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Solving the Cyberworkforce Job Vacancies with Automation and IA

August 1, 2022

There’s never been a better time to add automation to your cyberworkforce job vacancies shortage.

Cyberseek recently reported that the demand for cybersecurity professionals had surged more than 40% over the past year, with some 714,000 cybersecurity vacancies between April 2021 and April 2022. The key word here is “recently.” Because every time we talk about the cyberworkforce job vacancies shortage, those numbers grow. The trend is not getting better.

“It is critical that we finally recognize that we need to address the workforce issue at scale,” Larry Clinton, Security Alliance president, told Inside Cybersecurity. “This is not a technology problem. It is an economic problem – supply and demand. We simply do not have an adequate supply of trained people to defend our country from constant cyberattacks.”

Cybersecurity workers face complicated challenges every day. They stay up late and work hard to keep our infrastructure safe. They protect our government data—everything from financial accounts to sensitive military communications—the very fabric of our country. They do what humans do best—imagine, create, and design solutions for big problems. But increasingly, there are just not enough hours in the day for them to do their jobs entirely, which is being dangerously impacted by the growing shortage of new cybersecurity workers entering the marketplace.

The answer is not always a simple human-to-bot adjustment through automation, however. It  also  makes the collected data easier to digest and take immediate action. As one Air Force captain put it, “we are swimming in sensors and drowning in data.” So automation can help there, too.

Break down the barriers between data and action.

With new cyberattacks happening every 39 seconds, security mandates change frequently, processes need to be repeated enterprise-wide every time there’s a software update, and users—along with their vulnerabilities—are becoming more distributed than ever. Therefore, consolidating and centralizing data is imperative to protecting it efficiently in today’s world.

The easy solution is providing management with a dashboard with shiny dials, but this is fraught with danger. The project will fail because it can’t drive a successful program by centralizing data. Think about an organization that has multiple locations that could be multiple enclaves, multiple physical locations, 1000’s compliance devices whether they have switches, routers systems, instances physical machine and virtual machines every week managing 100 and 1000’s of controls and recognizing that a single windows workstation and if STIGed properly has in excess of 1000- 2000 controls on each one. Therefore, data elements must become part of the compliance program.

First, if an organization is a government organization or interacts with their data on even a cursory scale,  security mandates must be met to stay in compliance. Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIG) and Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmarks provide security and configuration checklists government organizations must meet before a system or application can be deployed. And Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is marching forward and requiring private organizations to harden many of the same endpoints before doing business with the government. Centralized data is essential to all of that.

Second, “The key factor driving the adoption of data-driven intensive computing is the need to rapidly analyze exploding volumes of data at the point of creation and at scale,” Larry Wilson Sr. Dir Platform Ecosystem Splunk. Being able to analyze data is crucial to the success of any compliance program. And centralizing it is vital to analyze it effectively.

Discover what dashboards can do.

Consolidating and centralizing data provides multiple benefits and opportunities and is enhanced by dashboard insights. You can see into hidden issues. For example, you can make better decisions with added visibility and trend analysis. And you can be audit-ready at the tip of a hat.

Automation solutions like SteelCloud’s ConfigOS can scan and remediate the rote processes needed to meet government cybersecurity requirements such as STIGs and CMMC. They can speed the security process, frequently helping you achieve authority to operate (ATO) in hours, not weeks. And they can consolidate and crunch data and visualize it on a dashboard for benefits like:

  • Data transformative views – A dashboard will allow you to segment your data for different purposes (such as audits) or different groups of people IT or cyber compliance people.This data can be reformatted in a format that is more useful to them.
  • Summarization and calculation – Dashboards deliver quick data views for management and offer insights into trends and deltas.
  • Secure data – Dashboards help you customize secure versions of data reports for those with the proper clearances, and the dashviews are customized to the audiences.
  • Data archival –Many systems purge themselves of performance costs and all kinds of data over time. Dashboards allow you to store and archive data for future reference.
  • Actionable data—Dashboard reports can help you make decisions on how to best expend human energies and prepare checklists of things to do.
  • Failed human processes—Dashboards show you where your human processes are not working so you can create more streamlined workflows.
  • Auditing—Dashboards help save time and money on the auditing process with customized data views and quick access to reports.

Relieve your cyberworkforce worries in more ways than one.

Most of the time, when we talk about automation in relation to the cyberworkforce, it’s in terms of how you can make your existing staff stretch farther with automation. But the impact of automation is much more nuanced than that. It can also:

  • Give your people the freedom and data to use their critical thinking skills—the kind of work humans do best
  • Relieve them from the mundane chains of manual tasks, thereby improving morale and retention
  • Help you find solutions faster and remediate issues more quickly
  • Deliver insights into processes and actions that are complicating your security posture
  • Make the extreme shortage of high-priced cyber workers less relevant to your security
  • Improve compliance and, best of all, your overall security

Automation remediation is used based on the anomalies and situations using big data IA learning when utilizing dashboards to segment data. Big data has enormous value when it leads to patterns and then remediates the data. It allows you to find the solution faster and set up a playbook to respond to those situations more quickly.

Prepare now for a more agile and secure environment, despite the lack of human help available in the marketplace. Schedule a demo of ConfigOS and DashView to see automation works with the humans you must create a more productive and secure cybersecurity posture.


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