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From Reaction to Action: Accelerating Incident Response through Automation

Written By Brinda Sreedhar
Apr 9, 2024

In the Digital Age, IT incidents are an unavoidable aspect of business operations. From hardware failures to security breaches, these disruptions can wreak havoc on business continuity and user experience. Managing these incidents effectively requires a timely, systematic approach encompassing detection, prioritization, resolution, and communication.  

Traditional incident response methods often fall short, resulting in costly delays and inefficiencies. Amidst this challenge, automation emerges as a beacon of hope, promising to revolutionize incident response by streamlining processes and accelerating resolution times. 

What is an “IT Incident”? 

IT incident refers to any unplanned event or disruption that occurs within an organization’s information technology (IT) infrastructure, systems, or services, resulting in a deviation from normal operation and potentially impacting business operations or user experience. These incidents can encompass a wide range of issues including: hardware failures, software errors, network outages, security breaches, service disruptions, and performance degradation – just to name a few. 

By nature, IT incidents are: 

  • Unplanned: Unexpected events that occur without prior notice, often disrupting normal business operations or user activities. 
  • Negative: Events that have adverse effects on the organization, such as downtime, loss of productivity, revenue impact, reputational damage, or compromised data security. 
  • Time-Bound: Requires prompt resolution to restore services to their normal state and minimize the impact on business operations and user satisfaction. 

Managing IT incidents effectively requires a set of processes and procedures specifically designed for incident detection, prioritization, classification, investigation, resolution, and reporting.  

Incident management practices also typically include: establishment of incident response teams, implementation of incident tracking and ticketing systems, development of incident response plans and playbooks, and adoption of incident communication and escalation protocols. 

Traditional Incident Response 

Let’s face it – incidents are impossible to avoid. Despite our best efforts and intentions, things will inevitably go wrong. But with traditional methods of incident management, finding and fixing the problem is usually messy and almost always requires more time than is necessary. 

Here’s the harsh reality of what manual incident response looks like: 

  • Incidents prematurely dismissed​ 
  • Incidents improperly prioritized 
  • Triage and investigation efforts wasted on standard incidents​ 
  • Time invested in gathering further information to understand incidents​ 
  • Time wasted identifying best practices for future incidents​ 
  • Inconsistencies leading to errors in resolving similar incidents 
  • Time allocated to identifying the appropriate responders to take action​ 
  • Latency in communication between SOC and responders​ 
  • Latency in communication between SOC and enterprise crisis management​ 

Now what can automation do for you?  

Accelerate incident response through:  

  • Automatic enrichment of incidents with additional data for informed decision making​ 
  • Automated instructions to responders for incident types with known courses of action; SOC attention moves to trends and peaks​ 
  • Enablement of analysts to codify best practices and standardize interactions in incident-specific workflows​ 
  • Reduced latency and improved communication  

All of this can be done autonomously, where the automation tool continuously screens for incidents around-the-clock, identifying anomalies, validating and prioritizing events, and either resolving and documenting them, or escalating to the appropriate party for human intervention.  

Here are a few sample use cases where automation can transform the incident management process: 

Network/Telecom Systems/Server Application Cyber Security 
Validate Link-Down and VPN Events Validate and Resolve Disk Space Issues Validate, Diagnose, and Remediate Failed Back-end Service Issues Investigate and Remediate Phishing Incident 
Diagnose and Resolve Firewall Incidents Diagnose and Perform Windows Server Reboot Validate, Diagnose, and Remediate Front-End Service Reported Unavailable Issues Investigate and Remediate Ransom/Malware Incidents 
Proactively Audit Firmware Versions and Generate Report Validate, Diagnose and Resolve Application Performance Issues Self-Service Guided Resolution to Remediate Citrix Session Issues Investigate and Remediate Data Exfiltration Incident 
Health Tests and Checks for Network Switches Reduce High Volume of False-Positives from CPU Utilization Alarms Validate, Diagnose and Remediate Actions Against Custom App Investigate and Remediate Security Device Not Reporting to SIEM 

The right automation platform can also be fully customized to align with organizational goals and address use cases that are complex and/or unique to the business.  

As organizations navigate the complex terrain of IT incidents, the need for swift and efficient response has never been more significant. By harnessing the power of intelligent IT automation, businesses can transcend the limitations of traditional incident management practices. From automating enrichment to standardizing workflows, the potential for success is limitless.  

Embracing automation isn’t just about mitigating incidents; it’s about empowering teams to proactively address challenges and fortify organizational resilience in an ever-evolving digital landscape. With automation as a catalyst, the future of incident response is poised for unprecedented speed and effectiveness. 

Ready to put the power of automated incident response to work for your IT team? Schedule a free interactive demo today!  

About the author, Brinda Sreedhar:

About the author, Brinda Sreedhar:

Director, Product Marketing at Resolve Systems

Brinda Sreedhar, Director of Product Marketing at Resolve, has years of experience crafting powerful and compelling stories on cloud-based products. She enjoys being a part of companies that lead the space with innovative, category-creating products.