The Great Resignation – or the Great Reshuffle as some are calling it – and the growing skills gap have been dominating headlines lately. But these issues aren't new to the cybersecurity industry. While many are just now hearing about employee burnout, security teams have faced reality and serious consequences of burnout for years.

One of the biggest culprits? Alert overload.

The average security team gets tens of thousands of alerts each day. Many analysts feel like they can't get their heads above water…and are starting to give up. This looks like physical burnout and even apathy. Surveys found that some security analysts feel so overwhelmed they ignore alerts and even walk away from their computers.

In fact, these surveys found that 70% of security teams feel emotionally overwhelmed by alerts, and more than 55% of security professionals don't feel fully confident that they can prioritize and respond to every alert that really does need attention.

Sadly, there isn't a single moment to waste when there's a legitimate threat. The threat landscape is changing so quickly, you need a security team that's not only on top of their game but also has the foresight to anticipate emerging threats. So the issue of alert overload is one of the main ingredients in a recipe for disaster when it comes to business risk. And the risks are only growing (think supply chains and ransomware attacks on critical industries like healthcare).

It goes without saying that if this is prolonged, it's only a matter of time before a legitimate threat goes undetected and results in devastating consequences for an organization and even private citizens who entrust their data to that organization.

But according to XDR provider, Cynet, "... the problem isn't about alerts – it's about response."

Security teams are at a critical juncture and need to figure out how to mitigate alert overload and get strategic about the response. Luckily, there's a guide for that.

Cynet's recently released guide offers a few ways security leads can pull their analysts out of the ocean of false positives and get them back to shore. It includes tips on how to reduce alerts using automation and shares guidance for organizations that are considering outsourcing their managed detection and response (MDR). Spoiler: the guide also shares how security teams can detangle the web of security tools necessary for automation.

In addition to providing context for why alerts are making cybersecurity worse and how these alerts become overwhelming, the guide shares insights on:

  • The question of outsourcing – Outsourcing managed detection and response (MDR) is a great option if you need to scale quickly and don't have the resources. MDRs can help reduce stress and give your team time back. Another consideration is cost. You also will need to invest time in finding an MDR that's right for your business. Outsourcing may or may not be the right solution for your unique needs.
  • How to reduce alerts – It starts with strategy. Look at your existing tech and make sure you've optimized their settings and your tools are calibrated. Ultimately, it's not about reducing alerts so much as it's about how you've set your team up to respond.
  • Introducing automated response – Even the leanest security teams can tackle threats if they use automation. Automation allows security teams to quickly respond to alerts at scale. But one of the biggest challenges with automation is knowing how to properly set it up in the first place.
  • Tools that facilitate automation – One of the reasons setting up automations is a challenge is because of the abundance of tech tools that need to be integrated (like EDR, NDR, IPS, firewalls, antispam, DNS filtering, etc.). The key is to know how to put all of these tools in one place.
  • Autonomous breach protection made easy – Again, it all comes down to integration. But having these tools in one place has some significant benefits: it's easy and doesn't require a lot of technical expertise, the all-in-one solution is more cost-effective, and it allows for faster detection and more informed response.

The future is far from bleak. Cynet informs us that "More than just the solution to alert overload, integrated tools and automated response are the future of cybersecurity – a future where the defenders reclaim the advantage."

If you want to find out more and learn how to stop alert overload, download the guide here.

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