Brand Reputation Through Automation

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A strong business is built on brand integrity. Securing new sales is important, but securing customer trust is paramount. 

There is no place for complacency when it comes to cybersecurity. Yet, many traditional IT models struggle to protect operational assets and sensitive data. The exponential rate in which cyber threats now occur is putting reputations at risk.

Firms that embrace cutting-edge application security solutions and automate procedures can stay one step ahead of the hacker. Those that don’t are in danger of losing more than just customer loyalty.

A question of trust
Listening to customers is essential to understand their needs and priorities. The growing influence of multi-cloud deployments are helping EMEA organizations better secure apps, automate and embrace digital transformation. 

According to F5’s 2018 State of Application Delivery report (SOAD), 57% of surveyed businesses worldwide are employing IT automation and orchestration to optimize processes. Efficiency and time to market are important but protecting sensitive customer information must be the number one priority. 

The media is awash with data breach scandals - get it wrong and there is nowhere to hide. Quite simply, if you lose consumer trust, you could go bust. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 global Cost of Data Breach Study, the average cost of a data breach is $3.62 million, and the average cost per lost or stolen record is $141.

Meanwhile, the challenges associated with artificial intelligence (AI) are intensifying. The recent report co-authored by 26 international experts from Oxford University, The Centre For The Study of Existential Risk, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and more, warned that AI posed a “clear and present danger” to our digital, physical and political security. 

The Malicious Use Of Artificial Intelligence goes on to urge governments and corporations to address the “myriad” threats the technology could cause, whether it is turning drones into missiles, generating fake news to manipulate public opinion or automating hacking for criminal and terrorist means.

The rise of hivenets is another major concern: these are intelligent clusters of compromised devices built around swarm technology to create more effective attack vectors. Whereas traditional botnets wait for commands from the bot herder, hivenets make decisions independently.

Cyber-criminals are now equipped to take attacks to a new level. For example, intelligent botnets have repeatedly attacked the Apache Struts framework vulnerability responsible for the Equifax hack. Attackers use automation and intelligent decision trees to exploit proven vulnerabilities. A single incident of credentials fraud can spook your customers to take their business elsewhere. 

Fight automation with automation
Effective defense against automated hacking is vital to ensure that applications and network systems are secure, and that your customers are not compromised. 

When reputations are at stake, many companies are taking cybercrime head on with advanced technology – battling bot with bots, tackling automation with automation. 

Across EMEA, IT departments are increasingly embracing programmability and standardization within their automation and orchestration environments.

According to SOAD 2018, three in four (75%) of businesses declare the use of automation in the operation of IT infrastructure to be “somewhat” or “very” important. The majority (72%) are using automation to realize leaner IT with the goal of reducing OpEx, while nearly half (48%) are looking to scale to meet demand.

From a technical perspective, security solutions with enforcement across all platforms – physical, virtual, container, cloud – are far more effective at mitigating attacks, especially when you have a common automation language like the Representational State Transfer (RESTful) API, otherwise, you will not be able to automate or orchestrate your infrastructure. 

Bolster brand security
Automation is the future. However, don’t just automate what you have. Automate what your business needs. Architecting for a multi-cloud world is a unique opportunity to evaluate how your app services can meet business demand, optimize the speed of innovation, and deliver greater value. 

The message is simple: automate or stagnate. In a crowded marketplace where reputations make a big difference, the use of application security solutions combined with an understanding of threat behavior keeps organizations compliant and one step ahead of the hacker.

By building a better culture of security and publicly demonstrating the value of secure data, customers will automatically select your business as the brand of choice.

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