Cyber Resilience Requires Skilled People More Than Automation

Aileen Allkins - 2 min read

Next-gen fingerprint recognition for enhanced security

With the meteoric rise in AI and automated products that have recently become available to businesses, companies across all sectors are eagerly considering what areas and operations can benefit from automation.

In many cases, and especially in technology departments, automation can not only streamline operations but can also help to bridge the digital talent gap that many companies are struggling with. In the absence of skilled people, automated tools can help fill the gap left in team capacity. However, there are some areas of a business where the risks of overreliance on automation are simply too high. One such area is cybersecurity, which challengingly, is an area with one of the most significant skills gaps.

As cybersecurity teams struggle to find the skilled people they need, businesses may be tempted to invest in automation products to handle the more routine cybersecurity tasks that would otherwise fall to junior or mid-level talent. While these tasks, such as monitoring security network access, performing tests and risk analysis or reviewing security alerts may seem low risk, they are in fact an essential part of maintaining smooth operations across a business. Mistakes in performing these tasks can carry huge consequences and costs. 

Resorts giant MGM only recently encountered a monumental shutdown of its systems as a result of a cybersecurity breach. While in this case, it was reportedly a live breach, attacks of this nature starkly demonstrate why businesses must ensure their cybersecurity systems are resilient and reliable. Alarmingly, research has indicated that as many as 45% of alerts from API security tools are false positives. If an automated tool were to mistakenly detect a major breach, it could have a similarly devastating impact to a real attack.   

Expanding Human Capital  

The better and safer course for businesses to take is to invest in expanding the human capital available to them to take on cybersecurity responsibilities. This is where upskilling and reskilling play a crucial role, as businesses are able to pivot their existing staff to support routine cybersecurity tasks, reducing the reliance on automation for cybersecurity. 

Companies can approach this process in a variety of ways, such as establishing in-house digital skilling academies to provide employees with the skills to be able to take on more rudimentary but still crucial cybersecurity responsibilities. Employers should also track the progress their people are making in cybersecurity skills with talent management tools, and then match them to increasingly higher-level cybersecurity tasks as their skill sets widen and become more sophisticated. In simple terms, the greater the resource pool of knowledgeable and skilled people available to a business to uphold cyber resilience, the safer a business will be.  

Ongoing Training  

Investing in cybersecurity skilling can extend beyond just bolstering the human capacity available to cybersecurity teams. While automation and AI tools have revolutionized business operations, they have also revolutionized how hackers can attack businesses. Staying ahead of the curve on cybersecurity is no easy task, and about half of businesses are now reporting that even those in charge of cybersecurity lack the confidence to carry out basic tasks.

Providing regular training and upskilling to existing cybersecurity professionals on the latest cyber threats that businesses are facing (and how to defend against these) will ensure that businesses – and the people responsible for cybersecurity within them – are able, confident and ready to face the emerging threats that new technologies are giving rise to.  

Human-AI Symbiosis  

While relying on automation to shoulder a significant portion of the cybersecurity burden may be too high risk for some, that is not to say that automated tools can’t be used to support cybersecurity teams whatsoever. There are strong products coming to market that can streamline workflows for people working on cybersecurity, and in the event of an attack, AI can help reduce impact and resolve the situation faster.

The ideal blend of defense against cyber breaches is a well-resourced team of skilled individuals operating across the business to regularly run testing and analytics tasks, with automated functions and AI tools assisting them to perform this work more efficiently. Upskilling in AI and digital skills more widely will enable teams to work alongside AI without relying on it too heavily.  It can also ensure that where teams are keen to invest in AI, they are doing so from a position of knowledge and understanding that will ensure the investment is sound.  

How elev8 Can Support Your Cybersecurity and Digital Skills Needs  

We at elev8 specialize in AI and cybersecurity training, drawing from our pool of experienced cybersecurity experts to design and deliver training programs for your people.

If you want to know more about how we can grow your business’ human capital for cybersecurity, you can contact us at [email protected] or visit our Contact Us page.