Jeff Schwartz, CISSP, is the VP of Engineering, North America, for global cyber security company, Check Point Software. He manages a team of 200~ engineers across multi-disciplinary fields, and he’s responsible for all security engineering resources across a $700 million portion of the business in North America.

Over his 20-year career in cyber security, Jeff has consulted, designed, and overseen the implementation of the largest network security deployments across all industries, and throughout both the Fortune 500 and major government agencies.

In this two-part interview series, join Jeff Schwartz as he discusses how organizations can successfully leverage automation, and use it to support new business growth.

1. How can automation help revolutionize processes and add value to a business?

“Automation can solve problems that would otherwise be impractical or impossible. For example, if we wanted to determine the safety of a bridge, it would require a team of civil and structural engineers to survey the tension, fatigue, load, etc. at many points. It would be impractical to get a real-time assessment of these factors and determine risk factors to the public. Applied in conjunction with AI, automation can assess these factors both in real-time and without heavy human intervention.

Another example is in healthcare. Before a treatment is prescribed, it’s efficacy can be mapped against your environmental conditions, family and genetic history, dietary factors, and other personalized conditions that are impractical for pharmaceutical companies to simulate in clinical trials at scale.

The way that automation can add value is different for every company. However, what is consistent, is the very far reaching business and consumer impact that automation can have on every company.”

2.Are there any ‘hidden opportunities’ that come with automation?

“In terms of IT and Security operations, there are many manual changes relating to maintenance, both in terms of security administration and threat investigations. With automation, we can automate 90% of those functions. That means that the organization will then have the capacity to invest their human capital, their human resources, in what I characterize as ‘neck up’ thinking; the more intellectual or higher level problems that are more impactful to business.

In every vertical, in every business, if they were to refocus their human capital on bigger, higher-level problems, they would be in better positions. The innovation that automation offers is that it allows us to focus resources on larger issues.”

3.Most organizations don’t leverage automation (and automated security) to its full extent, and there’s a lot that they’re missing. So, why is that?

“Most organizations have made significant investments in what are now considered legacy technologies. This comprises many things, including architecture, the people supporting those architectures, the processes associated with those people and technologies.  Transitioning to an automated model requires changing these operational processes, which is a significant undertaking.

The prospect of automation reflects on fundamental questions for organizations about how they view their own evolution, and how to prioritize innovation, both internally and externally. So, adopting automation really requires a shift in the way that an organization views IT as an enabler of business.”

4.What kinds of security challenges accompany automation/AI and how much risk is involved?

“In many ways, automated security requires proper delegation of authority. If we automate security based on a certain tag or dynamic information, we need to be able to trust those tags/changes. Essentially, delegating the authority and pushing the decision making criteria to an application (automation) can be valuable, but at the same time, we need governance and control capabilities to validate and authenticate the integrity of changes.”

Did you gain new insights from this interview? Don’t miss our second informative and thought-provoking interview with industry expert Jeff Schwartz. Stay tuned.