AT&T last week completed its acquisition of cybersecurity firm AlienVault and established a new cybersecurity-solutions unit that will be led by AlienVault CEO Barmak Meftah, who has indicated that he wants AT&T to “simplify” cybersecurity, especially in the critical-infrastructure sector.

Meftah—who will report to AT&T Business CEO Thaddeus Arroyo—said that he is excited about the prospects for AT&T’s new cybersecurity unit, which will combine AlienVault’s automated threat-detection capabilities with AT&T existing cybersecurity team that typically has dealt with larger enterprises.

“Our go-forward strategy is not the invention of more point products; it’s the automation and orchestration of appropriate point products to solve a business problem for a particular entity,” Meftah said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “That automation doesn’t necessarily stop at a certain level of the addressable market, it goes all the way up and down. And that is an emerging trend in security, which is to take a complicated problem and—for once—focus on how we simplify the consumption of security for everybody in the market.

“That’s not something we’ve focused on in our industry too much. I think it’s time to be more empathetic to what our end users are going through, in terms of the spend and complexity.”

Automation has been a lynchpin of AlienVault’s solution, which is designed to detect threats by identifying anomalous behavior on the network that often is attributable to hackers attempting to infiltrate the network of an enterprise, according to Meftah.

“Our whole thesis is: If you can’t see what’s happening in your environment, then the spend that you ultimately put into your protective-security controls might be out of context—you might be overspending or underspending,” he said. “We give this whole gamut of threat-detection capabilities to a customer. On top of that, we provide this really elegant orchestration layer that allows a customer to say, ‘If I’m seeing something, I can take action in the form of incident response.’ We can automate and orchestrate the incident-response part of it.”

It is possible for enterprises to establish their own threat-detection solutions, but doing so requires the acquisition of significant hardware, software and technical talent—a combination that is financially impractical for only the largest companies and government entities that work with sensitive data, Meftah said.

“For the vast majority of the addressable market, we become an extremely good fit, because we can achieve the same level of capability a lot more affordably through automation and orchestration.,” Meftah said. “We offer it all out of the box, and you don’t have to do any integration work—you basically install the product, and it just works.”

While AlienVault historically has worked with companies outside of the Fortune 150 list, Meftah believes its reach will be expanded by being associated with AT&T Business and its vast customer base in the small to medium-sized enterprise market. In addition, AT&T Business and the existing cybersecurity group can identify areas within the largest enterprises where automated threat-detection capabilities are needed, he said.