There is a widely held misconception that automation and AI are better in every context and that they can replace human expertise with ease in the years to come. This is not true! Agreed that automation and AI help us make certain processes and functions more productive by taking over mechanical, routine and monotonous jobs. But machines are not capable of doing specialized and complicated tasks or following abstract, even vague commands or thinking unconventionally and creatively.
Technology and machines can assist and augment human intelligence and expertise but cannot replace it. This cannot be truer for cybersecurity. Think about it, machines need instructions and rules that they can follow and execute. Cybercriminals too are leveraging technology and coming up with new and improved ways to overcome/manipulate machines/technology/AI, undercut rules and capitalize on gaps. I strongly believe that complete automation of cyber security must be done away with for good and should be replaced by a managed security solution and system.
Managed security is where the organization takes the help of third-party service providers to install security infrastructure and/or oversee/ manage their cybersecurity needs. Organizations may co-share responsibilities of cybersecurity or completely outsource their needs to the third-party service provider.
In today’s day and age where the number of cyber-threats and vulnerabilities are increasing by the day, there are several software upgrades that need to be done on a regular basis. To install a full security infrastructure on premise and regularly upgrade it, you need to make heavy investments upfront. This may not be possible for small and medium businesses that solely operate online. Today, there is an increasing shift towards cloud-based security systems because they are relatively inexpensive.
Now, let us see why managed security is better for businesses, apart from the cost component.
Automation can go only to a level: As discussed earlier, automation can work only for tasks with clear rules and ones that are regular and monotonous. For instance, daily application scanning can be automated. The web scanner will perform the daily scans, give you reports on anomalies, statistics and analytics data, etc. Beyond this, you or a security expert must make sense of the reports and analytics, make necessary changes in your systems and ensure that your digital resources and systems are secure.
Business logic flaws are circumstantial security weaknesses that permeate from overlapping business theories or errors in business logic. These vulnerabilities are leveraged by cybercriminals as they are not illegal and will, most often, seem like legitimate requests to the computer/ automaton. So, automated scanners do not detect business logic vulnerabilities. The security experts and analysts with unconventional and creative thinking and who understand your business will only be able to identify these gaps before hackers can and accordingly, take measures to fix it. This is possible only in a hybrid or managed the system.
Being better prepared for the ‘unknown’: Automated security can only prepare itself for known threats and attack patterns. What about the unknown vulnerabilities such as zero-day threats? Cyber-attackers today are constantly monitoring web applications for vulnerabilities and gaps they can capitalize on. They use bots and other technology to snoop around for the same. It is critical that you find the vulnerabilities before they do. In a managed security system, the security experts conduct penetration testing on a regular basis to find unknown vulnerabilities and possible threats. They also monitor the application statistics and analytics to study attacker patterns and MO.
Managed, intelligent WAF that supports complex, custom rules: Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a critical part of cybersecurity; it is the first line of defense against bad traffic and malicious requests. It continuously monitors the web application to detect threats, vulnerabilities and DDoS attacks, immediately patches identified vulnerabilities until fixed and automatically blocks all bad traffic. The regular, automated WAF is like a robot and carries out only well-defined and straightforward rules. A managed WAF, on the other hand, supports custom and complex rules based on the needs of your business. An intelligent managed WAF gives decision-making power to you or the security analyst to either block, flag or challenge requests.
Study security analytics: As discussed earlier, the security experts and analysts study security analytics provided by the technological tools used to analyze and understand attacker MO, patterns, etc. and thereby, put together foolproof security measures. Managed security solutions such as AppTrana are endowed with a Global Threat Intelligence platform which is continuously updated with global threat feeds and consolidated with learnings from past attack history, augmenting the security analysts’ understanding.
Sound cybersecurity strategy: The best part about managed security like Indusface’s Total Application Security or AppTrana is that you are hiring the expertise of certified security experts who aid in building a strong cybersecurity strategy and precise security measures with surgical accuracy based on the existing and potential risk exposure of your web application.
With a managed security solution, you can leave the heavy-lifting of cybersecurity to the experts and focus on your core business.
Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Indusface
Venky has played multiple roles within Indusface for the past 6 years. He was instrumental in building the product/service and technology team from scratch and grew it from ideation to getting initial customers with a proven/validated business model poised for scale. He has proven experience (10+ years) in the security industry and has held various mgmt/leadership roles in Product Development, Professional Services, and Sales during his time at Entrust Data card.