Preventing SOC Burnout: Strategies to Streamline Security Operations

Feeling drained by repetitive tasks, lacking focus at work, or developing a negative outlook towards your job? These are telltale signs of burnout, a common experience in the workplace. In fact, burnout has become so prevalent that the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized it as an occupational phenomenon. While burnout can affect anyone, it poses a particular risk for professionals in information security, especially those working in a security operation center (SOC).

SOC analysts spend their days diligently scanning incoming data for anomalies. However, major cyber incidents are not as frequent in companies equipped with cutting-edge security solutions that safeguard their servers and information infrastructure. A recent study commissioned by Kaspersky, conducted by the Enterprise Strategy Group, revealed that 70% of organizations struggle to cope with the sheer volume of security alerts.

The study also highlighted that 67% of organizations face the challenge of dealing with a wide variety of alerts, making it difficult for SOC analysts to focus on more complex and critical tasks. Shockingly, in one-third of companies (34%), cybersecurity teams overwhelmed by alerts and emergency issues have insufficient time to dedicate to strategy and process improvements.

Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, noted, “Our experts predict that cyberthreat intelligence and threat hunting will be crucial components of any SOC development strategy. However, if SOC analysts continue to spend their time, skills, and energy handling poor-quality indicators of compromise (IoCs) and unnecessary false positives instead of proactively detecting complex and evasive threats in the infrastructure, it not only proves to be ineffective but also inevitably leads to burnout.”

The observation for 2023 suggests that SOCs will continue to face sophisticated attacks, such as ransomware and supply chain breaches. To prepare for these threats and combat burnout, organizations are advised to diversify SOC tasks, leverage automation solutions, seek external expert services, and elevate their cybersecurity defenses.

To mitigate alert fatigue and optimize SOC operations, Kaspersky recommends the following strategies for companies:

  1. Implement work shifts within the SOC team to avoid excessive workload, ensuring the distribution of key tasks among team members, including monitoring, investigation, IT architecture and engineering, administration, and overall SOC management.
  2. Practice internal transfers and rotations, automate routine operations, and consider hiring external data-monitoring experts to alleviate the burden on SOC staff and prevent burnout.
  3. Utilize a reliable threat intelligence service that integrates machine-readable intelligence into existing security controls, such as a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system, to automate initial triage and provide contextual information for prompt decision-making.
  4. Unburden your SOC from routine alert triage tasks by adopting a trusted managed detection and response service like Kaspersky Extended Detection and Response (XDR). XDR, a comprehensive multi-layered security technology, offers advanced threat detection across multiple control points, leveraging deep analytics and automation. Kaspersky’s XDR portfolio includes products like Kaspersky EDR Optimum, Kaspersky EDR Expert, Kaspersky Anti-Targeted Attack Platform, Kaspersky Managed Detection and Response, and Kaspersky Incident Response.

For small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and midrange enterprises in Southeast Asia, Kaspersky has launched an exclusive Buy 1 Free 1 promotion. By taking advantage of this offer, businesses can enjoy two years of enterprise-grade endpoint protection for the price of one with Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business or Cloud, or Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum. This offer includes 24×7 phone support.

23 May 2023

Author: Terry KS

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