Two in three SOC professionals suffering alert fatigue

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 27 May, 2021

Two in three SOC professionals suffering alert fatigue

Two-thirds of security operations centre and IT teams in Australia and New Zealand report suffering from stress outside the working day due to alert overload, according to research from Trend Micro.

A survey of SOC and IT professionals, conducted for Trend Micro by Forrester, found that 66% of respondents say their home lives are being emotionally impacted by their work managing IT threat alerts.

In addition, 60% of respondents feel that their team is being overwhelmed by the volume of alerts, and 43% admit that they aren’t fully confident in their ability to prioritise and respond to alerts. On average, respondents report spending 26% of their time dealing with false positives.

Many SOC managers report that they are unable to switch off or relax at home due to this alert fatigue.

During work hours, excessive alerts are causing individuals to turn off alerts (45% do so occasionally or frequently), walk away from their computer (49%), hope another team member will step in (57%) or ignore what is coming in entirely (45%).

The research also found that 66% of respondents are already dealing with a breach or expecting one within the year, and that the average cost of a breach has increased to US$235,000 ($301,500).

Trend Micro Technical Director for ANZ Mick McCluney said enterprises must act to alleviate SOC teams of these pressures.

“SOC team members play a crucial role on the cyber frontline, managing and responding to threat alerts to keep their organisations safe from potentially catastrophic breaches. But as this research shows, that pressure sometimes comes at an enormous personal cost,” he said.

“To avoid losing their best people to burnout — especially as Australia and New Zealand face ongoing cybersecurity talent shortages — organisations must look to more sophisticated threat detection and response platforms that can intelligently correlate and prioritise alerts.”

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