Security automation:
what you need to know
Your simple yet comprehensive guide on
how to get the best out of your security automation investments

Table of Contents

The benefit:
Why do we need security automation

Adam Palmer, CISO of a North American Bank, sheds light on the transformative impact of automation in reducing alert fatigue and enabling a sharper focus on critical security priorities and explains the ultimate value of automating security operations: creating room for what matters most.

By harnessing the power of automation, security teams can streamline their operations and eliminate repetitive tasks that often hinder a swift response to emerging threats. This not only enhances efficiency but also enables organizations to maintain a robust security posture in the face of evolving risks.

Cutting through the noise of distractions becomes a game-changer as businesses strive to prioritize their security efforts. With automation as a guiding principle, teams can allocate resources more effectively, allowing them to dedicate their attention to the most critical issues that require immediate action.

First steps:
How to start with SOC automation?

When it comes to implementing automation, a targeted and precise approach tends to yield greater success. Rather than attempting to tackle everything simultaneously, it is more effective to break it down into manageable micro steps.

By examining the repetitive tasks performed by SOC analysts and identifying opportunities for automation, organizations can make significant strides in optimizing their operations. This deliberate approach allows for a more focused and efficient automation strategy.

At our webinar, we explored the benefits of taking this granular approach to automation. By automating specific activities that SOC analysts routinely handle, organizations can free up valuable time and resources, enabling them to address critical issues more promptly and effectively.

Here’s how Jeff Pollard, our guest speaker from Forrester, has framed this approach:

Sweet spots:
Where to find the highest value in security automation?

In today’s dynamic threat landscape, security automation has become increasingly crucial for SOC analysts to effectively respond to incidents. While automation offers numerous benefits, it is in the realm of incident investigation that its true potential shines. By automating the process of alert enrichment and investigation, SOC teams can significantly enhance their operational efficiency and response capabilities.

When an incident is flagged, analysts face the challenge of gathering relevant information from various sources quickly. This often involves exploring telemetry, analyzing live memory captures, assessing file and domain reputation, and conducting malware analysis. By automating these investigative tasks, analysts are freed from the burden of manual retrieval and can focus their expertise on critical analysis and decision-making.

Notably, recent findings from industry research indicate that there is still ample room for improvement in automating incident enrichment. According to a study conducted by IBM and Morning Consult, only half of the SOC teams surveyed currently leverage automation for incident enrichment. This highlights a tremendous opportunity for organizations to harness automation’s power in accelerating mean time to detect, contain, and respond by optimizing the investigative phase of incident response.

For highly-regulated industries:
Why choosing the right tool matters.

According to Adam Palmer, CISO of a North American Bank, meticulous tool selection is of utmost importance. He emphasizes the need for trustworthiness and genuine value when considering tools. He claims that, especially in industries with heavy regulatory requirements, ensuring defensible and robust positions and strategies is a top priority.

Adam Palmer asserts that the automation component holds significant weight for security operations. It’s an essential element to focus on advancing automation to maximize its value when an organization is actively striving to mature and refine its existing processes.

In highly regulated industries, the meticulous selection of tools is crucial to ensure compliance and strengthen security. As companies in these sectors embark on their automation journey, they seek tools that deliver tangible benefits and contribute to their overarching goals. This allows them to navigate the complex landscape, manage risks, and maintain a strong foundation for security and compliance.

How to select the right tool:
What you need to consider.


Building on Pollard’s remarks, Adam Palmer highlights three crucial criteria that a CISO needs to take into consideration when evaluating potential vendors:

Seamless Integration with Multi-Cloud Environment:
The ability of the tools to effortlessly integrate with the organization’s multi-cloud infrastructure is a top priority, ensuring smooth operations and data flow.

Ease of Implementation and Vendor Support:
Simplifying implementation processes and providing robust vendor support are essential for optimizing resource utilization, particularly given the limited availability of malware analysts and SOC experts.

Integration with Existing Tools:
Seamless integration of the new tool within the existing security ecosystem is vital to establishing a cohesive and unified platform, avoiding disruptions and compatibility challenges.

By focusing on these core requirements, a CISO can enhance the overall SOC analyst experience, striving to provide tools that simplify their workflows, improve productivity. Prioritizing the team’s performance and ensuring that the chosen solutions align with their objectives are key considerations in selecting the right vendor partners.


Choosing the right security automation tool is a crucial decision for CISOs. To ensure success, it is essential to consider the following factors:

Extensibility and Integrations:
Look for a tool that offers flexibility through APIs and supports both cloud and on-premises environments.

Training and Overhead:
Consider the level of training needed and whether the tool requires a GUI or a new programming language.

Programming Requirements:
Evaluate the amount of programming required and determine who will handle it.

Skill Set and Capacity:
Assess whether your team has the necessary skills and capacity to manage the tool effectively.

See VMRay in action.
Start maximizing the value of your security automation.

Further resources


Key forces shaping the future of security automation

Watch the full recording from the our webinar featuring Forrester


Explore VMRay’s seamless integrations

Explore all security automation use cases that help you can benefit.


VMRay Professional Services

Learn how VMRay supports deployment, configurations, integrations & more.

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