Breaking Free From Cyber Alert Overload
By Tom Seest
At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity professionals are regularly alerted to new threats and vulnerabilities, necessitating them to act quickly. Unfortunately, the constant barrage of alerts can lead to many issues – including alert fatigue.
Alert fatigue not only has a detrimental effect on an organization’s cybersecurity program, but it can also have detrimental effects on a security team’s mental health and morale. In extreme cases, alert fatigue could even result in the departure of key personnel.
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Alert fatigue is a real issue in cybersecurity, leading many security staff to burnout and even consider leaving the industry altogether. This occurs because security personnel typically receive an overwhelming number of alerts daily that they find difficult to pay attention to and properly respond to.
Due to the sheer volume of alerts received or the complexity and effort necessary for distinguishing legitimate from false ones, security teams can face an overwhelming challenge. This is particularly true for those working in large organizations or those with more than 5,000 employees.
False alerts can be a real headache for security teams, as they cause them to overlook important threats or put off responding to them. Furthermore, false alerts have an adverse psychological effect on cybersecurity teams, which could negatively affect their performance and morale.
False positives, which account for nearly half of all cybersecurity alerts, can exacerbate alert fatigue by creating noise about events that aren’t security threats at all. To combat this problem, cloud SIEM tools should be designed with features like automation and prioritized contextual alerts that help security teams identify critical threats quickly and take necessary measures.
Another way to reduce false alerts is by setting thresholds for specific numbers of events that require investigation. This way, teams can agree that a certain number of events require action and then implement that threshold into their security system to guarantee it occurs.
According to Doug Dooley, COO at Data Theorem, cloud SIEM can be configured to suppress non-critical alerts through fine tuning the suppression process. This enables security teams to focus on mission critical alerts with material consequences.
Security teams that fail to act upon too many alerts can be highly risky. Not only does this increase the likelihood of real cybersecurity incidents, but it also allows cybercriminals to slip through the cracks.
One of the primary reasons cybersecurity teams ignore alerts is due to being overburdened with them. This may occur due to an abundance of alerts from various tools or a high volume of false positives.
Alert fatigue can result, making it difficult to distinguish whether an alert actually poses a threat or not.
To prevent this, security teams should be diligent about their alerts and only enable those that are pertinent to the organization’s objectives. Doing this can reduce the volume of false alarms and make their security operations more efficient.
Another way to prevent alert fatigue is by only enabling alerts from new capabilities or tools that have been thoroughly tested and approved before being put into production. Furthermore, make sure all alerts come with an effective procedure for dealing with them.
Furthermore, organizations should assess whether or not their alerts are worth investigating and addressing. For instance, if a security tool reports an increase in failed login attempts, then it would not be worth investing time investigating further.
It’s easy to dismiss an alert as irrelevant noise or because its information doesn’t pertain to the company’s objectives. To reduce alert fatigue, teams should always ask themselves why they’re receiving an alert and what value it brings them.
Security professionals often become disoriented by an endless barrage of alerts, leading them to lose focus and desensitize to them. This results in delayed reactions to cyberattacks and other security incidents.
Delayed response in cybersecurity can have a devastating impact on an organization, leading to data breaches, stolen credentials and compromised systems.
Organizations can mitigate this issue by having incident response plans in place that define how they will handle a security event. These documents serve as guides for personnel during the detection, containment, investigation, remediation, and recovery phases.
These plans will enable the team to minimize their response time to a cybersecurity threat and guarantee its efficacy over time. They should be regularly tested through drills and exercises, with any necessary adjustments made as needed.
One way to reduce alert fatigue is setting thresholds, which assign different levels of priority to each alert based on its severity. This enables security professionals to prioritize the most urgent alerts and address them promptly, thus decreasing alert fatigue.
Another way of avoiding alert fatigue is automating repetitive tasks that don’t need human judgment, like triaging alerts. This can significantly reduce the amount of time security professionals spend responding to recurring alerts, freeing them up to investigate new threats.
The ideal cybersecurity tools can help combat alert fatigue by automatically comparing and consolidating alerts across multiple security platforms, providing valuable context for each notification. Furthermore, these programs may automate response actions such as quarantine or containment to reduce alerts and save time.
Viruses, worms, and Trojans are malicious software that infects computers, spreads to other systems within a network, and often alters how a machine functions. They can be programmed to do anything an attacker desires – from spreading a worm across all computers on the network to corrupting important OS files to completely shutting down the system.
Malware can also steal data, credit card details, and other sensitive information. This has become a common target for cybercriminals and is becoming an increasing concern among cybersecurity teams.
Many attacks begin as social engineering techniques that tempt unsuspecting users into opening attachments or clicking links in emails. Alternatively, hackers may use compromised websites to infect systems, as well as mobile devices.
Botnets are networks of infected computers that can send email or other types of traffic or relay internet traffic to a single command-and-control server. These types of systems may be the source of DDoS attacks and other major network security breaches.
Spyware is malicious software that collects data from an infected system. This could include tracking users’ activities, taking control of passwords, or disclosing private information.
Another form of malware is a Trojan, which often hides in what appears to be legitimate software. Once activated, this type of Trojan will do whatever its owner desires – from launching an attack to stealing user credentials.
An effective alerting process is essential for safeguarding your business against malware and other cyberattacks. Cloud SIEM technology can help reduce alert fatigue by comparing data across different systems and prioritizing alerts that are most pertinent. This saves IT teams a lot of time and resources while preventing security professionals from becoming overwhelmed with the volume of alerts they receive.
In today’s cybersecurity environment, IT pros are confronted with an array of obstacles and stressors. From ransomware attacks to a rapidly escalating skills shortage, organizations are under immense pressure to keep their systems secure.
One of the greatest challenges IT pros face is alert fatigue. This occurs when employees hear an alert so often that they ignore it and carry on with their daily activities without any change.
Burnout can have a detrimental effect on the team, making them less productive and leading to missed deadlines. Furthermore, higher employee turnover rates lead to costly recruitment and training expenses for businesses.
Cybersecurity teams can reduce alert fatigue by creating processes and procedures that enable them to identify security threats, respond to incidents, and follow up on their findings. This includes regularly reviewing the incident response plan to guarantee it remains up-to-date and accurate.
Furthermore, cybersecurity teams can utilize tools that simplify their work, such as security automation. Doing so reduces the number of tasks they need to finish and frees them up for other activities.
Another way to reduce alert fatigue is by ensuring only relevant alerts are triggered. This can be accomplished by analyzing security data and verifying any alerts are a result of legitimate events like an attack or system vulnerability.
Alert fatigue is an issue that must be addressed by all information security teams. By using automation to relieve the stress caused by alert fatigue, teams can focus on more pressing matters and prevent security breaches. This will increase their productivity and morale while also improving their health and well-being.
Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may encounter cybersecurity attacks.