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How to Prevent Cybersecurity Analyst Burnout

10/21/19 9:00 AM  |  by RedLegg Blog

Today's organizations face unique challenges when protecting themselves against modern cybersecurity threats. Now more than ever, organizations must continuously prioritize the security of their systems and utilize the necessary internal resources to plan, execute, and monitor all aspects of their business continuity. 

However, maintaining a healthy security posture in today's digital landscape is a demanding task that can quickly lead to burnout for staff members involved in the process.

Whether due to a lack of resources or not having access to the right tools and services, security teams can quickly become overwhelmed by the seemingly  insurmountable task of keeping a business operational when confronted with advanced cyberattacks and data breaches. 

At RedLegg, we know firsthand the amount of effort necessary to harden business security practices while sustaining business operations, and limiting burnout with your internal teams is essential. Here are five practical ways you can prevent this from happening.

1. Develop an Actionable Security Plan

Regardless of the size of your team, it is essential to develop actionable security playbooks that can be followed when implementing and monitoring new products, services, and processes. Security planning can be applied in a variety of operational formats, but the end goal is to have documented step-by-step procedures that support the mitigation of security risks as well as adherence to regulatory compliance standards. This involves understanding how security alerts should be handled, who should respond to them, and how to improve their effectiveness.

Another benefit of preparing actionable security plans is that they let you accurately communicate the immediate and secondary security goals of your organization when working with third-party service providers. It provides overall direction of information security programs, compliance standards, and operational requirements when implementing new tools and technology.

These guidelines help teams prioritize their initiatives and play a significant part in keeping teams organized while reducing their overall stress in the workplace. 

2. Minimize False Positive Alerting

While advanced security solutions like SIEM significantly improve an organization's ability to protect and sustain their digital assets, it can also be a source of stress if not correctly configured.

SIEM technology helps organizations automate several aspects of their business security, including, real-time log management, data aggregation and correlation, network analysis, and threat mitigation. SIEM is also designed to alert IT administrators when new system or network anomalies are detected so they can be dealt with accordingly. However, if these alerts are not adequately configured, false positives can be triggered and lead to loss of productivity and burnout from team members responding to them.

By continuously tuning your SIEM solution and isolating use cases for your technology, you'll ensure that your teams stay focused and are only responding to real issues that need their attention.

3. Regularly De-Stress and Re-energize Your Staff

Due to the complexity and seriousness of cybersecurity issues in business environments, being part of a security team can produce high levels of stress. Over time, this stress can translate to poor performance and lower productivity of security teams, leading to the increased likelihood of system vulnerabilities and data compliance issues. Ensuring your teams are de-stressed and re-energized as much as possible is vital for success.

It's essential to promote a healthy amount of breaks and downtime for your security teams, especially during and after large implementation projects. It's also helpful to ensure your teams remain adequately trained and supported. This will ensure your staff remains confident in their abilities while remaining capable of sustaining large-scale investments and complex business solutions. 

4. Streamline Your Operations

At one point or another, all teams reach a point where bandwidths and resources are too constrained to manage processes efficiently. In these cases, it's essential to introduce new procedures, tools, and workflows that are designed to streamline and automate your operations. 

In many cases, new technology or services can compliment your current infrastructure and remove the redundancy of manual process management. By auditing and streamlining areas of your business that are time-consuming or no longer needed, you can get back the time your teams need to maximize business security while also reducing the stress levels of your staff. 

5. Invest in a Co-Managed SIEM Solution

Regardless of the automation and efficiency that SIEM technology affords, the reality is that its successful operation is dependent on trained security professionals. And while internal teams may have the skill set necessary to integrate these solutions without issues, dedicating resources to their ongoing operation can be challenging and costly.

Investing in a co-managed SIEM solution through a managed SIEM security service provider (MSSP) can be a great alternative to relying only on internal team members. This not only allows you to offload many of the administrative and support-related processes that lead to employee burnout, but it also gives you the ability to leverage the expertise of highly trained security personnel.

SIEM service partners can help you with varying aspects of SIEM operations including technology setup and integration, log aggregation and review, alert tuning, threat monitoring, and disaster recovery. 

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