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Palo Alto Networks expert: Automation is key to security

Palo Alto Networks expert: Automation is key to security

Tarek Abbas, of Palo Alto Networks, says: “The only efficient way to keep up with and guard against cybersecurity threats is to employ automation,” he says.

Tarek Abbas, Systems Engineering Director, Emerging Markets, Palo Alto Networks, says it’s vital for businesses to equip themselves with a robust cybersecurity strategy. “The only efficient way to keep up with and guard against cybersecurity threats is to employ automation,” he says. 

It is extremely important to equip your organisation with a robust defence strategy that includes people, process and technology. According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, the best cybersecurity investment that business leaders can make is in better training.

It stated: “As the scale and complexity of the cyberthreat landscape is revealed, so too is the general lack of cybersecurity readiness in organisations, even those that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on state-of-the-art technology.”

The cybersecurity industry is experiencing a dearth of talent. Within the next two years alone, this skills shortage is expected to exceed two million jobs globally, further burdening cybersecurity staff and preventing them from implementing strategic and structural changes that could improve security outcomes.

Unless organisations adopt new technologies, such operations will continue to become more difficult, especially for short-staffed organisations dependent upon manual processes and an assortment of point tools for threat prevention, detection and response.

As networks continuously expand and evolve, so do the functions that must be taught to secure them. But without the time, propensity or funds to provide formal training for every conceivable employee with security responsibility, how can these professionals acquire the knowledge, tools, and techniques they’ll need to take on this responsibility?

For some organisations, building a brand-new security operations model won’t work – many lack the skills and resources to start from scratch. What should they do instead? We believe they should work with security vendor partners that deliver behavioural analytics capabilities that leverage machine learning, automate manual processes and natively integrate security capabilities into a single security platform. In this way, organisations can improve detection and response times while lessening the burden on overworked security departments.

Cyber-readiness, through best practices and innovative technology that solves real problems, together with open lines of communication across technical and business teams, is the key to effective prevention, detection and response. If you recall the quote from Harvard Business Review, even those that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on state-of-the-art technology aren’t necessarily best placed to defend their businesses from the ever-growing community of cyberadversaries.

As aforementioned, in order to ease this process, CISOs should form partnerships with leading security vendors that are committed to technology integration, advanced analytics capabilities and process automation on their own. The only efficient way to keep up with and guard against cybersecurity threats is to employ automation.

In today’s digital age, cookie-cutter simulations and tabletop exercises will not deliver the value necessary for effective cyber-readiness. There’s no substitute for real-world experience.