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Trend Micro study reveals the human cost of underpowered security operations centres

August 25, 2021   Maryam Farag

Trend Micro Inc. released results from a new study that reveals SOC and IT security teams are suffering from high levels of stress outside of the working day, with alert overload a prime culprit.

According to the study, which polled 2,303 IT security and SOC decision makers across companies of all sizes and verticals, 101 of those were Canadian, 70 per cent of global respondents say their home lives are being emotionally impacted by their work managing IT threat alerts.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of Canadian SOT/IT security teams are overwhelmed by the volume of security alerts, and 52 per cent admit that they aren’t entirely confident in their ability to prioritize and respond to them. Therefore, teams are spending as much as 25 per cent of their time dealing with false positives.

“SOC team members play a crucial role on the cyber frontline, managing and responding to threat alerts to keep their organizations safe from potentially catastrophic breaches. But as this research shows, that pressure sometimes comes at an enormous personal cost,” said Bharat Mistry, Technical Director, Trend Micro. “To avoid losing their best people to burnout, organizations must look to more sophisticated threat detection and response platforms that can intelligently correlate and prioritize alerts. This will not only improve overall protection but also enhance analyst productivity and job satisfaction levels.”

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According to the study, outside of work, the high volumes of alerts leave many Canadian SOC managers “unable to switch off or relax, and irritable with friends and family.” Inside work, they cause individuals to turn off alerts (30 per cent do so occasionally or frequently), walk away from their computer (46 per cent), hope another team member will step in (46 per cent), or ignore what is coming in entirely (36 per cent).

Also, 65 per cent Canadian respondents, and 74 per cent globally, are already dealing with a breach or expecting one within the year, and the estimated average cost per breach is USD$235,000.