Upwork is the world’s work marketplace. Upwork connects companies with talent from around the globe to complement their workforce and achieve more. The trust-driven platform serves everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises. In 2022, the Upwork talent community earned over $3.8 billion through the platform across more than 10,000 skills in categories including website and app development, creative and design, customer support, finance and accounting, consulting, and operations.
Upwork’s security team sought an automation solution that would help them achieve more with less. Shawn Chakravarty, Director of Upwork’s Cyber Fusion Center, was brought on board to drive this.
Tines saves the team a minimum of 87 days worth of work on a quarterly basis, freeing up time for the Upwork security team to focus on high-impact projects.
Shawn discusses the challenges he faced when trying to choose an automation solution and his team’s plans going forward with Tines.
The challenge for Shawn was not determining if automation was required or not. It was gaining buy-in that Tines was the best automation solution. When he joined Upwork, the team was already in the process of evaluating systems. They ended up choosing Tines due to its versatility and time to value.
The flexibility and impact of Tines initially led to some concerns on Shawn’s team that are often seen when it comes to automation. “You see, what I ended up having to do is answer the question, ‘Are we going to automate ourselves out of a job?’, which is a common fear when introducing automation. And I simply told them, ‘Yeah, out of the part of the job that nobody wants to do!’”
The Upwork security team faced the same challenge as any security team — a high number of daily requests and alerts that take up lots of time. This impacts the overall productivity of a security team and can be felt across all teams that rely on their support.
Led by Shawn, Upwork sought a vendor that not only ticked all the functionality boxes but also served as a partner, welcoming feedback from practitioners and using it to improve the product — something that is core to how Tines operates.
Tines allows Upwork’s security team to automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks, such as their phishing response, while also providing detailed feedback to those who make the reports. This frees the team up to spend time on tasks that demand human input and collaboration.
The cross-functional benefits of Tines are impacting the broader business at Upwork, too. The Upwork security team knows they’ve improved internal satisfaction with teams outside of their own and, as a result, their security posture. However, these things are hard to measure.
“So, we end up doing what everyone else does, tying the impact to ‘people hours’. On the one hand, it’s only part of the picture. On the other hand, they are massively impressive and position the security organization as the trailblazers in automation.”
The features that made this possible:
“My favorite Story so far is one we built around phishing response. We created it to give the person who reported it feedback on what they reported, which enables my team, via the Story, to further educate the end-users on phishing vs. spam. This helps them to get smarter too.”
Director - Cyber Fusion Center, Upwork
Shawn and the team are looking for opportunities to increase the number of teams using Tines. They host a roadshow within the company to demonstrate Tines to other teams. One of the benefits of bringing on the broader organization is that it will improve collaboration, and the security team can help other teams get up and running faster. It also introduces cross-functional knowledge sharing that might not have existed otherwise.