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Cybersecurity Professionals Face Challenges on the Path to Automation

Juniper Networks announced a new study, The Challenge of Building the Right Security Automation Architecture, conducted with the Ponemon Institute that found that although enterprises understand automation is crucial to addressing the cybersecurity skills shortage and achieving a stronger security posture, the majority are experiencing challenges with determining how, when and where to automate.

By 2021, fighting cybercrime will cost businesses globally more than $6 trillion annually and there will be 3.5 million unfilled security jobs, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. Echoing this issue, 57 per cent of survey respondents say they are unable to recruit the skilled personnel needed to deploy their security automation tools.

As cybercriminals continue to automate attacks without being subject to the same regulations and compliance constraints, organizations are struggling with understaffed security teams, manual processes, disparate systems and complex policies that leave them buried in low-value tasks.

Report Highlights:

Security Automation is a Must

The growing threat landscape and security skills gap facing cybersecurity teams demand that organizations implement automation for a stronger security posture. Respondents recognize this growing importance and how automation can improve productivity, address the growing volume of threats and reduce the rate of false positives.

  • The top two benefits of security automation, according to respondents, are increased the productivity of security personnel (64 per cent) and automated correlation of threat behaviour to address the volume of threats (60 per cent).
  • 54 per cent of respondents say these automation technologies simplify the process of detecting and responding to cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

Vendor Sprawl is Creating Chaos

Today, security environments are more complex and cybercriminals are more determined than ever, yet organizations are utilizing security solutions built on stand-alone security tools, resulting in vendor sprawl and ineffective security strategies. Organizations now recognize that the ability to integrate disparate security technologies is the main challenge to achieving an effective security automation architecture, according to 71 per cent of respondents.

  • 57 per cent have interoperability issues among security technologies that diminish the effectiveness of automation technologies.
  • 63 per cent say it is difficult to integrate security automation technologies and tools with legacy systems.
  • 59 per cent believe their organization needs to streamline its number of vendors.

Skills Shortage is a Barrier

As a result of this vendor sprawl, security practitioners are finding themselves bogged down for nearly two hours each day processing alerts, events and logs to find a malicious activity, according to the study. This leaves them with limited manpower to implement critical automation technologies and results in diminishing security postures. On top of that, the market is dry when it comes to skilled security personnel.

  • Only 35 per cent say their organizations currently have the in-house expertise to be effective in using security automation to respond to malicious threats.
  • 62 per cent say the lack of in-house expertise diminishes their organization’s security posture.
  • 57 per cent say they are unable to recruit knowledgeable or skilled personnel to deploy their security automation tools.

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