False Security Alerts Can Be Damaging To Businesses. Here’s Why.

June 16, 2022

Handling and maintaining a company’s technology needs has grown cumbersome for IT staff on several fronts, but the security implications are particularly worrying. Technology-focused teams are already running lean. They’re understaffed thanks to the ongoing IT skills shortage and underfunded thanks to budget cuts for more than 60% of IT departments. Adding to that pressure is a non-stop cacophony of security alerts and a flood of cybersecurity data to process. Altogether, it’s a recipe for security disaster.

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Overwhelmed by Alerts   

A security alert is a red flag that warns of trouble when monitoring network, storage, infrastructure, cloud services, and other parts of an organization’s IT environment. As the saying goes, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Staff who are paranoid about the possibility of missing an important alert are constantly caught in a vicious cycle. Since IT management solutions allow you to establish alerts for various events and scenarios, it’s easy to get carried away and create alerts for all of them. Due to the large number of alerts received on a daily basis, it is difficult for the security team to identify issues that require immediate attention, resulting in hampered monitoring efforts, a decline in performance and elevated cyber threat danger.  

An estimated 70% of cybersecurity professionals feel moderately to extremely stressed by security warnings, especially when they have to contend with them outside of business hours. That leads to a security crew that is emotionally overwhelmed, and their personal life suffers as a result, potentially impacting their performance on the job. Over half (51%) of cybersecurity professionals in a survey said that they’re kept up at night by the stress of the job and work challenges. Security alert overload is terrible for security personnel at any time, but it’s even worse for businesses that are counting on their IT team to detect and resolve incidents quickly.  

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3 Big Problems Caused by Too Many Junk Alerts 

Overwhelming security alerts can be problematic for a variety of reasons, but two stand out in particular:   

  • The alerting mechanisms of many systems are constantly blaring “urgent” alerts from all angles. In a survey on IT employee burnout, 47% of respondents said they often turn off high-volume alerting capabilities when they are too busy, or there are far too many alerts for analysts to analyze. This is especially dangerous since disabling, ignoring, or muting warnings means missing a severe emergency. 
  • If you set up more alerts for your IT staff to respond to, they will spend a significant amount of time just scrambling to reply to them. Instead of increasing IT productivity and encouraging savings, it makes IT processes less effective and more costly. Security automation increases caseload capacity by up to 300% while reducing trouble tickets by up to 80%
  • IT employees are under pressure to quickly adjudicate which warnings are essential and which can wait constantly. Once again, a lack of priority or urgency may cause IT to be less effective and efficient and more expensive, plus the chance of a staffer making an error in judgment rises with every call. Companies investing in automation have a four-fold advantage in stopping a targeted cyberattack. 

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Alert Fatigue is a Security Disaster

These aren’t far-fetched scenarios. A scarcity of security personnel places additional strain on current group members, leading the majority to work in perpetual emergency mode. It is well-known that retention issues and increased cyberattacks are interrelated, and security personnel are always challenged, especially when it comes to incident response. That’s a serious risk. In today’s dangerous threat landscape, SOCs (security operations centers) must have threat detection, analysis and response running at full throttle all the time.  

But that’s just not possible when they’re snowed under by alerts. Almost half of the respondents in a 2021 survey about alert fatigue reported personally investigating 10 to 20 alerts each day, a 12% increase from the prior year. An overworked 25% of respondents said they investigate 21 to 40 alerts each day, up from 14% the year prior, and 66% of survey takers reported seeing that increase in alerts steadily escalating in the last two years. Nearly 70% of respondents said that 25% to 75% of the alerts they investigate on a daily basis are false positives, with 15% reporting that more than half of their security alerts are false positives. An in-depth study showed that a security analyst can spend as much as 25% of their time chasing false positives — of every payroll hour you’re paying for, they’re wasting 15 minutes on false positives. The typical organization wastes an estimated 300 costly tech hours per week on dealing with false positives.   

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AI-Enabled Security Automation is the Answer 

AI and automation have been revolutionary technologies that have transformed cybersecurity. Companies that have invested in it have discovered amazing benefits to both their security and their security team’s quality of life. 

  • 68% of IT executives agree that security automation assisted them in maximizing the value of their current systems.  
  • Security automation and AI can save businesses more than 80% of the cost of manual security. 
  • AI and security automation enabled organizations to respond to breaches nearly 30% faster than companies without security automation 

Security automation opens up new possibilities that the security operations side of the house has been looking for endlessly. Data analysis, detection and metric correlation are valuable tools for storing pending warnings in order of importance. The ability of AI to integrate and connect numerous alerts through correlation can potentially reduce the number of notifications that staff contend with dramatically. It also increased everyone’s bandwidth, which was a net plus. AI has the potential to free up analysts’ time spent on repetitive, manual, time-consuming queries, allowing them to focus on higher-level tasks such as analysis and incident response. The message is clear – security automation is the answer to alert overload. 

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Why Choose Graphus?  

Understanding which alerts to send and how to manage them is critical to the productivity and effectiveness of your IT operations. Ensuring that IT staffers only have to handle real, important alerts saves money and frees up IT personnel for smarter operations. 

Graphus is driven by intelligent AI that detects 40% more malicious emails than rival conventional security solutions while producing 40% fewer false-positive alarms. The Graphus AI analyzes each company’s unique communication pattern by accumulating its risk data to give strong security. There is no need to continuously fiddle with settings or upgrades, and it works smoothly with most popular email providers.  

TrustGraph detects and analyzes phishing attempts using more than 50 different data points before delivering them to their intended recipients; it never stops learning and is continuously on the lookout for the most recent threat intelligence.  

EmployeeShield shows a bright, conspicuous box whenever a new communication channel is clicked, alerting employees to be careful when handling unexpected communications. Every staff member may contribute to company security with a single click by categorizing a message as genuine or harmful.  

Phish911 rounds off the three-tiered defense by making it simple for employees to report any questionable communications to the admin. Whenever an employee reports questionable conduct, messages are immediately erased from everyone’s inbox to minimize additional issues.  

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