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This Is What Happens When Automation Meets Orchestration

Central AppSec Management

Publish Date

Jul 8, 2019

Written by

ZN Logo for Blog

ZeroNorth

Tagged with

  • Automation
  • Orchestration

Software Meets Infrastructure
When it comes to cybersecurity in the business world, the relationship between applications and infrastructure has never been more critical. Organizations who find ways to effectively integrate new security tools into their digital environment are also guaranteed to gain a sharper competitive edge and considerable peace of mind. However, to defend against vulnerabilities and risk, cybersecurity must be considered throughout the software development lifecycle.

Automation is key to this process because it replaces the manual work of system administrators while allowing valuable security tools and frameworks to complete specific tasks around areas like application security and vulnerability management with more speed, precision, flexibility, and accuracy—and yes, more affordability. But automated systems can’t reach their peak potential alone; they need to be part of a cohesive process known as orchestrated risk management, a system with the power to deploy software applications and infrastructure like never before.

Making Beautiful Music Together
Think about it this way. The music within an orchestra is typically defined by the individual instruments used to play the notes. Whether it’s woodwinds, percussion, or strings, orchestral instruments are each tasked with playing one specific section of a larger musical piece. Individually, they are pleasing—but when united through the orchestration of a composer’s vision, these instruments come to life in a whole new way and deliver a grander, more meaningful product. Automation systems are precisely the same. Alone, they function within the confines of their specific instructions, tools, and frameworks to carry out the tasks they have been assigned—but just like the piano when paired with the violin, automated security systems become vastly more effective when arranged, coordinated, and managed through comprehensive orchestration that oversees them all. And when integrated into a DevOps culture of planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system, like that of a software development lifecycle, orchestrated risk management provides the type of cohesive structure automation needs to hit all the right notes across applications and infrastructure.

Enjoying The Harmony
When automated security systems are arranged, coordinated, and managed to function in unison with one another through orchestrated risk management, the classic DevOps model shifts into a cybersecurity-first and DevSecOps culture which sees an organization coordinate the discovery, prioritization, and remediation of software and infrastructure vulnerabilities. In other words, automation and orchestration together offer up the best sounding music—and the best-performing tools and processes—to organizations seeking these benefits:

  • A more comprehensive and efficient software development environment
  • Reduced cost and labor associated with software and infrastructure testing programs
  • An integration of vulnerability management that doesn’t threaten existing DevOps workflows
  • A standard framework for improved understanding and management of software and infrastructure risk
  • Trusted risk intelligence that meets compliance standards and makes executive reporting easier

Remember The Notes
By streamlining and optimizing the frequent and ongoing deployment of software, orchestration ensures people and their many systems perform without a hitch, lowering costs, decreasing team friction, and improving productivity through the standardization of products and processes. In an ideal DevSecOps culture, automation and orchestration each play a unique and invaluable role—while automation takes care of technical tasks, orchestration takes care of workflows by supporting and empowering the CI/CD pipeline that’s so critical for software to properly do its thing. As we know, the continuous flow of security updates must be delivered, deployed, and integrated at the pace of discovery—and orchestration makes this goal a reality.

So, the next time you hear a symphony of instruments playing together in perfect harmony, remember the inherent value of coordination in both software and life. Without it, you may enjoy some beautiful notes here and there, but you will never hear the hum of a perfectly orchestrated system.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about the ZeroNorth orchestration platform.


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