The Global Pandemic is Causing Cyber-Security Teams to Burnout: Why Automated Real-time Threat Prevention Can Help

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ZDNet published an eye-opening –  but at the same time very understandable – article that outlined why the Coronavirus pandemic is seeing cybersecurity teams struggling with burnout as time goes on.  With the second wave hitting many countries, and further lockdowns occurring, this has forced many security operation centres (SOCs) to work remotely while dealing with the new threats that the Work From Home (WFH) environment has introduced.  Not surprisingly, this is leading to higher workloads and an increase in burnout for cybersecurity staff.

According to research from the Ponemon Institute, the current pandemic has increased the hours and workload of information security staff, which was already a high intensity / high stress environment to begin with.  The shift that many organizations saw in 2020, going from mainly office-based to working from home, was also mirrored by a significant number of cybersecurity personnel having to do the same, with over 1/3 of SOC environments shifting to work remotely.

As we’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the big shift to WFH has exacerbated the problems for cybersecurity staff.  Before, when they just had to secure an office environment, they dealt with a wide range of threats such as phishing, malware, ransomware, etc.  Now that a large portion of their organizations are in an WFH environment, it adds an additional layer of complexity and more challenges as they must now also protect those outside of the fortified office network environment from these threats and other ones that are introduced by employees working remotely.

As employees connect to work systems from their home internet connections (and often from their own personal computers), this opens up additional attack vectors that cyber criminals can use to enter corporate networks.  Again, all of these changes have made it even harder for cybersecurity staff, who themselves are now working remotely at home with potentially less resources available to them.  Just like other staff, cybersecurity teams are having to do their jobs while also dealing with the additional pressures and distractions of the work from home environment.  With these additional distractions, it can be hard for cybersecurity analysts to stay productive and focus on defending the networks that they have been tasked with protecting.

The same Ponemon survey has spotlighted that the additional pressures of working in the cybersecurity field while having to work remotely has lowered staff moral to the extent that 3/4 have stated they have experienced burnout from the job.  This has led to some security analysts leaving their positions, further increasing the shortage of these analysts and leading to an increase in the average salary for these positions; which has risen to $111,000, up from $102,000 just prior to the start of the pandemic a year ago.
Although, like many other jobs, SOCs can optimally operate when their staff can meet in-person.   However, SOCs may not be going back to becoming an in-person entity any time soon with potentially other disasters, physical or otherwise, forcing a similar pattern of working remotely in the future.  Organizations need to learn how to manage their cybersecurity staff remotely when events occur that prevent them from working from the office.

And this is where Wedge Networks comes in with its Wedge Absolute Real-time Protection platform (WedgeARP), a deep content inspection-based solution that orchestrates best-in-breed security services along with Ai / Machine learning   We have been keenly aware of the expanding security gap (where rapidly expanding security workloads are greatly outpacing enterprise security capacity) and have tailored our platform to help alleviate this issue.  Not only is WedgeARP effective in providing automated real-time PREVENTION of advanced threats, but it also has detailed analytics built-in to its “single-pane-of-glass” user interface; providing security teams with actionable intelligence that can aid them in further fortifying their networks.  By helping to reduce cybersecurity teams’ workloads – stopping threats before they can cause damage corporate networks – and then by providing them with easy-to-use tools that can reduce the “alert noise” that their other solutions are generating, WedgeARP is an effective solution that can actually help to close the security gap.  By allowing cyber security teams to work smarter and not harder, this can reduce burnout in the employees and help organizations retain these highly skilled staff members.

To learn more about how WedgeARP and its automated real-time threat prevention can help your cybersecurity team work more efficiently in these ever-stressful times, contact us at:  

About Wedge Chief Scientist

Husam Kinawi, Chief Scientist Dr. Kinawi has a PhD and MSc in Computer Science from the Universities of Calgary, Canada and London, UK. In 1997, he co-founded Mpower Technologies Inc., a wireless telecommunications software company. In 1999, Dr. Kinawi co-founded (NASDAQ: AIQT), a Boston-based e-Business applications firm. Dr. Kinawi has over seventeen years of research and development experience working with industry leaders such as Newbridge (Alcatel), Siemens, United Technologies, and Apple in the areas of distributed information systems, embedded applications and wireless Internet solutions. Dr. Kinawi has also spoken at several major conferences, published several research papers, and is the holder of several patents in the area of mobile and wireless devices.
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