Automation has been the forefront of almost every tool or talk in the recent years. The DFIR industry has been moving rapidly towards automating everything! With some great work being done in the area of integrating workflows and various toolsets to make things easier for analysts, automation has really taken off. While that sounds like a worthwhile solution to help SOC analysts weed out the run of the mill adware/PUPs or phishing expeditions, can we really automate a response to the more sophisticated or targeted attack on our company’s crown jewels?
The current argument being made, is that — rather than building in house Incident Response teams, we should utilize automation to substitute analysts and use third party retainers for skilled analysis. Large investments in automation technologies, rather than resource development reflect this strategy. What does this mean for career progression for budding DFIR analysts? With security engineering taking the forefront, is analysis as a career in DFIR a dying star? Is automation moving us towards click forensics rather than intelligent analysis? I’d like to challenge groupthink, and debate where automation will lead the industry trends. Additionally, I will share some of my experiences in the changing face of DFIR.