Why No-Code Automation is the Future of SecOps

The monotonous tasks swamping skilled analysts and the time it takes automating these tasks because they often require coding that needs the attention of developers means that analysts aren’t able to focus on high-impact tasks that can help further the goal of protecting the organization. It also means their security skills are not being put to optimal use, risking burnout, churn and error.

What if there were a way to have the benefits of automation without getting developers involved? There is, and it’s through no-code automation.

Whether you’re already using no-code automation or whether you’ve yet to adopt it, here’s why no-code will be the future of security automation and some best practices for maximizing its benefits on your team.

Why You Need No-Code

No-code automation, in simple terms, takes the coding out of automation. By dragging-and-dropping actions into a workflow, setting parameters and wiring them together, analysts can automate very complex tasks without having to code anything.

This means those frontline analysts who know the workflows best can create their own automation without waiting on developers to do it for them. Automating these lower-level tasks also means freeing up analysts to work on more impactful work, which can increase engagement.

This is a great benefit, considering that in our recent report on the “Voice of the SOC Analyst,” we found that the majority of analysts are spending between half and three-quarters of their time on tedious tasks, and the number one most frustrating aspect of the job is “spending time on manual work.”

Those reasons alone are enough to realize that no-code is the future of security automation, but here are a few more.

Fewer and Richer Alerts

Much of a security team’s time is often taken up tracking down alerts – upwards of 840 alerts per day – or figuring out which alerts to pay attention to.

No-code automation platforms allow analysts to automate their alert responses very easily, and automate information-gathering so that if an alert needs human eyes, it’s delivered with the necessary context.

Increased Security Tools and Reduced Management

No-code automation platforms are stack-agnostic so that organizations who are turning away from “big box shops” towards best-of-breed security tools designed for specific purposes need not worry about no-code not playing nice with their systems.

In fact, a no-code platform with its singular focus on workflow can provide a way to connect all these tools, eliminating concern over fragmentation.

Automation Across Multiple Teams

Within an organization, security processes have the highest stakes, and as no-code tools prove their efficiency in mission-critical environments, they will build trust in capabilities that other teams are bound to notice.

Because no-code automation takes down the barrier of having to know how to write script, its benefits can easily translate to other teams, too.

Best Practices For Bringing No-Code Security Automation to Your SecOps

As you get up and running with your no-code platform, here are some best practices to help everyone acclimate and become more successful.

  • Annotate: As you build your no-code automation workflows, the actions and events should be legible to the other people on your team. To make sure, leave visual notes on the workflow diagram for your colleagues, showing them how the workflow executes and how you built it, and apply those techniques to their own automations.
  • Modularize: The more you automate your workflows, the more you’ll notice that you repeat certain steps, like including “post a message to the team slack in this format.” As you build, extract these shared sequences to modules that can be used across your workflows.
  • Monitor: Eventually, something in your automation will break, but you can set up monitoring to make sure somebody gets notified when this happens. This could be if an upstream system is down, the workflow fails to complete or an infinite loop is encountered.
  • Evolve: The best automation workflows are created when analysts continuously improve upon them. So periodically analyze your workflow run for what you can add, and creatively think about what could have made the task faster or the outputs more useful. However, it won’t be all slow-going, as our customers automate an average of 20 workflows in their first year.
  • Communicate Value: Finally, after you invest in your no-code automation platform, it’s vital to demonstrate the value you’re reaping to leadership. One way to show its value is by communicating saved time and costs, as you may find that you’re not just saving yourself minutes but days and weeks of work. For extra credit from C-suite, quantify those time savings for them.

The Future of Security is No-Code

No-code automation isn’t simply taking the monotonous tasks off your team’s plate but giving your team the power and accessibility to get creative with what they automate and evolve the complexity of their workflows. As a result, not only will your SOC become more streamlined, but they can also focus more time and energy on scaling your organization’s security posture, too – a key goal for any security team in 2022. 

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