Telephones, computers, and robots all have one thing in common: People thought they’d replace the need for human input, putting us all out of a job. On the contrary, these technologies were widely embraced once the public realized what their true purpose was: to automate tedious work and enable us to do things we actually enjoy doing, and faster, too. The same benefits apply to security operations, and this is a great thing for security operations centers (SOCs).

Automation Beats Overwhelm

Let’s be honest: Being a security manager, analyst, or engineer can be a draining job if all you’re doing is chasing down log data in response to everyday alerts. It’s no secret this is a big cause of employee attrition, alert fatigue, and just plain boredom and frustration.

What if instead your team could take its security playbook, plug in the tools needed, and automate the entire process from detection and response? It’s not a pipe dream. It’s exactly what security orchestration and automation platforms like Komand enable SOCs to do.

Having worked within a SOC myself for many years, I am no stranger to the feeling of overwhelm from noisy alerts and tedious, manual investigations when triaging an event. That’s why we designed Komand specifically to accelerate the incident response process through automated plugins and workflows so SOC employees can better leverage their productivity.

The bottom line: Security pros can use their expertise instead of spending time on labor-intensive, manual tasks.

Humans are Prone to Error

Humans bring something important to the table: the ability to analyze data within a broad context and think critically. What they don't always bring to the table is perfection.

Without automation, security analysts have to manually piece together unintegrated systems and data points to draw conclusions about how to respond. And while humans are good at analyzing and making decisions based on contextual information, they aren’t always the best at performing manual, repetitive tasks with optimal effectiveness.

There can be large margins of error, especially when jumping from multiple systems and and collecting thousands of data points. This time-consuming approach leads to not only alert fatigue, but burn out in general.

With security automation, collection of data is taken care of automatically, streamlining security processes so that your team can use their expertise to respond based on a detailed analysis.

The bottom line: Automation does the heavy lifting, leaving more room for strategic human decision making.

Automation Makes Security Possible For Every SOC Employee

While automation has always been an option for security, it’s historically required coding skills, which many security pros don’t have. Considering the speed at which companies operate today and the number of new and unknown threats that are cropping up, automation can give SOCs a big leg up — that is, if everyone on the team has the ability to do it, and fast.

Security automation solutions provide connect-and-go workflows (think Zapier or IFTTT for security), so anyone within the SOC can create a workflow, no code necessary. Needless to say, this can go a long way in solving for the security talent gap we’re all facing today, too.

The bottom line: Machine-to-machine security automation means any SOC employee can develop new and needed workflows.

Conclusion

Going back to the headline of this post (why you probably clicked on it in the first place), automation certainly will not make a SOC employee obsolete. In fact, it will optimize their productivity, enhance their response times, and empower them to do what they do best -- and likely why they got into security in the first place.

Just talk to your marketing, accounting, or sales counterparts and see how much more they’re doing by leveraging automation and how that’s impacted their jobs for the better. As a community, let’s embrace this technology for all the benefits it can bring.