Security teams are getting restless. That’s according to a new report by Tines featuring perspectives from 900 security professionals in the US and Europe.
The 2023 Voice of the SOC report found that security teams are struggling amid relentless cyberattacks, internal pressures, and limited resources. 63% of respondents reported experiencing some level of burnout and 55% say they’re likely to switch jobs in the next year.
In the best-case scenario, security practitioners will pursue new opportunities, leaving their organizations scrambling to replace them. In the worst case, their burnout will lead to human error that could cost a company millions.
So what can security leaders do to address these challenges head-on, and set their teams up for a more stable 2024? If we look closely at the data, we can identify four clear strategies.
1. Make more out of your resources
In 2024, organizations of all sizes will continue to experience the pressures of a down economy, with many teams adjusting to hiring freezes or reductions in force. Meanwhile, security threats are increasing, leaving smaller teams to tackle a growing problem.
There is good news, though: in most cases, the most monotonous tasks in a security practitioner’s day can easily be automated.
Here are the three biggest challenges security professionals face, according to the report:
- too much data and not enough information
- too much time spent communicating
- too many reporting requirements
Automation can solve many of the most repetitive and error-prone aspects of data collection, communication, and reporting, including building workflows across systems and business units.
Unique workflow builds can automate internal and external communications tasks, as well as data enrichment and reporting, increasing a team’s productivity and freeing up SOC analysts to focus on more impactful work.
2. Tackle burnout at the source
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of survey respondents indicated they were burnt out, presenting a problem that leads directly to employee churn. More than half (53%) of respondents said the most frustrating aspect of their work was spending time on manual tasks.
Organizations can’t afford to ignore the problem of burnout. Otherwise, they’ll risk greater challenges when they have to replace valuable team members. The only way to alleviate burnout is by increasing resources, and SOCs have two options: hire more people or adopt better tools.
Increasing the size of the team will naturally spread out the workload. However, advanced tools and automation can effectively increase the productivity of each employee without the need to invest in new hires.
3. Prioritize retention to tackle the skills shortage
The cybersecurity industry continues to labor under a significant skills shortage: there simply aren’t enough qualified practitioners to meet the needs of today’s organizations. Minimizing employee churn is mission-critical. If a highly skilled employee leaves, it will be difficult — and expensive — to replace them.
More than nine in 10 respondents (93%) said that automation in their workplace would improve their work-life balance. Whether by increasing compensation or making their jobs easier, organizations need to do what it takes to keep SOC analysts happy and on board.
4. Identify ways to break down silos
In the Voice of the SOC report, survey respondents consistently pointed to communication and data collection as pain points in their day-to-day work, and these challenges are exacerbated by silos between departments and business units. Organizations can make life easier for their SOC — and improve security outcomes in the process — by streamlining workflows between departments.
Smart, secure workflow automation can effectively break down silos, simplifying communication and making data easier to access and act on. With simple interfaces and a low technological barrier to entry, SOC teams can quickly adapt to the new platforms and streamline their operations.
The Voice of the SOC report paints a clear picture of the pressures facing today’s security teams. Competitive organizations need to move quickly to address the lack of resources in their SOC; otherwise, they risk damage to their reputation and bottom line.