Cybersecurity\u2019s future in reducing incident response time is to automate the process. In other words, the process of marking an attack, aggregating key data, identifying the actual threat, assembling the tools and executing actions needs to be as close to machine speed as possible.Unfortunately, most companies are still\u00a0outsourcing only 30 percent of the decision-making to AI\/cybersecurity programs that allow this, when a minimum of 70 percent is the healthier goal.\u00a0Nevertheless, reaching that goal does not free a CSO or anyone in an organization from\u00a0making key \u201chuman\u201d decisions in the AI\/cyber arena. Processes that include automated programs and algorithms are just one part of the job. The other significant factors are the management of:Resources,\u00a0including hiring, training and retaining talentTechnologies,\u00a0including vendor selection, design and the implementation of policiesCommunications, including educating and generating buy in from senior management and the board of directorsCollective learning; the sharing of incidents and attacks throughout the organization and even other businessesCompliance, including staying up-to-date and adhering with ongoing changes and rulesSo, while the ultimate goal of a CSO\u2019s job is to maximize incident response time via automation, the total success of the job is dependent on dealing with an overwhelming number of decisions that can\u2019t be outsourced. These decisions require fine-tuning your soft, or nontechnical, skills, skills that many IT people are not trained in but are now required to have.Within every decision lies an assumptionIn my recent book,\u00a0Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World,\u00a0I propose a way to speed up the decision-making process, a key soft skill. The premise is simple: within every decision lies an assumption. \u00a0The process encourages you to remove judgments associated with making assumptions and to instead embrace them. Removing judgement allows you to own and manage your assumptions. Otherwise when left unchecked, your assumptions will manage you.\u00a0 The book shows you how to identify daily and dangerous assumptions as well as how to challenge them.For example, one way to identify security related assumptions made by the organization outside your department (and perhaps a few people inside) is through key words and phrases. Below is a list of expressions worth reviewing and discussing with your teams to help them understand when an AI\/Cybersecurity assumption is in play.What is said = what is being assumed\u201cWe are not a target.\u201d = We are too small for anyone to care about and hack.\u201cCybersecurity is too complicated to understand.\u201d = I\u2019ll leave it to others to figure out.\u201cThe government will protect us.\u201d = The government is technologically superior.\u201cMy ISP protects my organization.\u201d = Those in charge know what they are doing.\u201cI have the best people on the job.\u201d = A skilled executive can investigate computer crimes without any computer experience.\u201cWe are keeping the enemy out.\u201d = Malicious attacks come from outside the organization.\u201cThis is good code.\u201d = I don\u2019t have the time to double-check its accuracy.\u201cWe have the superior technology.\u201d = No one can do what we can do.\u201cFollow the algorithm.\u201d = Algorithms don\u2019t make assumptions.\u201cBiometrics are better than passwords.\u201d = Fingerprints can\u2019t be lifted easily.As the world of the CSO becomes more dependent on automating the decision-making process for reducing incident response time, there are no equivalent ways to automate the decision-making components that make\u00a0up your entire job.Therefore, the best approach is to acknowledge the need to enhance these soft skills, especially within your team. A good place to start is to encourage those inside and outside your team to identify and challenge daily assumptions in order to adapt to change, think differently and make smarter, faster security related decisions.