Cybersecurity Alert Fatigue
What It Is, Why It's a Problem, and the Challenge of Combating it
Cyber attacks grow more relentless and sophisticated each year. To defend themselves against threats, organizations typically turn to additional tools for strengthening their security programs and protecting their attack surface.
While tools can enhance protection and visibility, they also, in turn, generate a massive volume of events and alerts. And therein lies the problem.- - - - - -
When faced with a deluge of potential attacks, security analysts can quickly become overwhelmed. In fact, many attacks succeed not because a tool failed to raise an alert, but because the alert was missed or ignored by an analyst.
What is Alert Fatigue?
Common tools that can trigger additional alerts and contribute to alert fatigue include: but are not limited to
This operating environment of all noise and no signal is known as “cybersecurity alert fatigue,” and it has real costs for the professionals and businesses impacted by it.
- - - - - - -A state experienced by security professionals exposed to a high volume of alerts in a brief period, resulting in decreased effectiveness and detection of legitimate threats.
Why Alert Fatigue is a Problem
Depending on your industry and the size of your organization, your daily alert count can climb into the tens or even hundreds of thousands. Each of these alerts has the potential to represent a real threat, but the sheer fire-hose volume of them can quickly overwhelm a security team.
Organizations cannot afford to ignore a single alert. Yet, when a security team is impacted by alert fatigue, more than a quarter of alerts get ignored — every week.
The Challenges of Staffing
When these hard-won analysts spend substantial amounts of time reviewing and responding to the deluge of alerts they are being kept from the high-value tasks and strategic initiatives you really need them for.
Threats & Concerns
Constant alert triage takes your team away from the challenging, meaningful work that drew them to the field in the first place.
Dive Deeper: Hear from Arctic Wolf's CISO
When alert fatigue sets in, incidents are improperly investigated or outright ignored, creating a dangerous precedent in your organization that some alerts don’t need to be reviewed.
Numbed by the Noise
“There were several detections of the attacker’s activity … but these did not result in a cybersecurity incident and investigation initiated by the HSE and as a result opportunities to prevent the successful detonation of the ransomware were missed.”
Independent Post Incident ReviewView Source
Percentage of breaches that take months or even years to detect
The size of attack surfaces and the rate of cyber attacks increase each year. To keep pace and stay secure, many organizations have resorted to adding more security tools to defend more systems than ever before. Rather than reducing risk and increasing efficiency, however, the addition of more tools increases complexity and reduces effectiveness.
Organizations using more than 50 tools ranked themselves 8% lower in their ability to detect an attack, and around 7% lower when it comes to responding to an attack.
Why Combating Alert Fatigue is a Challenge
The detection alert rules on your tools need to be continually re-tuned to reflect changes in an organization’s IT environments.
Properly integrating tools is a time-consuming task that can only be accomplished if your tools are interoperable, and there’s often little incentive for vendors to create tools that integrate and communicate with one another.
Playbooks and workflows can add context to help security teams avoid the time-sink of disjointed events but identifying and providing that context is no small task. And, since alerts will change as tools are added and removed, it is a never-ending chore.
While these steps will provide some relief, the consistent time and effort required makes these options less viable solutions for already small or overextended security teams.
That’s why more organizations are turning to a single, comprehensive solution to the problem of alert fatigue.
The Benefits of Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Providers
MDR is an increasingly popular solution since it often delivers real-time, 24×7 monitoring, detection, and response using a holistic, turnkey approach. A cost-effective alternative to building an in-house security operations center, MDR protects against advanced threats and enables organizations of all sizes to follow cybersecurity best practices even within resource constraints.
Free-up time for your internal security team to work on business-critical projects.
Create more opportunities for your team to do meaningful work, increasing the likelihood that you will retain your top security talent.
Reduce your costs while strengthening your security posture and increasing your security maturity.
Access to Experts
Get access to seasoned cybersecurity specialists with a wide range of skills.
Advanced Tech and Tools
Utilize advanced technology and a comprehensive suite of tools.
Get a security force multiplier at significant cost savings.
Reporting and Analytics
Gain access to advanced analytics and reporting tools.
Not all managed detection and response services are created equal. Here are the key features your organization should look for in a potential MDR partner:
How Arctic Wolf Can Help
Arctic Wolf works with your existing tech stack to immediately begin monitoring your environment, ensuring proactive and dynamic detection and response to threats, intrusions, and attacks. Organizations receive timely and actionable intelligence from an always-available team of expert security analysts—without the overwhelming noise of endless false positives.
Built on an open XDR architecture, the Arctic Wolf® Platform provides real-time, continuous monitoring, and threat hunting on your network.
And our Concierge Security® Team works as an extension of your internal IT team, offering 24×7 access to expert analysts with no cap on hours and providing incident response, vulnerability scans and assessments, compliance management and reporting, and regular reports on the state of your company’s security posture.
It's Time For A Solution
What is Alert Fatigue Costing Your Organization?
If you’re ready to reduce your organization’s alert fatigue, an important first step is to quantify what it is costing you in time and money.