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Hackers are Using Automation; Why Aren’t You?

Hackers are Using Automation; Why Aren’t You?

Hackers never cease to amaze. Merely criminals behind a screen, sometimes as young as 15 years old, they manage to pull off scams that can inflict massive financial damage – as they did earlier this year at MGM Resorts to the tune of at least $100 million – but also introduce chaos to the most critical systems, from hospitals to power plants.

While some cyber criminals have been accused of not being the brightest bulbs in the box it’s clear the majority of them are intelligent enough to successfully pull off crimes. What is especially intriguing, is their ability to operate and plan like legal, legitimate enterprises. For example, as early as 2016, customer support became available for cyber attackers. Much more recently cyber criminals began running contests in pursuit of new ideas.

Now, evidence of traditional business practices being utilized by cyber criminals in their operations is emerging at an increasing rate. A recent study from Group-IB researchers says that cybercrime group Classiscam is using software automation to improve their performance. In doing so, Classiscam has been able to create new phishing sites “in a handful of minutes” according to this August 31st blog post.

Given that hackers have realized there are many benefits to automation you have to wonder why businesses aren’t taking greater advantage of these solutions?

To Automate or Not Automate? That is the Question.

According to ThinkAutomation, there are numerous benefits to automation. These include elimination of low-level manual tasks that can stall higher-level projects, mitigate vulnerabilities caused by human error, as well as overall improved productivity empowering employees to innovate and develop new skills and secure collaboration between departmental teams and external colleagues.

Despite the upside potential, companies somehow seem resistant to using it. Automation requirements can be complex to navigate and are different for each business and needs to be able to integrate within the existing IT infrastructure. Some businesses may be concerned about potential costs and have the pre-conception that automating requires customized solutions. However, the positives of automating outweigh the negatives, plus the exploitation of a vulnerability, that could have been solved quickly with an automated solution, could cost businesses much more.


Why PKI Can Greatly Benefit from Automation

Every software market relies to some extent on automation, and one sector that can greatly benefit from automating is Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). PKI allows for the secure exchange of information using digital certificates (i.e, SSL / TLS certificates). They are used in browsers worldwide to protect traffic, IoT devices, email, software code and more.

Using automation has never been more important for PKI. It can help IT teams stay up-do-date with the many changes taking place in the PKI industry, including mandated changes from leading organizations such as the CA/Browser Forum and Mozilla. By automating certain processes, security teams will be able to better manage these significant changes. More specifically, the benefits of automation in PKI certificate management include enhanced efficiency, improved security, scalability and regulatory compliance. 

Given the rate of shifts within the PKI market, homegrown certificate management “solutions” – i.e. managing your certificate inventory using a spreadsheet - are not realistic when certificate lifecycles could potentially be facing reduced validity periods. This is among the chief reasons that companies need to find a vendor to help them manage their security knowing that major industry shakeups may occur over the next year or so. Not only that, but without a visible, centralized certificate inventory or consistent PKI processes, businesses can become exposed to vulnerabilities due to certificate expiration in the case of experienced security experts leaving the company and being replaced.

Every business has different needs but transitioning to an automated solution for your security posture can offer your company many benefits. You might be hesitant about the process, but by customizing an automated system to your needs with help from an expert team to guide you, once the system you choose is in place, you’ll breathe a little easier knowing there is one less item in your IT stack you need to worry about. While criminals are using automation in their own malicious campaigns you can use it to strengthen your business security. You're doing the right thing for your company and that's something to feel good about!

Embrace Automation for Better Business Security

Watch the video below to explore how embracing automated certificate management can lead to better business security, including the role automation covers in PKI, the benefits and challenges, best practices and how it can help along with practical tips of what to consider when choosing and automation. Or get in touch with our expert team today to make automation work for you.

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