Protecting Your Data with Automated Cybersecurity Processes

Cybersecurity incidents have dominated headlines around the world over the past year. Although businesses are still perceived as victims in these cases, the ever-increasing frequency of attacks calls into question whether organizations’ cybersecurity processes are truly adequate.

Some of the major recent breaches which are, in part, explained by poor cybersecurity processes include:

  • In late 2016, Yahoo announced that data associated with at least 500 million of their accounts had been stolen—a second breach just three months later saw that number rise to one billion.
  • The WannaCry attack in May 2017 used encryption-based ransomware to infect National Health Service (NHS) systems in the UK and spread to more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries within 24 hours.
  • Most recently, U.S. consumer credit reporting giant Equifax fell victim to a cybersecurity breach that compromised the personal information of 143 million US citizens—almost half the population.

When personal data is hacked and posted online or sold to the highest bidder, customers will likely ask why cybersecurity processes failed to protect their sensitive information. In cases where the organization is shown to have failed to implement proper cybersecurity processes, the backlash from unhappy consumers and legislators is likely to be severe.

A main contributor to subpar cybersecurity processes is the fact they are performed manually. Areas like governance auditing are thorough undertakings; when the process is manual, employees spend too much time keeping compliant, and even then it may not be enough.

Let’s explore what businesses can do to reconfigure their cybersecurity processes to a high standard to maximize the security of their data.

The Current State of Cybersecurity Processes

While some workers feel more confident with manual processes when it comes to data security, there is no denying it is a slower process. From firewall and patch management to incident response, malware protection and software development, employees could save considerable time if these processes could be automated.

Automating cybersecurity processes can greatly help your data protection efforts. Implementing process automation can improve data governance and compliance, removing manual processes otherwise performed by a worker to free up valuable time and alleviate some of that stress.

But simply stating that ‘automation is the answer’ is not enough.

There are two main perceived blockers to automated cybersecurity processes:

  • Loss of control: Processes that are taken out of the hands of workers lose an element of reliability, and ‘machines’ may be unable to adapt to changes as they surface.
  • Fear of change: There is a belief that automated cybersecurity processes will remove the need for ‘human’ cybersecurity, resulting in the loss of jobs for IT employees.

The fear that automated cybersecurity processes will replace the jobs of real human workers is a big misconception. As an article from Deloitte Insights on The Future of Cybersecurity claims:

“Given the sensitivity of cybersecurity issues, there is no doubt that humans will still be necessary to confirm and investigate threats, particularly when they are internal. But their jobs will be made much easier and more productive with the help of technology.”

Both the above blockers can be overcome by establishing automated processes that assist workers rather than replace them. The best cybersecurity environments will be a hybrid of human experts and machine intelligence, working together to mitigate risk and minimize threats.

So, what might automated cybersecurity processes look like in your organization?

Cyber Security Processes and Experts

The Nintex Workflow Platform makes it easy to design, build and publish workflows across the business that accelerate user processes. When it comes to cybersecurity processes, using Nintex workflow automation can allow users to improve data security through the following areas:

  • Patch & Update Management: the latest software updates almost always require security fixes, so it’s important you always have the latest updates. Automated workflows can notify you when you need to update, and in some case even run the update packages for you.
  • Security Auditing: with workflow automation, users can automatically create a full audit trail of all data-sensitive processes—from proposals to approvals—to keep track of everything that goes on and refer to when necessary. 
  • Incident Response: in the event of a cybersecurity incident, whether internal or external, you need to be notified immediately. Analytics platforms like Nintex Hawkeye collect information from varying data sources without manual input, helping you predict and screen potential cybersecurity threats. And its seamless integration with Nintex Workflow means you can take automated actions to mitigate risk as quickly as possible.
  • Password Management: for maximum security over personal data, your users should be frequently updating their passwords. You can set up recurring automated workflows to notify them of the need to do this.
  • Change Management: The management of change, particularly changes to security solutions and configuration, is a critical element in maintaining a secure environment. Automated workflow and forms provide a platform for managing the change process and accountabilities through tracked approvals.

 

For more information on the security and compliance benefits of workflow automation, get in touch with Nintex today.

Justin Donato

Justin Donato serves as the VP of Information Technology at Nintex. He joined Nintex in 2009 and is committed to ensuring Nintex’s technology systems run well and are empowering employees to do their very best work.