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CISOs: Identify Areas That Truly Benefit from Orchestration and Automation; Qualifying the Risks and Considering the Benefits

By Tom Heath

Today, the risks facing CISOs are growing and evolving constantly –  from justifying funding to the board to dealing with the accelerating volume and diversity of threats faced. This leaves them managing teams that know they’re understaffed, know they’re running a stack with holes in it, and are looking for support to successfully manage that ever present challenge. 

The continued need of organizations to advance their security capabilities and ensure the effectiveness of their technology is driving the expansion of startups focused on security-related items. It’s why $15M seed rounds, $100M second rounds, and multi-billion dollar valuations for cybersecurity startups no longer cause anyone to blink.

Automation has been a common focus of attention in almost every business sector, with IT/Security being one of the major adopters. Automation has shown specific value in security, where it can help to reduce the costs of identifying, prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities in many situations.

Nevertheless, technology doesn’t remove the need for human resources. It changes the scope of work being done. Automation does not mean humanless. While automation is valuable, keep in mind the risk (cost)/benefits:


  • Identifying the wrong things for automation
  • Ensure the items to be automated actually produce efficiencies
  • Reduced focus/attention based upon reliance on automation
  • Attacks are ever evolving.
  • Without consistent monitoring of your automated processes, breaches may otherwise go unnoticed.
  • When automation fails – your production, critical operations and end-user experience are compromised.


  • Faster incident response and increased security agility
  • Lower training costs and “human error” costs
  • Support management of repetitive tasks that impact resource availability
  • Enables resources to be utilized on other projects that provide additional value
  • Increase productivity, improve efficiency, and reduce errors
  • Provides the capability to scale more quickly

In the end, automated security is only as effective/efficient as its design allows it to be, but in combination with the appropriate monitoring and maintenance, it can be an invaluable addition to your security team.

If you’re currently reviewing security applications that offer automation, I can advise on avoiding common pitfalls and connect you with beneficial tools and platforms. Let me know what you need to address your most pressing issues in enterprise security.

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