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The Importance of Automation and Standardization in Cyber Security Processes

To be effective, cyber security requires human intervention. A lot of companies with limited security budgets learn this the hard way. They trust security software suites to handle their defenses and find themselves victims of costly breaches.

As organizations move toward more proactive security measures — including threat intelligence, penetration testing, continuous monitoring and real-time response — there is a significant need for planning, analysis and critical thinking skills that only humans can provide.

However, another problem emerges for many security initiatives when human involvement in processes becomes unnecessarily burdensome. Rather than pursuing strategic tasks, security professionals are often bogged down with manual security configurations, preparing reports, babysitting networks or other mind-numbing work.

To overcome these issues, security personnel need two efficiencies: automation and standardization. By using tools that automate repeatable processes, and define and document predictable processes for non-automated tasks, teams will have more time for high value tasks that strengthen an organization’s defenses.

There are several areas where security teams often struggle with manual or non-standard processes, and automation or standardization can easily be accomplished with the right toolset.


Scanning and reporting: Vulnerability scans are, by nature, an automated process undertaken by a software program. However, the analysis and reporting that follows the scans is often done manually, which means lots of copying and pasting. Tools for report conversion can easily cut hours of mundane work out of every report.

Security configurations: Most security teams have defined rules for each tech resource. But even with standardization, these rules need to be applied through a set of configurations. When this configuration is done manually, a single resource can eat up an hour or more. With automation, the time needed can be cut in half.


Penetration testing: Many security personnel would like to make penetration testing a regular part of their process. However, without some definition around procedures and standards, it can be a time consuming and expensive process. Platforms and procedures that standardize the process can make it possible to perform regular tests affordably and without a heavy time commitment.

Incident response: Quick action is critical when responding to a security incident. Otherwise fines, restorative actions and downtime can do major damage. A consistent and predictable process — where everyone understands his or her role — is critical to ensuring action is taken in an appropriate timeframe.

Lunarline has the tools and services to help our clients automate and standardize processes when possible so they can derive the greatest value from their cyber security. For more information on these solutions, please visit Lunarline.com.

About Spence Witten

Spence has somehow survived ten years at start-ups and small businesses without suffering a (major) nervous breakdown. As Lunarline's Director of Federal Sales, Spence actually loves working on proposals. If there were any doubt, this is proof that he is in fact certifiably insane. While his title says "Sales" Lunarline doesn't let him off that easy. We make him do real work, too. Luckily he's a recognized subject matter expert in security policy and loves helping clients navigate their way around tricky security compliance standards. He's also been known to lead a software development initiative or two, though that pretty much always ends poorly for everyone involved. He can be reached at spence.witten@lunarline.com.