How Process Mining Improves Business Processes and Prevents Cyber Threats
by Andrew Pery, Digital Transformation Expert and AI Ethics Evangelist for ABBYY
Cybercrime is forecast to cost organizations globally nearly $11 trillion by 2025. Threat actors need only to find one vulnerability in an organization’s systems that may span across any of the potential attack surfaces, anywhere from the application, network, and physical layers. Traditional reactive approaches to mitigating cyberthreats are no longer viable.
Process mining is a cutting-edge technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way organizations manage and improve their business processes.
By automating the collection and analysis of process data, process mining provides organizations with an unprecedented level of visibility into their operations, enabling them to optimize process efficiency and effectiveness, and help prevent cyber threats.
“By 2025, 80 percent of organizations driven by the expectations of cost reduction and automation-derived enhanced process efficiency will embed process mining capabilities in at least 10 percent of their business operations.”
Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Process Mining Tools, 20 March 2023
Four ways process mining can optimize business processes
- Process mining provides organizations with real-time insights into their business processes. By analyzing data from existing systems and applications, process mining can create a visual representation of the process, revealing bottlenecks, delays, and areas where process improvements can be made. This information can then be used to make data-driven decisions to improve process efficiency and effectiveness.
- Process mining can identify and eliminate waste in business processes. By analyzing event logs from process data, process mining can identify areas where resources are being misallocated or where tasks are being performed unnecessarily. This information can then be used to improve the overall process design, reducing waste, and freeing up resources to be used more effectively elsewhere.
- Process mining helps organizations to better understand their customers' needs and preferences. By analyzing customer interactions and feedback, process mining can reveal areas where customers are not satisfied, providing organizations with the information they need to make improvements and provide a better customer experience.
- Process mining can improve compliance and governance within an organization. By automating the collection and analysis of data from multiple sources, process mining can help organizations to stay on top of regulatory requirements, identify areas where there may be potential risk exposures, and make improvements to ensure full compliance with relevant regulatory mandates and regulations.
How organizations use process mining for cyber threat prevention
A particularly helpful application of process mining is surfacing, analyzing, and remediating potential cyberthreats. Cybercrime is forecast to cost organizations globally nearly $11 trillion by 2025. Threat actors need only to find one vulnerability in an organization’s systems that may span across any of the potential attack surfaces, anywhere from the application, network, and physical layers. Traditional reactive approaches to mitigating cyberthreats are no longer viable. What is needed is a more granular, proactive, and adaptive approach that anticipates how threat actors expose and take advantage of system vulnerabilities.
Process mining provides Cyber Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) with data-driven compliance analysis and auditing of prescribed threat response management processes based on event log data collected from multiple systems. It enables CSIRTs to surface potential compliance gaps (e.g., cybersecurity governance and risk management processes) and to identify and remediate deviations (e.g., incident response management processes across multiple cases, adherence to response and resolution times, and surface outliers).
Q&A on Process Intelligence and the Automation Fabric
Process mining is complementary to cybersecurity applications that guard against vulnerabilities across multiple attack surfaces (application, presentation, session, transport, network, data, and physical layers) and types of attacks (spoofing, tampering, repudiation, information disclosure, and elevation of privilege).
Process mining enables cybersecurity teams to discover the current state of cybersecurity process behaviors, continuously monitor compliance processes, and alert teams in the event of deviations from prescribed processes. By doing so, process mining provides cybersecurity teams with granular visibility to areas where cybersecurity vulnerabilities may be improved.
Another application of process mining is to simulate the impact of cyberthreats and identify where possible weaknesses exist, facilitating planning for additional investments and resources that prevent cyberthreats. Process mining can detect when a process is executing in an unexpected or unusual manner, indicating that it may have been impacted by a ransomware attack. Similarly, it can also identify when an application is using excessive resources, suggesting that it may be running malicious code.
Process mining may also be effectively deployed to analyze data breach response readiness. On average, it takes organizations 280 days to identify and remediate a data breach incident. By analyzing data breach response event logs, compliance teams can gain granular insight into potential gaps in breach response policies, lapses in potential compliance protocol violations, and resource allocation inefficiencies.
Process mining is a valuable tool in the fight against cyber threats. Its ability to provide a clear and comprehensive picture of an organization's processes, as well as its ability to detect anomalies and deviations, makes it an effective tool for detecting and preventing ransomware and other forms of cyberattacks. By incorporating process mining into their cyber security strategy, organizations can stay ahead of the threat, protect their systems and data, and maintain the trust of their customers.