Automating tasks – the next Big Thing in business efficiency and development lifecycle

By Osirium

With the buzz around Robotic Process Automation still humming, automation remains a hot topic. Osirium have been offering automation functionality within our Privileged Access Management solution for more than eight years. Our experience across multiple clients has helped us learn exactly what automation can means for business and where it adds value to your development lifecycles…

What is Task Automation?

In Osirium’s world of Privileged Access Management (PAM), task automation comes in the form of the PxM Platform’s Privileged Task Management (PTM) module. The PTM module provides a clean and safe way to perform a series of known, auditable tasks without granting excessive privileges to the user.

PTM allows for the automation of SysAdmin tasks, preventing the need to open up access to critical infrastructure via native tools. Administrators can build a task (e.g. restarting a network device or server-based service) and delegate the task to more junior staff, containing the correct instructions and passwords. Those executing the task need never know the device administration passwords, and can only interact with target servers to carry out the specific command, delegating the task, not the privilege.

Tasks run automatically without the need to grant insecure and unaccountable access to any target servers. The privileged credentials used are also protected because the PxM Platform securely injects them into the target servers; instantly mitigating an organisation’s most vulnerable attack surface whilst increasing workflow efficiency.

SysAdmins can feel comfortable in delegating complicated multi-step tasks without fear of human error by reducing execution to a single click. All tasks can be run under the same Privileged Account, and the PxM Platform will keep track of the parameters used and who issued the commands. As a result, teams can dispense with wading through loathsome run books and hunting down shared login credentials, etc.

What are the business benefits of automating tasks?

As it stands, errors in tasks such as spelling mistakes or errant commas can cause significant disruption and security breaches. By automating tasks, businesses can combine the benefits of security, efficiency, time saving and accuracy.

Automated tasks improve productivity by using a virtual, tireless, error-free and cheap workforce, allowing high-value staff to concentrate on activities that generate business value. We have found that a 20-minute task can typically be reduced to an error and risk-free 8 seconds, allowing businesses to effectively focus on delivering an IT infrastructure that grants a truly competitive, modern edge.

Confirmed data from a UK Mobile Telephone provider has proved a 98% time saving in some tasks, as well as the security benefits for their managed service customers, delivered through our combined PAM and PTM modules.

Automation also acts as an extra way of securing your business by removing even more processes that involve exposure to vulnerable accounts from human control. Remember, regardless of attack origin, leveraging privileged accounts is a critical success factor for attackers in 100% of all advanced attacks.

Every automated process is audited and reported – reducing compliance burden and allowing management teams to identify errors swiftly.

What are the development lifecycle benefits of automating tasks?

In the real world, DevOps is not static: projects are planned, implemented, refined, and eventually decommissioned. Osirium’s PxM Platform is a cost-effective way of providing support for the security needs every step of this journey.

Many of our customers start with Osirium’s Third Party Access functionality – protecting new development projects from the threat posed by new vendor partners and contractors. Once established, the inbuilt automation functionality can be used for ‘business as usual’ and administrative tasks that are central to the operational lifetime of a business system.

Enterprise Class Password Lifecycle Management reduces both the operational cost and risks of your software projects.

At the end of the development lifecycle, The PxM Platform makes it simple and fast to understand exactly which user accounts remain in use or require de-provisioning. Decommissioning of a software project is often overlooked despite posing a latent risk. Once complete, it’s time for the automated tasks to be retired.

Interested in finding out more?

It’s not simply about reduced costs, better security, improved customer experience, and enhancing core business processes – it’s about future-proofing your business and driving efficiencies.

If you’d like to find out more about Osirium’s PTM module, part of the PxM platform, download our datasheet, or visit our stand at IDM ’18.