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.”
Percentage of breaches that take months or even years to detect