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How to Deal with Alert Fatigue?

Cut through the noise and focus on incidents that really matter

Post by Rajarshi Mitra Jul 29, 2020

Is your security team working way harder than they should beWith millions of alerts bombarding your team every day, it’s virtually impossible to remediate everything all the time, or even be able to contextualize and prioritize threats. As a result, your security analysts end up with alert fatigue causing them to ignore a high volume of alert messages.  

You can spend millions on a world-class Security Operations Center (SOC), but getting the best out of your tools requires the right experts and skillsWhen it comes to remediation of your IT infrastructure and performance issues, timing and speed are everything. “Alert Fatigue” has become a pervasive problem for SOC teams worldwide, so let’s take a look at what you can do to remove it from the equation.  

Our team has identified the impending dangers of alert fatigue and has designed a comprehensive and data backed threat intelligence dashboard. This dashboard is integrated in our ASI (Attack Surface Intelligence) platform.  

ASI Dashboard

 

Let us walk through the alert fatigue issue to understand exactly why security teams need intelligent and actionable insights rather than relying on traditional approaches to handle security threats. 

Remember the Boy Who Cried Wolf

We are pretty sure that you have heard this anecdote before. A shepherd was bored while tending to his flock. He decides to play a prank by running around, screaming about being attacked by a wolf. The villagers come running to help the boy but find out that he was lying. This happens two more times before the villagers get fed up with the boy. At the end of the story when a wolf does attack the boy’s flock, no one comes to his aid.  

This, unfortunately, is the situation with most SOC teams right now. Much like the villagers, sifting through and prioritizing false positives and alarms make teams immune to what should ideally be a sign of real danger.  have become immune to what should ideally be a sign of real danger. Some organizations receive as many as 10,000 alerts every month.  

However, the reality is that when it comes to cybersecurity, false positives aren’t just mere annoyances, they can delay the SOC team’s response to a security level and cause severe losses. Here are some of the dangers: 

  • Volumes of data to sift through  
  • Thousands of false alerts per month 
  • Lack of context and insight  
  • Considerable amount of time spent by SOC teams 
  • Tired, frustrated, and inefficient due to alert fatigue  
  • Exposed and vulnerable security  

When security teams have to handle thousands of alerts, the above dangers exist or are imminent in some casesRather than looking the other way, organizations must keep up with the latest techniques and empower security teams to handle alerts efficiently.  

How to Reduce False Positive Rate?

If your SOC teams are growing immune to alarms, it’s because most of them end up being false positives, and therefore, not the best use of their time. And of course, there’s the even greater risk that false positives and alert fatigue can delay your team’s response to an actual security emergency and cause severe losses.  

survey by the Cloud Security Alliance found:  

  • Half of enterprises have six or more tools that generate security alerts  
  • 40 percent of IT security professionals say the alerts they receive lack actionable intelligence needed to investigate  
  • 31.9 percent report ignoring alerts because so many are false positives  
  • Cloud usage generates some 2 billion transactions each month that add to the noise. 

Organizations with a traditional defense system have to make a rather expensive tradeoff. They can either invest a considerable amount and add more security staff and tools, or they continue with alert fatigue with thousands of alerts while missing out on just one that mattered the most.  

False Alerts Plague IT Security

IT Security teams working their way through false alerts day by day, end up wasting many hours just to identify and prioritize the critical alerts. Without timely intervention, teams will only continue disregarding threats due to the alert fatigue. Leaving things open will only expose you to more cyber attacksThis is an increasing trend in security operations, but choosing to look the other way is not an option. It is crucial to cut through the noise and reduce non actionable alerts.  

What if your security teams are not bombarded with false alerts? Wouldn’t it be great to have someone sift through the alerts before they reach your security experts? Yes, having an extended security arm that can provide actionable insights and only show the alerts that matter will help your teams reduce alert fatigue.  

Handling Alerts Effectively and Efficiently

SOC teams are at their best when theyre ensuring proactive security and fighting real threats. So, when your teams have to only worry about the critical alerts, their efficiency and effectiveness is bound to grow.  

Threat Intel Dashboard

Netenrich’s ASI Solution

Netenrich gives SOC teams a 360-degree outlook of the biggest security concerns facing their data centers and cloud every day. Instead of bombarding your team with a bunch of alerts, we filter them down into 2-5 actionable remediation guidelines.   

Here’s how we do it:  

  • Always-on Attack Surface Intelligence (ASI) crawls your data center and cloud infrastructure to find possible points of brand or domain exposure, vulnerabilities, and threats. 
  • Constantly updated threat intelligence collects and curates data from all across the internet to deliver context around threats that might be attacking your system. 
  • Netenrich cross-references data about your attack surface with global threat intelligence to remove false positives.  
  • SOC analysts add another, invaluable layer of context by filtering down threats to those most critical.  
  • Futuristic dashboards present you with 2-5 simple remediation steps to secure your infrastructure. 

The number of data breaches and cyber attacks on large enterprises shows that even a small miss in terms of security could result in some messed up damage control later. Why not check out our ASI dashboard and see for yourself what we mean by delivering intelligent insights and actionable data? Most importantly, our ASI dashboard is free for 30 days.  

 

About the Author

Rajarshi Mitra

Rajarshi is a creative and accomplished writer who made his mark in the blockchain space before stepping into cybersecurity. When he is not working, he is busy chilling with his wife and cat.

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