What is an Automated Information System (AIS)?
You may not know a lot about AIS, but it can help your business. Automated Information Systems (AIS) are computer-based collections of data and software that use the input of various resources to automate the management of operations and information, creating useful output that can help a company make strategic decisions. AIS is a compilation of hardware, software, or both to automate communication, documentation, reporting, processing, and storing information, and typically has a front-end interface where a user interacts with the system, a back-end database or a similar mechanism for storing items such as management reports, real-time transaction processing feeds from other systems, and middleware logic used to tie it all together.
AIS allows information to process in a much faster way than a manual system could process. In a nutshell, AIS is a great way to get a handle on your business operations by allowing you to monitor your business at all times to make sure everything runs smoothly. An Automated Information System can help ensure your employees are working efficiently, provides a level of transparency within the organization, and can help you cut costs without sacrificing the quality of your company’s operations.
An Automated Information System (AIS) is a system of computer hardware, computer software, data, and/or telecommunications that performs functions such as collecting, processing, storing, transmitting, and displaying information.
Programme managers(PM)for acquisitions of AIS applications are responsible for coordinating with organizations that will host (run) the applications early in the acquisition process. The PM needs to address operational security risks which the AIS may impose upon the organization, as well as identifying all system security needs that may be more easily addressed by organizational services than by system enhancement.
The baseline information Assurance(IA)Controls serve as a common framework to facilitate this process. The Designated Approving Authority for the organization receiving an AIS application is responsible for incorporating the IA considerations for the AIS application into the enclave’s Information assurance Plan(IAP) The burden for ensuring that an AIS application has adequate assurance is a shared responsibility of both the AIS application PM and the Designated Approving Authority for the hosting organization; however, the responsibility for initiation of this negotiation process lies clearly with the PM. PMs should, to the extent possible, draw upon the common IA capabilities that can be provided by the hosting organization. 
What are some uses of AIS?
AIS can be used in multitudes of ways. Some of the most common uses are as follows:
Most companies exercise best practices and have regulations in place to avoid incidents. Still, service incidents can happen. AIS assists operations by quickly handling the incident and restoring services, which. can reduce costs due to technical snags.
One of AIS’ main focuses is to automate tasks. Companies can use AIS to create a series of application deployments to test their systems. This reduces the factor of human errors and allows an analysis of the system to see where the service needs to be configured differently.
Security Compliance and Risk Management
AIS gives IT managers the capability to configure safety regulations and rules into the IT system. Cybersecurity services follow a specific set of rules automatically when any issues are detected. This makes the mitigation effort much faster, without the constant need for human input or human supervision.
Since AIS is much faster at processing information, you can set the system to automatically activate a specific workflow every time there is data input. The AIS can take the data set and store it, retrieve it, communicate it to others, or even accurately make an analysis based on the provided data.
AUTOMATED INFORMATION SYSTEM SECURITY
In telecommunication, automated information systems security comprises measures and controls that ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information processed and stored by automated information systems. The unauthorized disclosure, modification, or destruction may be accidental or intentional.
In telecommunication, the term automated information systems security refers to measures and controls that ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information processed and stored by automated information systems. The unauthorized disclosure, modification, or destruction may be accidental or intentional.
Automated information systems security includes consideration of all hardware and software functions, characteristics and features; operational procedures; accountability procedures; and access controls at the central computer facility, remote computer, and terminal facilities; management constraints; physical structures and devices, such as computers, transmission lines, and power sources; and personnel and communications controls needed to provide an acceptable level of risk for the automated information system and for the data and information contained in the system. Automated information systems security also includes the totality of security safeguards needed to provide an acceptable protection level for an automated information system and for the data handled by an automated information system.
Automated system operations (ASO) is the set of software and hardware that allows computer systems, network devices or machines to function without any manual intervention. ASOs allow computer systems to work without a human operator physically located at the site where the system is installed. Automated system operations are a part of the automatic system control where the processes are completely automated with the help of control loops and special logic.
Automated system operations are also known as lights-out operations.
Automated system operations are a combination of both software and hardware that is designed and programmed to work automatically without the need for a human operator to provide inputs and instructions for each operation.
Automated system operations are used in a wide range of applications like control and monitoring systems, data security applications, factory automation systems, automated message response systems and so on. These systems take several system and environmental events as input and perform operations based on conditional decision making and specific control logic.
Some of the benefits of automated system operations are:
- Eliminates the risk of human errors
- Improves user productivity
- Provides standardized operations
- Provides better operations management and logging
The use of automated system operations saves labor, time and cost while increasing the accuracy and precision of the job being carried out. It increases the availability, performance and reliability of the services delivered.
Automated system operations had their origins with the introduction of the OS/360 operating system by IBM. OS/360 allowed automated allocation of system resources and batch processing of jobs. The continuing need for complex operating systems, databases, communications and other operations have paved the way for the development of more advanced automated technologies. Advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence have also given rise to more powerful and efficient automation systems.
Automated operations reduce the complexity of labor-intensive tasks. Some of the most widely used applications that incorporate ASO include scheduling, management of console messages, backup and recovery, printing services, performance tuning, network monitoring and bug detection.
Though the automated system operations can result in higher productivity and reduced costs, the initial cost of setting up an ASO is high and requires research and development efforts.
When does security automation help businesses, and when does it cause more problems than it solves?
The rise of automation has been a common theme in stories that touch almost every business sector—including IT. In fact, one of the places where automation has shown the most value has been in IT security, where it can reduce costs and mitigate vulnerabilities in many situations.
Consider a simple automation that most businesses have already enacted: software updates. In an un-automated system, either the IT staff or employees themselves would be responsible for keeping their computers up to date. Unfortunately, this either places a significant burden on the IT department, or it puts security responsibilities in the hands of employees who may not understand the consequences of noncompliance, or who may need extra training to conduct the procedure properly.
Automation resolves both these problems, but it can lead to risks of its own. That’s why, before automating different security tasks, businesses should carefully consider the risks and benefits.
Risk: Automating the wrong task.
Let’s say you’re worried about password security at your business, so you automate your system to force all users to change their password once a month. This is actually a bad move: frequent password changes can often cause users to pick simpler—and less secure—passwords.
The better course of action would be to automate a two step verification system that would require users to enter a secondary code that would be sent to a personal device after their initial logon attempt.
Risk: Unidentified weaknesses and lack of monitoring.
Very few systems are fail proof. Yet it’s tempting for many businesses to be overconfident about their security, certain that they’ve crossed their t’s and dotted their i’s and have nothing to fear. Unfortunately, without a breach deections system in place, a business could have an unknown security compromise infecting their system for months without realizing it.
Risk: Set it and forget it mentality.
Automated systems require less oversight which can in turn lead to complacency. Businesses construct a system that seems fool proof, then forget to stay abreast of shifting security threats. Pretty soon, they’re finding that their system has been outsmarted by a new form of cyberattack and their security hasn’t evolved to keep up.
Benefit: Reduction of routine tasks.
The most face-value benefit to automation is that it handles repetitive tasks that suck up time employees could be investing elsewhere. This reduces fatigue while also saving the company resources which can then be diverted toward projects that provide additional value to the organization. This means fewer tradeoffs between IT security and other projects, such as a hardware upgrade.
Benefit: Lower chance of human error.
Speaking of fatigue, the more an employee has to repeat a task, the more careless they are liable to become. A lack of training and experience can also lead to security errors. Automation can take the burden of following best practices off the shoulders of under-qualified workers, while simultaneously saving businesses from having to train their workforce to accomplish extra tasks.
Benefit: Automated security systems scale easily.
When your systems are in the hands of your employees, those systems must be scaled every time your business grows. That means hiring and training more staff to maintain them, which in turn means taking additional steps to ensure those new employees can follow the compliance standards relevant to your business. An automated system doesn’t have these issue because it scales instantly with each new user.
Benefit: Greater predictability.
Finally, an automated system is reliable. While it isn’t enough on its own, it can be depended on to do the thing it was designed to do, exactly how it was designed to do it, every single time. Automated security is only as smart as the people who design the system, but when combined with the appropriate monitoring and maintenance, it can be an invaluable support to your security team.
Understanding the risks and benefits of security automation will help your business stay prepared.
Any time you undertake a new security project you expose yourself to a certain level of risk. New systems take time to install, test, and implement. At each stage, your business could be vulnerable un unpredictable ways. However, failing to take the next step forward can just as readily leave your business in a bind. That’s why it’s crucial for ever organization to understand the risks and benefits of a new technology before following along with the latest trend.
However, unless you fully understand the threats and vulnerabilities of your business, it’s important that you work with an IT professional who can help you successfully implement a system for your business. Used effectively, security automation can perform the routine maintenance tasks that keep your business safe, while identifying breach attempts before they infiltrate your system. If you are interested in learning more about how security automation can benefit your business, contact us today to learn more and for a free network assessment.