How Automation Can Solve the Security Talent Shortage Puzzle

The COVID-19 pandemic may have essentially forced remote work models, but the practice seems poised to stick around long after infection rates diminish. According to LinkedIn’s Economic Graph team, paid job postings on their site offering “remote work” have skyrocketed — in May of this year, the number sat at 357% over the year-earlier share.

Supporting remote and hybrid work requires organizations to invest in and implement new technologies that facilitate needs such as remote access, secure file-sharing, real-time collaboration and videoconferencing. Businesses must also hire professionals to configure, implement and maintain these tools with an eye towards security – a primary concern here, as businesses of all sizes now live or die by the availability and integrity of their data. The increasing complexity of IT environments – many of which are now pressured to support bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies – has only intensified the need for competent cybersecurity talent.

It’s not surprising that the ongoing shortage of trained professionals makes it difficult for organizations to expand their business and adopt new technologies. Almost half a million cybersecurity jobs remain open in the U.S. alone, forcing businesses to compete aggressively to fill these roles. Yet, economic pressures make it particularly difficult for small-to mid-sized businesses (SBMs) to play this game. Most cannot hope to match the high salaries that large enterprises offer.

Automation Lets You Do More With Less

One of the most effective ways to manage the problems associated with the cybersecurity talent shortage is to rely less on people and more on solutions that automate key tasks.

Automation bolsters security, saves time, reduces stress and enables companies to focus on creating new revenue streams — even if they have limited IT personnel. Needs that automation can assist with include:

Automatic Backups

Large or small businesses must protect and back up their sensitive data. Sounds straightforward, but it’s no small task when this data is spread across local and cloud servers as well as employee devices.

Instead of relying on manual backups, which can get complicated and are always time-consuming, automation lets you “set it and forget it” by enabling your team to run backups based on a predefined schedule or when triggered by specific events. Automatic backups eliminate complexities and require little to no human intervention, allowing IT professionals to focus on more critical tasks.

Automated Disaster Recovery (DR)

Cybersecurity professionals can spend hours, days or even weeks manually recovering systems when disaster strikes. To lessen the burden on your staff and get your systems back up and running with absolutely minimal downtime, look for solutions that automate key disaster recovery scenarios. Automated DR not only addresses the workforce problem it also eliminates human error by ensuring your systems will be recovered in the right order.

Modern, integrated cybersecurity solutions can also automatically recover data in a ransomware attack. Should ransomware begin to encrypt your files, the solution halts the process and any encrypted items before the attack was detected are automatically restored to a previous working state.

Automated Patching

Timely patching your operating systems and applications is critical to stopping cyber-attacks — particularly new ones. But with over 16,000 vulnerabilities reported so far in 2021, manual patching is a full-time job and puts additional stress on already-overloaded IT teams.

With automated patching and patch management, you can easily identify the systems and applications that require updates, then roll out patches on-demand or according to a schedule. In 2021, the need for vulnerability assessments and patch management grew by 73% against the previous year.

Of course, there’s always a slim chance of bad patches that render your system unusable. That’s why the best patch management solutions will automatically back up your systems before applying an update. You can easily restore and roll back to the latest working state if anything goes wrong.

Machine Intelligence-Powered Threat Detection

Your cybersecurity personnel could spend an inordinate amount of time manually hunting for and remediating threats. As an alternative, machine intelligence (MI)-powered threat detection – which learns and continually improves – can eliminate errors and save both time and effort. Look to solutions that emphasize behavioral detection, a threat-agnostic approach that identifies and blocks even the newest malware and other hazards based on the malicious behaviors they exhibit.

Cybercriminals Use Automation. You Should Too!

Do what your opponents do, but do it better. Cyber-criminals are relying on automation to spam out attacks at scale and generate staggering volumes of new threats – like the 500,000 new malware samples observed each day.

It’s simply impossible for humans to respond effectively to such a deluge through manual efforts alone. This is where protection automation is key. Acronis’ solutions, which integrate backup, cybersecurity and endpoint protection management, are primed for reflexive solutions to real-world threat scenarios – with the ability, for instance, to scan backups for embedded threats and automatically restore clean data immediately after an attack.

Learn more about Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud or start your free 30-day trial today. 

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