Security Automation Use Cases: Real Scenarios. Real Savings. (2023)

"It's not if, but when…" The often-quoted statement has been repeated so frequently in the cybersecurity industry that it's practically a cliche. Yet, it's never been more true. Technology is embedded into every business activity in the modern world, and hackers continually find ways to exploit new technology for malicious purposes. To keep up with the massive amounts of data created by a single business, you'd need large teams of specialists analyzing logs for threats around the clock. Even with this level of oversight, attacks would slip under the radar and cost you millions.

The dark web, ransomware as a service, exploited AI technology, and malicious tools make it easier than ever for cybercriminals to launch successful attacks with limited knowledge. For businesses to keep up with the constant flow of data derived from both legitimate business activity within a network and data generated by the constantly evolving threat landscape, automated security is a necessity.

Security automation uses artificial intelligence (AI) to eliminate time-consuming manual tasks and connect security tools for lightning-fast responses that keep your network safe. With security automation, your organization can develop advanced security models that promote zero-trust security and continually investigate every corner of your network. Without it, your organization could be left vulnerable to attacks that could cost you millions. Recent data shows that organizations using AI and automation saved an average of $3 million more than those without.

Still skeptical? We understand. $3 million is a lot of money. To provide a better understanding of how security automation helps businesses save money, we'll explore the most common use cases and some real examples.

Security Automation Use Cases: Real Scenarios. Real Savings. (1)

(Video) Devo Security Operations - Phishing Use Case

Use Cases for Security Automation

Security automation allows companies to use tools to assist or replace human efforts to detect and stop security incidents. Although security and compliance requirements differ from one industry to the next, all organizations face an overwhelming amount of cyber threats in the modern threat landscape. Security automation spans a variety of use cases across workflows and tasks performed by security experts. These are some of the most common use cases for security automation.

Incident Response

In a perfect world, cybersecurity tools would adequately block every threat before any organizational network was breached. Today's threat landscape thrives on deceptive attacks that masquerade as legitimate network traffic, making attacks harder to detect. How organizations respond to these attacks plays a critical role in recovery.

Incident response is the steps your organization takes in the event of a cybersecurity incident. Without automation, your team would have to investigate every alert manually, determine whether the threat is relevant, devise a plan to quarantine affected devices, and carry out recovery. Automated incident response depends on AI that uses rules-based logic to respond to alerts. With the right tools in place, automated incident response can identify whether alerts are relevant, notify specific personnel of an incident, and respond to attacks with predefined actions like quarantining affected systems or taking devices offline. These services work 24/7, providing instant response to security incidents that occur during off-hours, weekends, and vacations.

For example, if an employee unknowingly clicks on a malicious link in a phishing email, there might not be any immediate consequence that alerts your business to an attack. Analysts manually searching for malware can spend hours searching through logs to identify a single piece of data that represents a malware attack. A security orchestration system uses centralized threat intelligence to recognize malware signatures and send out an alert and provide remediation in seconds. If a device is infected, it can be immediately quarantined to prevent further damage.


Most industries are subject to some type of compliance regulations. The recently released National Cybersecurity Strategy reveals there will be new compliance regulations across all industries in the near future. Compliance management requires the implementation of tools and processes, the application of patches and updates, and strict attention to ever-growing regulation requirements.

To maintain compliance with industry regulations, companies must follow specific business operations and record-keeping requirements. Preparing for audits can take months and require a third-party provider to assess security gaps and update your security plan.Failing an audit can mean added requirements and steep fines. For example, non-compliance with HIPAA can lead to fines that reach into the millions depending on the level of negligence. If you fail a PCI-DSS audit, you can receive a fine of up to $100,000 per month. Failure to meet GDPR regulations can amount to 20 million euros or 4% of the total annual turnover of the financial year, whichever is higher.


When automated compliance workflows are added to your automated security system's playbook, the majority of manual compliance tasks can be eliminated. Automated compliance software can provide built-in content for common standards like HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS, and NIST. The software provides notifications to compliance personnel when standards change and compliance gaps are recognized. Additional automated tasks may include monitoring for compliance risks, scheduled risk assessments, and evidence collection for routine audits.

Security Automation Use Cases: Real Scenarios. Real Savings. (2)

Vulnerability Management

Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in different ways to breach business networks. Millions of known and unknown vulnerabilities exist. They're caused by things like unpatched software flaws, outdated software, weak passwords, and misconfigured systems.

Vulnerability management is a process that helps organizations identify and address security vulnerabilities. The entire process includes actions that identify, classify, remediate, and mitigate network vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by threat actors. To effectively manage the potential vulnerabilities within a network, analysts would need to categorize every known vulnerability in real-time, search network and endpoint logs for these vulnerabilities, and routinely conduct threat-hunting exercises to uncover potential vulnerabilities that haven't yet been discovered.Without automation, discovering all the potential vulnerabilities in your network would be virtually impossible.

Automated vulnerability management allows you to maintain real-time inventory of all assets (including cloud-based and remote). It uses a constant stream of threat intelligence to detect known vulnerabilities in your network environment and apply appropriate responses. The system can also automate routine vulnerability scans, automate patch management, and schedule software updates.

A 2020 exploit of a 4-year-old vulnerability is an excellent example of how unprotected systems can cost businesses thousands of dollars. The WannaCry attacks that first occurred in 2017 exploited a vulnerability that Microsoft had released patches for months earlier. The severity of the attack was only successful because the majority of organizations failed to patch systems when the patch was released. Even worse, 26% of companies remained vulnerable to WannaCry malware four years later. The truth is, many businesses likely remain vulnerable to threats like these because software updates and patches haven't been applied regularly.

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Threat Intelligence

Cyber threat intelligence (CTI) is the data that is collected, processed, and analyzed to identify existing or emerging threats that compromise the networks of businesses and individuals. It includes indicators of compromise (IOCs), like vulnerabilities, behaviors of threat actors, and tools and techniques. CTI is the backbone of every cybersecurity solution, but it is delivered as a continuous stream of information from a variety of sources. Analyzing all the information from internal and external threat feeds would be impossible with the human eye.

An automated threat intelligence platform collects, organizes, and analyzes information from multiple sources. It uses the information from multiple threat feeds to alert and respond to vulnerabilities and known attacks. A highly effective automated threat intelligence system can also remotely provide customers with immunity from threats as they evolve. For example, here at BitLyft, we utilize threat information from all users and clients on the platform as well as outside sources to validate threats as real and useful. We then add the information to our central threat intelligence warehouse to automatically provide proactive protection for each client. This can provide organizations with proactive protection against threats that haven't targeted their network and prevent costly damage.

Real-Life Scenarios of Cost Savings

Cyberattacks that shut down major corporations, cause gas shortages, and cost organizations millions of dollars make splashy headlines and command global attention. Cyberattacks that failed to hit their mark seem far less glamorous and don't make national news headlines. Yet, when you consider the cost savings and damages avoided in these circumstances, the ways security automation saves the day are pretty exciting too.

Russia's Failed Attacks on Ukraine Infrastructure

Defending critical infrastructure is a leading goal in the National Cybersecurity Strategy released by the Biden Administration and for good reason. Recent attacks that resulted in gas shortages and briefly interrupted the food supply chain only offered a glimpse into the potential damage that could be caused by a widespread attack on infrastructure. Amidst these concerns, we'd be remiss to exclude Ukraine's defensive cybersecurity tactics from examples of powerful cybersecurity efforts resulting in major savings.

Russia's attack on Ukraine brought with it big concerns about the effects of wartime cyber operations. Yet, Russia's efforts have been largely unsuccessful. At the Chatham House security and defense conference in 2022, UK's National Cyber Security Council (NCSC) CEO, Lindy Cameron, noted that while Russian attacks have been "significant and in many cases, very sophisticated", Ukrainian cyber defenses have prevailed.

A notable example is the April 2022 attempt to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure. The attack was designed to infiltrate computers connected to multiple substations, then delete all files, which would shut related infrastructure down. The reality didn't quite measure up. Although malware successfully infiltrated some computers in Ukraine's energy sector, disruptions only occurred at one facility which was quickly remedied and resulted in no lost power. The effective defense came from a combined team of information technology staffers, Ukrainian intelligence officers, ESET, and Microsoft. Automated security features were likely based on threat procedures used in similar attacks in 2014 and 2015.

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The targeted company provides electricity for an area where millions of people live. If the attack had been successful, it would have had a wide impact and been the most visible cyberattack on Ukrainian infrastructure since Russia's invasion started. The monetary costs of the attack would have been enormous and the effects on residents would have been catastrophic alongside the suffering Ukrainians are already enduring.

Private University Saves Thousands with a Security Solution to Counter Phishing Attacks

In 2017, a well-known university in Illinois was hit with a number of phishing attacks. At the time of the attacks, the university was being faced with staff cuts and didn't have the resources to hire an additional team member. IT staff members worked additional hours to spend time working on each individual account compromise, but they lacked the necessary training to combat the ongoing attacks.

Security Automation Use Cases: Real Scenarios. Real Savings. (3)

After weighing its options, the university chose to invest in outside help in the form of cloud-based SOC-as-a-Service, provided by BitLyft. Once BitLyft installed its robust cybersecurity platform, the university immediately began to see the benefits of enhanced visibility. With the exposure of logins from unfamiliar locations and data provided by the BitLyft team, the university reduced reaction time before a breach even began.

How did this approach save the university money? Instead of choosing to hire cybersecurity professionals or purchase an on-prem SIEM tool, the university invested in the more cost-effective route of partnering with BitLyft. What are the costs of these options? The average cost for yearly cybersecurity staff salary ranges from $739,000 - $1,708,000, and this doesn't include the cost of 24/7 monitoring and employee benefits. SIEM costs range from around $2,000 to nearly $50,000 without considering the costs of implementation and training.

Security Automation Combined with Human Intelligence Provides a Complete Solution

Security automation is essential for effective protection against modern sophisticated cyberattacks. However, it's only one piece of the puzzle. Security automation is powered by AI tools that depend on humans to supply relevant information for proper use. Human analysts and threat hunters constantly seek new information to stay ahead of sophisticated threats.

(Video) Robotic Process Automation - Manufacturing Use Cases

BitLyft AIR provides businesses with 24/7 monitoring, threat detection, incident response, and remediation capabilities to protect devices and endpoints across your entire network. Alongside highly effective automated tools, we provide businesses of all sizes with the benefits of a fully-operational security operations center with minimal investment for affordable protection that surpasses the use of tools alone. If you're unsure your cybersecurity solution keeps up with the speed of the modern threat landscape, it's time to do something about it. Get in touch with the security experts at BitLyft to learn more about a complete cybersecurity solution.

Security Automation Use Cases: Real Scenarios. Real Savings. (4)


What is an example of security automation? ›

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Here are a few examples of security tasks that can be performed by RPA: Scanning for vulnerabilities. Running monitoring tools and saving results. Basic threat mitigation—for example adding a firewall rule to block a malicious IP.

What is an example of a soar playbook? ›

A SOAR playbook is a set of processes that defines how to respond to a certain type of security incident. For example, a SOAR playbook for a DDoS attack might define: Which alerts or conditions within network monitoring data trigger execution of the playbook. Whom to notify about the DDoS attack.

What security processes can be automated? ›

Among the many security processes that can be automated with machines and software are:
  • Asset identification.
  • Cyber risk quantification.
  • Security incident response and remediation.
  • Security and threat monitoring.
  • Vulnerability assessment and management.

What is a common use case of soar? ›

SOAR use cases for cybersecurity depend on many organization factors, but some of the most common applications of SOAR include vulnerability management, phishing and malware mitigation and responding to malicious network traffic—among many others.

What are 5 examples of automation? ›

  • 10 Examples Of Automation. People don't realise the scale of current automation and how much innovation is already implemented in our daily lives, letting us function more efficiently and freely. ...
  • Space. ...
  • Home Appliances. ...
  • Data Cleaning Scripts. ...
  • Self-Driving Vehicle. ...
  • Hospitality Events Processing. ...
  • IVR. ...
  • Smart Home Notifications.
Aug 13, 2018

What are the three components of soar? ›

A comprehensive SOAR product, as defined by Gartner, is designed to operate under three primary software capabilities: threat and vulnerability management, security incident response, and security operations automation.

What is a playbook in SOC? ›

An incident response playbook is a predefined set of actions to address a specific security incident such as malware infection, violation of security policies, DDoS attack, etc. Its main goal is to enable a large enterprise security team to respond to cyberattacks in a timely and effective manner.

What is a SIEM playbook? ›

Playbooks are step by step workflows that can run automatically or guide Siemplify users through a process. Playbooks are used for SOC, NOC and Incident Response use cases (e.g. gather enrichment, complete tasks etc.) and can be triggered manually or automatically.

What is the role of automation in security? ›

Security automation is the use of technology that performs tasks with reduced human assistance in order to integrate security processes, applications, and infrastructure.

What is automation in SOC? ›

SOC Automation–the process of automating and optimizing your security posture–is the ultimate efficiency. SOC automation helps decrease time from threat detection to remediation.

What are use cases in cybersecurity? ›

A security use case is an attack scenario that a security control, policy, or guideline is intended to prevent or mitigate. Examples include phishing, credential dumping, and browser hijacking. Many organizations use MITRE ATT&CK techniques for selecting use cases to solve.

What is the advantage of soar over SIEM? ›

An example of where SOAR can provide value is in malware containment. Unlike a traditional SIEM that can only detect and alert on a malware incident within a corporate network, a SOAR can use malware automation playbooks to identify and quarantine compromised devices without any human intervention.

What should I look for in a soar solution? ›

Any SOAR solution should have highly robust tracking and reporting capabilities, with the platform pulling data in from all sources and turning it into actionable and clear reports.

What is an example of automation in real life? ›

Examples of automation include

Cars which use technology, cameras and artificial intelligence to drive. Though self-driving cars are not without risk of crashing, they can be set up with a higher standard of safety than your average human driver, who will get tired and make mistakes.

How do you identify use cases for automation? ›

A test case should be automated if the following criteria for automation testing apply:
  1. The task is going to be repeated.
  2. It's going to save time.
  3. The requirements, the test, or the task are low risk, stable, and unlikely to change often.
  4. The test is subject to human error.
  5. The test is time consuming.
May 6, 2022

What are the 10 strategies for automation? ›

The 10 points are given below:
  • Specialization of operations.
  • Combined operations.
  • Simultaneous operations.
  • Integration of operations.
  • Increased flexibility.
  • Improved material handling and storage.
  • Online inspection.
  • Process control and optimization.
Jan 30, 2013

What are the 4 Ps in automation? ›

At IT-Conductor we're passionate about Process Automation which requires careful thought design around these 4 P's: Plan, Practice, Perform and Perfect IT!

What is the simplest form of automation examples? ›

So, what is the simplest form of automation? As noted earlier, many automation experts agree that RPA is the simplest form of automation. RPA automation tools such as automated wrkflows can easily be paired with a Hybrid Automation Delivery Platform like Wrk—which is the first of its kind!

What is an example of automation in workplace? ›

Businesses also use workplace automation to fulfill tasks that cost a lot and waste time. An example of automation in the workplace may be using tools that can read through job applications quickly by searching for specific keywords and identifying the best candidates.

What are the 3 components of a strong security program? ›

The CIA triad refers to an information security model made up of the three main components: confidentiality, integrity and availability.

What is XDR in cyber security? ›

XDR Definition

Extended detection and response (XDR) collects threat data from previously siloed security tools across an organization's technology stack for easier and faster investigation, threat hunting, and response.

Is ServiceNow a soar tool? ›

ServiceNow® Security Incident Response, a security orchestration and automation response (SOAR) solution, simplifies identification of critical incidents and provides workflow and automation tools to speed up remediation.

What is a security runbook? ›

What is a runbook? A runbook consists of a series of conditional steps to perform actions, such as data enrichment, threat containment, and sending notifications, automatically as part of the incident response or security operations process.

What is the difference between a playbook and an SOP? ›

Playbooks and runbooks help share the scripts among the team so that they can audit, review, and improve the documents as needed. A standard operating procedure (SOP) describes a procedure to follow including how to adhere to industry regulations.

What is playbook vs workflow? ›

Playbook is a template for a single task; Workflow is a template for a series of dependent tasks with potential due dates. Workflows can be deployed based on rules or manually deployed; Playbooks must always be paired with an Alert.

Is a SIEM a firewall? ›

SIEM is a threat detection and data collection tool, while a firewall is a threat prevention tool. They perform very different functions. A firewall blocks malicious content from entering your network. SIEM collects and analyzes log data from the firewall (among other network security solutions).

What is difference between SIEM and SOC? ›

The main difference between a SIEM and SOC is that a SIEM collects and correlates data from various sources, while a SOC collects data from various sources and sends it to a SIEM.

What types of attacks does SIEM detect? ›

What Types of Attacks Does SIEM Detect?
  • Unauthorized Access. While unauthorized access isn't a specific type of attack, it is typically indicative that one may be in progress. ...
  • Insider Attacks. ...
  • Malware Infection. ...
  • Denial of Service Attacks. ...
  • Hijacking. ...
  • Advanced Persistent Threats. ...
  • Web Application Attacks. ...
  • Phishing.

What are the 5 basic components of an automated system? ›

The main subsystems and components of a machine automation system are:
  • power distribution.
  • motor control and drives.
  • safety system.
  • programmable controllers.
  • discrete and analog I/O.
  • communication systems.
  • human-machine interface (HMI)

What is the best example of automation? ›

Common examples include household thermostats controlling boilers, the earliest automatic telephone switchboards, electronic navigation systems, or the most advanced algorithms behind self-driving cars.

What are the most commonly automated processes? ›

Common processes to be automated include invoicing, sales orders, accounting reconciliation, data entry, system queries, payroll, employee or vendor on-boarding, or staff terminations. A typical example of when process automation could be hugely beneficial is in a service company.

What are soar tools? ›

Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) tools combine inputs and alerts from your whole security stack, into a single, manageable solution. These tools allow you to extend your network visibility, thereby making it easier to identify and remediate threats.

What is the main goal of automation? ›

The main objective of process automation is to improve a company's workflows. With automation, we can reduce costs, time, and waste as well as increase productivity, reduce mistakes, and control all the processes of the business in real time.

Why cybersecurity automation? ›

Automation plays a significant role in terms of enabling an agile, proactive cybersecurity capability. Most importantly, automation returns a better quality of life to your cybersecurity team, reducing alert fatigue and frustration, and giving them back precious time.

What are the 3 levels of automation system? ›

Levels of System Automation
  • Partial Automation Operation. Partially automated systems typically focus on. part of an operation that is consistent and repetitive such as case packing. requires an operator to man the system. ...
  • Semi-Automated System. Semi-automated systems typical include. multiple operations or tasks.

What is automation in DevSecOps? ›

What is DevSecOps automation? DevSecOps automation is the process of automating the integration of security into DevOps CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous deployment) pipelines. This automation drastically reduces the number of errors that occur when security analysis is performed manually.

What are three types of use cases? ›

As mentioned, the three basic elements that make up a use case are actors, the system and the goal. Other additional elements to consider when writing a use case include: Stakeholders, or anybody with an interest or investment in how the system performs.

What are use cases examples? ›

3 examples of use cases
  • A customer browsing flight schedules and prices.
  • A customer selecting a flight date and time.
  • A customer adding on lounge access and free checked bags.
  • A customer paying with a personal credit card.
  • A customer paying with UpCloud loyalty miles.
Mar 10, 2023

What are common use cases? ›

Common use cases
  • Govern your data.
  • Prepare your data.
  • Build models.
  • Deploy and manage your models at scale.
  • Govern your AI models.
  • Detect and mitigate bias and drift in your AI models.
  • Understand how your AI models make predictions.

What is the difference between CASB and SIEM? ›

CASB Comparison: Unlike CASB, Cloud SIEM provides unified coverage. Both CASB and SIEM solutions secure your cloud infrastructure, but there are clear differences in how they cover your SaaS tools. Cloud SIEM collects data from many different sources, not just from the cloud.

Do you need a soar and a SIEM? ›

SIEM provides real-time event monitoring and analysis, while SOAR automates incident response processes and orchestration. Then, SIEM and SOAR are not alternatives but complement each other. To create a robust security solution for your organization, a SIEM solution with SOAR capabilities is ideal.

What is the difference between XDR and SIEM? ›

Some of the key differences between XDR and SIEM include: Core Focus: SIEM solutions primarily offer centralized log management and analysis capabilities for an organization. XDR focuses on using the data that it collects to enhance threat detection and response.

What is the best solution to improve our security? ›

Best Practices to Improve Data Security
  1. Protect the data itself, not just the perimeter. ...
  2. Pay attention to insider threats. ...
  3. Encrypt all devices. ...
  4. Testing your security. ...
  5. Delete redundant data. ...
  6. Spending more money and time on Cyber-security. ...
  7. Establish strong passwords. ...
  8. Update your programs regularly.
Mar 30, 2023

What makes a good security analyst? ›

A person who works in information security analysis must be a good analyzer of data. They should be able to review information objectively and apply the rules of logic to it. They should also understand how to analyze data and the best method for the analysis. Many of these analysts make use of software or other tools.

What does a day look like for a security analyst? ›

A day in the life of a security analyst varies depending on their industry, employer, and area of expertise. Common job tasks include monitoring for security breaches, investigating cyberattacks, and writing reports. Other duties include conducting penetration testing and installing software.

What do you mean by security automation? ›

Security automation is the automation of security tasks, including both administrative duties and incident detection and response. Security automation provides numerous benefits to the organization by enabling security teams to scale to handle growing workloads.

What are three examples of automation? ›

Common examples include household thermostats controlling boilers, the earliest automatic telephone switchboards, electronic navigation systems, or the most advanced algorithms behind self-driving cars.

What is example of automation? ›

Examples of automation include

Cars which use technology, cameras and artificial intelligence to drive. Though self-driving cars are not without risk of crashing, they can be set up with a higher standard of safety than your average human driver, who will get tired and make mistakes.

What are different types of automation? ›

In this section, the types of automation are defined, and examples of automated systems used in manufacturing are described. Three types of automation in production can be distinguished: (1) fixed automation, (2) programmable automation, and (3) flexible automation.

Why do we need security automation? ›

Manual processes can delay threat identification in complex IT environments, leaving your business vulnerable. Applying automation to your security processes can help you identify, validate, and escalate threats faster, without manual intervention.

What is a real life example of an autonomous system? ›

Self-driving cars, collaborative production assistants, and socially-enabled domestic robots are examples of autonomous systems at Bosch. Autonomous systems operate in complex and open-ended environments with high levels of independence and self-determination.

What are the 3 A's in automation? ›

It is made up of three interwoven solutions: Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation.

What are the three pillars of automation? ›

People, Process and Technology – three pillars for automation success.

Where is automation used today? ›

Automatic for the people

Opportunities to automate common workplace processes are everywhere, which is why automation is becoming a common element of every business. This includes providing good customer service, streamlining the hiring process or managing marketing campaigns more efficiently.

What is an example of advanced automation? ›

Advanced automation functions include the following: (1) safety monitoring, (2) maintenance and repair diagnostics, and (3) error detection and recovery.


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