#HowTo: Overcome Burnout in Cybersecurity Teams

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As cyber-criminals constantly adapt their attack methods, SecOps teams are under increased pressure to keep businesses secure against emerging threats. The pressure of dealing with the constant onslaught of attacks is exacerbated when working with siloed technologies in teams that are often stretched too thin.

To stay ahead of criminals despite workforce shortages, five changes must be made across people, processes and technologies to reduce the risk of employee burnout. If steps are not taken to better support teams, we risk not only seeing strong talent leave our industry, but more organizations struggling to recruit and left vulnerable to attackers. 

1) Diversifying Hiring Practices

As ‘The Great Resignation’ and ‘The Great Migration’ loom over every sector, organizations should think outside the box when it comes to hiring. Our research shows that 85% of cybersecurity professionals globally believe the talent shortage impacts their organization’s ability to secure increasingly complex information systems and networks. Therefore, the need to plug the skills gap and remove barriers to entry in cybersecurity has never been greater.

A wide range of skills is valued in cybersecurity, from critical thinking to teamwork. Therefore, employers should diversify their hiring practices by considering employees with these skills from non-traditional cybersecurity backgrounds. For instance, hiring a candidate with an investigative background could ease the workload among overburdened SecOps teams while ensuring a fresh perspective.

2) Training and Upskilling

The importance of training for employees at all levels should not be understated. Organizations should conduct regular cyber hygiene training, focusing on issues including phishing scams and encouraging compulsory use of multi-factor authentication (MFA). This way, security teams are better supported by reducing the risk of easily preventable security breaches.

This support must extend to the SecOps teams. Our research into the talent gap revealed that some of the most common job frustrations experienced by cybersecurity professionals are limited support for developing skills (36%) and required certifications (32%). Organizations can improve retention by building a culture that values and invests in their workforce. This will help to prevent burnout and set those organizations up better to fend off attacks.

3) Integrating Security Operations to Empower Teams

Cyber risks across all industries have increased as the pandemic shifted businesses toward digitalization and cloud-based remote working. As a result, traditional, siloed security systems are no longer fit for purpose. They hinder the efficiency of SecOps teams by forcing them to pivot between tools to search for anomalies or gain actionable intelligence instead of providing single pane-of-glass visibility into threats. 

Therefore, organizations must invest in a flexible, scalable, open XDR (extended detection and response) architecture that can natively integrate all their security tools into a cohesive security operations system. Machine learning and automation can also be used to streamline workflows further. This enables businesses to improve their detection, response and remediation capabilities, driving better, faster outcomes and empowering SecOps teams to work more effectively. 

4) Adaptive Security for Dynamic Threats

As up-to-date as many organizations are against today’s threats, SecOps teams must also be prepared for tomorrow’s threats. Unfortunately, the skills shortage means that many teams are stretched too thin and have enough on their plate dealing with incoming threats, let alone shoring up defenses against future attacks.

By implementing an intelligent, proactive security system that can adapt to a specific threat landscape, organizations can lighten the burden on SecOps teams while improving their frontline of defense. With machine learning and AI, teams can gain the necessary insight to predict and prevent emerging threats, identify root causes and automate processes to enable a quick response. This fresh ‘living security’ approach builds a more resilient business and alleviates pressure on the SecOps team.

5) Tapping into Threat Intelligence and Partnerships

The constant stream of emerging threats and ransomware attacks show no signs of slowing down, which can feel overwhelming for teams. Not only do they need access to best-in-class threat monitoring, but more importantly, they need to work with a partner who can serve up the priority threat intelligence most relevant to their organization – whether that’s based on their vertical, geography, current security posture or business priorities.

For SecOps teams feeling the pressure, trusted partners who will work by their side as an extension of their team are vital. Part of this will include delivering threat intelligence, but it’s also about building the relationship so they know that when an attack occurs, help is a phone call away.

Defending against the rapidly expanding threat landscape is a strenuous task for any SecOps team and burnout is a real risk in this sector. By implementing these measures, organizations can provide more support for those working on the frontline of defense. Businesses must look to maintain their cyber resilience by supporting these employees.

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