Security staff are spending too much time on tasks that can be better handled by software. As noted by ZDNet, IT decision-makers estimate that employees waste three hours per day dealing with issues from application feature gaps, and security admins see that waste reach 10 hours per week, according to a recent study commissioned by LogRhythm. The result? Teams can’t work as quickly as they’d like.

In a landscape driven by emerging threat vectors and insider threats, speed underpins great security response. How can software systems keep pace with security expectations?

Teams Need More Than Traditional Software

Here’s the hard truth: Software alone isn’t enough to defend against evolving attack methods. As IT Pro pointed out, firmware-based infections are becoming more common as cyberattackers realize the value of BIOS or flash RAM persistence, making it nearly impossible for standard security methods to fight back.

But this is where software systems see the most use: as antivirus and antimalware defenses that are naturally handicapped by their own architecture. Meanwhile, security staff fall behind on identifying, cataloging and combating new threats thanks to these software limitations.

The solution may lie in shifting the focus of software. Instead of putting applications in charge of threat detection and shortchanging security professionals on features they need to get their job done, enterprises should consider swapping roles to improve outcomes on both ends.

Tapping Into AI

Fifteen years ago, the software-defined movement was just getting off the ground. Advocates suggested a world where network devices and decision-making processes weren’t fundamentally linked, in turn opening the door for less expensive, off-the-shelf hardware. It sounded great, but companies quickly realized that shifting the decision-making process off-site wasn’t quite so easy. And with the rise of IoT devices prompting a secondary slide in software security, it’s no surprise that security professionals aren’t exactly keen on giving software more control.

The evolution of processing power and software sophistication suggests another option for security teams: artificial intelligence (AI). While less than half of survey respondents reported using AI, research from Gartner suggested the potential for a 6.2 billion-hour recoup if businesses can effectively implement AI solutions.

At a basic level, this means assigning AI-controlled processes repetitive and mundane tasks that are prone to human error and require significant time investment. The next step is using artificially intelligent software with decision-making capabilities that complement, rather than compete with, human insight to create a kind of security symbiosis greater than the sum of its parts.

Staff and administrators are wasting time on tasks that can be better handled by software. Software-defined security is effectively a nonstarter (at least for now), but there’s a new kid on the block: AI. Leveraged for automation and empowered for insight, AI could be the speed boost enterprise security needs to stay on track.

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