mean Time to Respond (MTTR), workload analysis to monitor for analyst burnout, and alerts mapped to MITRE ATT&CK.

Premium SOC automation doesn’t only perform tasks; it provides valuable insights and analytics that help you understand and improve your processes.

Your Premium SOC Automation Checklist

In the pursuit of meaningful SOC outcomes, never settle for “good enough” security automation. Consider scalability beyond the SOC. Ensure your security automation solution can expand its use cases as your company grows and adapts to your organization’s evolving needs. 

Here are some key traits of exceptional SOC automation

  • Reliability: Consistent, accurate task performance reduces manual oversight.
  • Scalability: Grows with your business, accommodating increased workloads effortlessly.
  • Autonomous Integrations: Seamlessly connects with all your systems, whether SaaS or on-premises, ensuring a smooth flow of information.
  • Actionable Insights: Provides detailed analytics and insights for continuous process optimization.
  • User-Friendly: Easy to use and manage, reducing the learning curve and boosting adoption across your organization.

By focusing on these attributes, you can ensure your automation efforts meet today’s needs and are ready for tomorrow’s challenges. Don’t waste your time on “good enough” security automation, unleash your inner hero and transform your security operations with an AI-enhanced security automation platform like Swimlane Turbine. 

For more insights, read “Questions You Should Ask When Evaluating a Security Automation Vendor” for more insights on choosing the right security automation vendor.

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