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Facebook uses “Automation Tool” to Overcome the Shortage in Cybersecurity Professionals

Social media giant Facebook looks to have resorted to automating its cybersecurity functions in an apparent bid to get around the severe shortage in skilled IT security professionals.

Facebook has automated so many processes that it laid off around two dozen cybersecurity workers in recent months, according to The New York Times.

Those who lost their jobs were responsible for identifying threats in advance and addressing other security issues in collaboration with the company’s software development team.

A spokesperson from the social media firm told the news daily that they were restructuring their cybersecurity team and retraining the affected employees in other skills to help them find different roles within the organization.

“To stay ahead of evolving security threats, we’re investing more in automated detection,” the spokesperson added.

The news comes barely weeks after a study by ISC found the global information technology industry running short of 4 million cybersecurity professionals.

Also, there are numerous reports to suggest that cyberattacks, like ransomware,  are keeping many chief information officers (CIOs) awake at night, besides preventing many small and medium-sized enterprises from harvesting data on their way to explore opportunities offered by machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Perhaps, Facebook figured out a solution years before the skill shortage became acute, say some analysts. Two years ago, the social media giant developed an analysis tool called Zoncolan in a bid to detect security vulnerabilities right at the application development phase. The tool, according to Venturebeat, has helped in identifying thousands of critical security issues.

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“Nearly half of the issues were flagged directly to the code author without requiring a security engineer,” the news portal stated.

The engineers who lost their job have now told the New York Times that machines had replaced them.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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