Why Automation Is Now Necessary for Cyber Security

New Zealand financial institutions and hospitals have been subjected to cyberattacks within the last year.


These cyberattacks are partly to do with the increased reliance on digital software. As organisations migrate more of their processes and infrastructures digitally, they also increase their risk for exposure to cyberattacks.  


Such attacks can lead to the theft of highly sensitive data and even complete companywide blackouts, costing companies a distressing amount of time, money, and not to mention, legal threats.


Manually maintaining application updates, backups, access control management, and simply keeping track of all the necessary security precautions is incredibly time-consuming for IT teams. However, with so much at stake, there is no reason why companies shouldn't be using automation for cyber security.


But what makes businesses vulnerable, and how can automation be used to secure organisations?


Consequences of Manual Tasks

While digitalisation has opened up new growth opportunities and allowed for operational improvements, it has also created more work for IT teams.

Keeping up with multiple vital patching and updates is necessary if organisations hope to defend themselves against security attacks. However, as more software gets introduced, more of these essential manual tasks need to be managed. As those to-do lists increase, so does the likelihood of human error.

There’s also the chance that all these different platforms are accessible by various employees throughout the organisation. With employees coming and going, and manual processes flowing from one person to the next, the more chance something will be performed incorrectly, a login will be lost, or acritical security update will be dropped all together.

When you adopt manual processes, you are ultimately signing yourself up for a costly disaster, or even worse, a compliance nightmare.



The Essential Eight


In an effort to reduce cyberattacks on major corporations, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)published a set of baseline security control recommendations that organisations should be implementing to be protecting their IT systems.


These recommendations, called the Essential Eight, propose an easily adaptable framework that any organisation should be adopting.  

Government organisations, large businesses, and even individuals should be:

·      Applying application control to prevent unapproved and malicious programmes.

·      Patching and updating applications.

·      Configuring Microsoft Office macro settings.

·      Setting up user application hardening.

·      Restricting access privileges to operating systems and applications.

·      Patching operating systems, ensuring "extreme risk" vulnerabilities are patched within 48 hours.

·      Using multifactor authentication.

·      Scheduling regular data, software, and configuration backups.


Automation and the Essential Eight


Using automation solutions to support cyber security risk mitigation strategies such as the Essential Eight will reduce unnecessary time strains on IT teams and bypass the risks of human error.

Applications become especially vulnerable to exploitation if patch management strategies have not been implemented. Coding and updating processes can easily be automated using the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, which will ensure the safety of these applications without the need for manual intervention.


Restricting administrative privileges to critical systems and applications can also be more robustly secure using automated solutions. Automating privileged access can help business processes run more efficiently, maintain the confidentiality of sensitive data, and support infrastructure.


SAS IT and Red Hat


SAS IT has partnered with Red Hat to deliver value, innovation, and security through our automation solution. 


What this means for our customers is we can automate the deployment of vital security functions that support the Essential Eight strategies.


This platform can be implemented across both Windows and Linux environments, reducing the amount of man hours IT teams are putting into cyber security and avoiding costly human errors.


These new automation processes will feed into your overall digital transformation journey, which will help shift your organisation towards better and more standardised protocols.

SAS IT are offering a free initial Automation Assessment (worth $15000) to a limited number of businesses. Offer ends 31 Jan 2022.

Throughout this assessment, our Automation Specialists will engage with your operations or Application teams and work to capture the current state of your IT infrastructure and deliver our high-level recommendations.

Click here to find out more.

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