Using Automox with Business Intelligence Solutions

Update: We've created a virtual appliance demonstrating the use of Automox and Open-Source BI Solution Redash CE that you can download from here.

Did you know a Business Intelligence solution combined with the Automox Console API can help improve cybersecurity by providing improved stakeholder visibility? Our blog post today will provide an overview of those opportunities and associated benefits.

What is a Business Intelligence Solution?

For those unfamiliar, Business Intelligence (BI) reporting is the process of analyzing, visualizing, and transforming data retrieved from one or more information sources for the purpose of deriving trends and actionable insights.

As technology has evolved over time, digital transformation has driven both the need and capacity for mining business intelligence insights across multiple data-sources powered by an ever growing variety of data storage innovations. This has given rise to a variety of solutions that exist today of varied maturity, adoption, costs, supportability, and enterprise ready features including integration with team communication solutions. Your organization needs to closely examine and engage stakeholders to choose the right solution, so as to assure visibility, information provenance, and more importantly cybersecurity hygiene across your entire company.

Increased Visibility

Google Sheets CMDB Data Ingestion - Redash CE

Increased visibility made possible through business intelligence reporting can be particularly beneficial in reconciling gaps in device management, statefully and repeatedly. Unmanaged device estate is a frequent problem for institutions and an anticipated result of manual on-boarding or off-boarding practices. This is especially true in highly distributed cross-team operations involved in asset management.

Slack Integration, Delivering Report - Redash (User Created via API)

By comparing Automox managed device estate with a system of record such as a CMDB (Configuration Management Database), identification of devices not presently managed or devices designated as decommissioned that are currently active becomes easy to detect and flag for cleanup.

Dynamic & flexible

Dashboard / Visualization Builder - Redash CE

In times of crises, it is not uncommon to experience sudden demand for immediate access to data in response to major security threats that are in the news. Integrating your Automox data with a BI solution allows you to more easily share data with the right people, while removing the need to provide direct access to the console. Further, reporting across solutions is possible, allowing for niche reporting across business units. By empowering stakeholders like application owners to provide their own insights, we establish an ecosystem that promotes more active collaboration to advance cybersecurity hygiene. For scenarios where automation is not possible due to policy business, or technology constraints, an owner can pull their own insights vs waiting for them to be pushed by an operations team.

Contextual awareness

Compliance By Stages (Interactive) - Redash CE (User Created)

Prioritizing effort or tasks into action is a natural element of any role responsibility. The discipline of managing cybersecurity hygiene requires discovering and measuring risks, addressing them according to that ordered importance. A company may closely track server and workstation details within the Automox console, but still benefit from additional context enrichment of other data sources such as IPAM (IP Address Management). Using this supplemental context, devices in sensitive network locations such as bastion hosts or DMZ based assets can be categorized and localized for reprioritization as a review method over automation. As with our unmanaged device example, this too can also be applied in reverse to determine configuration drift of what is observed to be environmentally real versus what is specified within a given IPAM solution.

Continuous improvement

Dashboard Example : Redash CE (User Created)

There is no doubt that context plays an important role in understanding and improving both system and process. If you were to take the results of a survey asking employees their biggest IT challenges and compare it to their own trouble ticket volume, the result would be a lot more helpful than either alone. The result might provide enlightening insights about ways to reduce help desk contact points by applying targeted training. Taking that notion further, identifying cybersecurity awareness opportunities could prove helpful by comparing endpoint security compliance to a majority baseline itself, let alone with our previous example result. Through targeted cybersecurity awareness training, the severity and shared nature of cybersecurity hygiene becomes a discussion point and front-of-mind issue.

In the shift to working from home and era of cloud-powered everything, most if not all contemporary business intelligence solutions support consuming from an API data source, a necessity to source data from the Automox Console API. It should not come as a surprise that business intelligence reporting cannot alone solve for process, political, or tribal knowledge dilemmas. When employed appropriately, it can suffice to orient action on tactical difficulties at a lesser scale in addition to boosting strategic decision-making by eliminating subjectivity.



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