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Alert fatigue dragging your IT security team down? Here’s how to get things back on track.

Alert fatigue killing your IT security team The number of IT security incidents making their way into the enterprise each day is staggering – somewhere in the hundreds of thousands. Today’s security professionals often find themselves running in circles, constantly putting out fires and treading water. The term “alert fatigue” has become commonplace and those in IT leadership are struggling to find a way to ease the burden and reduce the risk of costly turnover in an already short-staffed field. If you are among those leaders, here are five things you can start focusing on today that will improve the work environment tomorrow.

Arm them with the right technology.

First things first, you cannot expect your IT security team to be successful against ever-increasing threats if they aren’t armed with strong and intuitive technology. By incorporating intelligent automation in the incident response process, the same tech that the hackers are using can then be used to protect against them, 24/7/365.

Empower front-line employees.

Lower tier level employees may not be capable of handling extremely sensitive or complex tasks, but by leveraging tools like automation, you can effectively empower them to handle a good portion of the basic security function on their own, without the need for escalation. This will also alleviate the pressure on high level IT security personnel and allow them to focus their time, efforts and skills on more critical projects.

Develop best practices.

Use detailed analytics to evaluate your network, systems and applications with the goal of identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before the hackers have a chance to exploit them. Additionally, with the assistance of artificial intelligence, existing processes and policies can be routinely tested to pinpoint bottlenecks and develop best practices for improved operations going forward.

Improve the communication process.

Much of the frustration experienced by IT security personnel can be traced back to a lack of quality communication within the department. Without the right plan and technology in place, a breakdown in the notification and escalation process can result in costly delays, which can dramatically impact the bottom line. Adopting a bi-directional and remote communication strategy ensures a smoother, more efficient and timely execution of required actions.

Eliminate coding and scripting.

When the IT security team is wasting valuable time writing scripts and coding, they’re not focusing on what’s most important: timely and effectively incident response. The longer it takes to remediate a successful breach, the more damage it can cause the enterprise. The right IR tool should eliminate the need for manual scripting, which will streamline operations and also relieve unnecessary pressure from your IT department.

Is your IT security team struggling to keep their heads above water? Are advanced persistent threats (APTs) draining your skilled personnel and increasing your risk of losing top talent due to fatigue and burnout? If so, the time to take action is now. Take Ayehu for a test drive today and experience for yourself how intelligent automation can give your IT security personnel the tools they need to do their jobs successfully.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Want to attract and retain top IT security talent? Here’s how.

As any IT leader will acknowledge, attracting top talent is only half the battle. It’s keeping them on that’s the real challenge. And with an average employee tenure of only about 3 years, it’s a serious concern for many organizations across the globe. Add in the complex, fast paced and highly stressful role of IT security and you’ve got quite the conundrum. So, what’s the secret? How can you do things differently so that your company remains as safe as possible from cyber-attacks while your talented employees stay on for the long haul? Here are 7 tips to point you in the right direction.

Keep them challenged. The last thing you want is for your IT security personnel to become bored and stagnant in their current positions. Avoid this by investing in ongoing training, setting up mentoring programs, and offering opportunities to learn about and master new strategies and technologies. The more you keep your IT security employees engaged and involved, the less likely they’ll be to look elsewhere.

Rotate project time. Being stuck on the same project day in and day out can lead to fatigue and frustration. Consider rotating employees onto various IT security projects so that they don’t feel stuck. This will provide exposure to and the opportunity to learn about new skills and also open up the door to be able to approach long-term projects from differing perspectives – both of which can benefit your organization.

Give them the tools they need. These days, keeping up with the onslaught of cyber-attacks is nothing short of exhausting. Don’t leave your IT security personnel out to dry by making them handle this monumental task manually. Arm them with the technology they need to do their jobs better, faster, more efficiently and more effectively, such as automated incident response.

Provide a safe place to vent. Without question, the job of keeping an entire organization safe from the potentially devastating financial and reputational damage a successful breach can have is incredibly stressful. Additionally, IT security personal often feel tense due to the amount of classified and confidential information they are entrusted with. Provide an opportunity and a secure avenue for these employees to vent their feelings.

Encourage time off. Everybody needs a little down time, but given the fast-paced and highly stressful field of IT security, these employees could probably use some time off more than anyone else in your organization. This is where technology can help. By automating a good portion of tasks and leveraging the cloud to embrace more flexibility, your team can take the much needed time off they deserve without the company feeling any negative impact.

Use realistic metrics to measure success. One of the biggest reasons IT security professionals find themselves dissatisfied at work is because they feel they aren’t being adequately recognized. This is often due to a lack of clear and specific metrics for success. Management should set realistic expectations, communicate openly and routinely measure progress. Good work should be rewarded and areas of improvement identified and addressed in a positive, productive way.

Empower them. If your employees feel that their only option is to come in every day and put in 8-10 hours of labor, they’re not going to develop any kind of connection or loyalty to your organization. On the other hand, if they know that the work they do plays a direct role in the “big picture” and that their achievements are tied into the company’s overall success, they’ll be much more plugged in, which means they’re more likely to stay on for the long haul. Empower them by inviting ideas and encouraging autonomy.

Are you doing enough to keep your IT security personnel satisfied, engaged and plugged in? If not, you could be facing higher turnover, which can negatively impact your company’s bottom line and also leave you more vulnerable to dangerous cyber-attacks. By implementing the above tips, you’ll create a more positive work environment that fosters longevity. Happy employees will work harder to ensure that your organization remains strong, secure and successful.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

The IT Security Job Landscape in 2017

The IT Security Job Landscape in 2017It’s no secret that the field of IT security is still experiencing a serious shortage of qualified professionals. While the glaring (and growing) need certainly exists, there remains a gap between those who are currently pursuing an education for a career in IT security and the available jobs that need to be filled. But while Forrester, Gartner and other experts have recommended leveraging automation, external expertise or some combination of both as an interim solution to bridge this gap, a picture of what new careers in the infosec realm will look like is beginning to take shape.

The Rise of the MSSP – One of the more prominent new roles emerging is that of the Managed Security Service Provider, or MSSP. But while seeking external support for IT security will remain an option moving forward, the amount and complexity of functions that are being outsourced are likely to be minimal. Since MSSPs don’t possess the deep knowledge or understanding necessary to provide context, most organizations will shift only basic or low-level functions outside while keeping high-skill responsibilities in-house.

Internal Threat Intelligence – In the past, many larger organizations outsourced their SOC responsibilities, but given the availability of more advanced technologies (such as automation), it’s expected that there will be a marked transition to bring incident response back in-house. As such, the need for individuals who possess the threat intelligence skills to develop and manage internal security operations centers will continue to rise over the coming months.

Cloud Security Specialists – As many enterprises move IT hardware and applications to the cloud, the need to keep that data secure will also become critical. Because they are still relatively rare at the moment, the skills necessary to handle cloud security architecture are expected to be in high demand. In fact, architect roles are currently among the highest paid in the cybersecurity realm, so the opportunity for success will be there for the taking.

Cybersecurity Auditors – Along the same concept of “hybrid” type IT roles, the cybersecurity auditing position is one that requires a combination of skills in both IT security and either financial or healthcare. This fast-growing role involves a great deal of risk assessment, particularly in the area of security infrastructure. Openings are most frequently seen in the finance and insurance industry and with few skilled professionals, remain among the hardest cybersecurity jobs to fill.

Big Data Analytics – As more and more data is being harnessed, the need for skilled workers who are capable of managing and manipulating that data to extract what’s useful is also on the rise. In terms of IT security, the widespread adoption of Big Data and the IoT will continue to open doors of opportunity for those skilled in the ability to analyze and proactively protect sensitive information.

As with recent years, it’s becoming obvious that the IT skills to pursue in 2017 and beyond will center on IT security. The roles and opportunities listed above represent just a small sampling of the many areas where skilled individuals can truly make a niche for themselves and achieve great success for many years to come.



How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




Maintaining IT Security in the Midst of Organizational Change

Maintaining IT Security in the Midst of Organizational ChangeThere’s a lot of talk about the topic of change management, and with so many of today’s forward-thinking companies going through digital transformation, mergers and acquisitions and any number of other updates, upgrades and changes, it’s for good reason. Keeping everything running as smoothly as possible is essential to a business’ ability to emerge on the other side stronger and even more successful. One such area of significant importance is IT security. If your organization is currently or will soon be navigating major changes, here are some specific tips to ensure that your critical data remains safe during the process.

Make it a top priority.

Regardless of what type of reorg you’re going through, the subject of cyber security incident response should be at the top of the list, and remain there throughout the entire process. Designate at least one individual (or preferably an entire team) whose sole purpose is maintaining maximum security at all times. If it’s placed on the back burner, your company will become vulnerable to impending risk and very likely to become a victim of a breach.

Plan ahead.

For situations, such as mergers and acquisition, determining whether there are any concerns with the other company’s cyber security incident response ahead of time is crucial, yet often overlooked even by top management and key decision makers. According to a 2014 survey from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, an incredible 78% of respondents said cyber security was not carefully analyzed prior to an acquisition. Don’t make this same mistake.

Take advantage of technology.

Don’t leave the heavy burden of manually managing IT security on the shoulders of your technicians. Even under the best of circumstances, this task is monumental and impossible for humans to handle alone. Add in organizational change and you’ve got an entirely new and incredibly more challenging cyber security landscape to navigate. Use technology, such as automated incident response, to ease this burden and improve the chances of an uneventful transition.

Be aware of new targets.

A company going through major reorganization can be an attractive target for cyber criminals. In fact, even the very information surrounding the internal changes – such merger data and documents – may become a point of increased risk. The person or team charged with IT security should remain acutely aware of this information at all times and carefully monitor who has access and whether that access is legitimate. Otherwise, trade secrets and other confidential info could end up in the wrong hands.

Train and communicate.

It’s been said plenty of times, but it’s worth iterating again: cyber security incident response is everyone’s job – not just IT. Every employee should be trained on how to protect sensitive data and spot potential security concerns so they can be addressed immediately. Senior executives must also be involved in the cyber security discussion. When everyone takes some level of ownership, the risk to the organization as a whole can drop significantly.

Account for more exposure.

Organizational change often requires the addition of a number of external parties, such as lawyers, consultants, bankers and contractors. These additional people will ultimately mean greater exposure of sensitive data. This must be expected and adequately accounted for well in advance to ensure that all information remains as secure as possible throughout the entire transition. Again, the person or persons in charge of IT security should make managing access to information a top priority.

Is your company planning on rolling out some big changes in the near future? Is there a merger or acquisition on the horizon? Whether it’s adopting a new company-wide software product, making changes to corporate culture or partnering with another firm, the changes that will take place within can potentially leave you exposed to greater risk of a security breach. By taking the above steps and solidifying your cyber security incident response plan in advance, your company will be in a much better position to navigate the upcoming challenges and come out on the other side as a success story.

If you could use some upgrades, particularly in the technology you use for IT security and incident management, you can get started today by downloading a free trial of eyeShare.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response




7 Ways to Retain Top IT Security Talent

7 Ways to Retain Top IT Security TalentAs any IT leader will acknowledge, attracting top talent is only half the battle. It’s keeping them on that’s the real challenge. And with an average employee tenure of only about 3 years, it’s a serious concern for many organizations across the globe. Add in the complex, fast paced and highly stressful role of IT security and you’ve got quite the conundrum. So, what’s the secret? How can you do things differently so that your company remains as safe as possible from cyber-attacks while your talented employees stay on for the long haul? Here are 7 tips to point you in the right direction.

Keep them challenged. The last thing you want is for your IT security personnel to become bored and stagnant in their current positions. Avoid this by investing in ongoing training, setting up mentoring programs, and offering opportunities to learn about and master new strategies and technologies. The more you keep your IT security employees engaged and involved, the less likely they’ll be to look elsewhere.

Rotate project time. Being stuck on the same project day in and day out can lead to fatigue and frustration. Consider rotating employees onto various IT security projects so that they don’t feel stuck. This will provide exposure to and the opportunity to learn about new skills and also open up the door to be able to approach long-term projects from differing perspectives – both of which can benefit your organization.

Give them the tools they need. These days, keeping up with the onslaught of cyber-attacks is nothing short of exhausting. Don’t leave your IT security personnel out to dry by making them handle this monumental task manually. Arm them with the technology they need to do their jobs better, faster, more efficiently and more effectively, such as automated incident response.

Provide a safe place to vent. Without question, the job of keeping an entire organization safe from the potentially devastating financial and reputational damage a successful breach can have is incredibly stressful. Additionally, IT security personal often feel tense due to the amount of classified and confidential information they are entrusted with. Provide an opportunity and a secure avenue for these employees to vent their feelings.

Encourage time off. Everybody needs a little down time, but given the fast-paced and highly stressful field of IT security, these employees could probably use some time off more than anyone else in your organization. This is where technology can help. By automating a good portion of tasks and leveraging the cloud to embrace more flexibility, your team can take the much needed time off they deserve without the company feeling any negative impact.

Use realistic metrics to measure success. One of the biggest reasons IT security professionals find themselves dissatisfied at work is because they feel they aren’t being adequately recognized. This is often due to a lack of clear and specific metrics for success. Management should set realistic expectations, communicate openly and routinely measure progress. Good work should be rewarded and areas of improvement identified and addressed in a positive, productive way.

Empower them. If your employees feel that their only option is to come in every day and put in 8-10 hours of labor, they’re not going to develop any kind of connection or loyalty to your organization. On the other hand, if they know that the work they do plays a direct role in the “big picture” and that their achievements are tied into the company’s overall success, they’ll be much more plugged in, which means they’re more likely to stay on for the long haul. Empower them by inviting ideas and encouraging autonomy.

Are you doing enough to keep your IT security personnel satisfied, engaged and plugged in? If not, you could be facing higher turnover, which can negatively impact your company’s bottom line and also leave you more vulnerable to dangerous cyber-attacks. By implementing the above tips, you’ll create a more positive work environment that fosters longevity. Happy employees will work harder to ensure that your organization remains strong, secure and successful.



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




When it Comes to IT Security, Incident Response is Key

Incident Response

When it Comes to IT Security, Incident Response is Key

As many well-known organizations learned the hard way this year, security breaches can not only impact the bottom line, but they can severely damage your reputation. If people feel they cannot trust a retailer like Target or Home Depot without risk of their financial information being compromised, they simply won’t do business with them. It’s enough to put even the most successful company on the road to ruin. The problem is, security breaches like this happen on a much smaller scale by the millions each and every year.

Organizations of every shape, size and industry are vulnerable to hackers and would-be online thieves who prey on any opportunity they can get their hands on. So, how can businesses protect themselves from such a disaster? The answer lies in quality incident response.

What many companies mistakenly do is place all their trust in detection, like malware. But, as the entire world learned following the Target debacle, this strategy isn’t always fool proof. In fact, if you’re not handling incoming incidents the right way, you could be placing your business in the same position as the others that have traveled down this dangerous and costly path.

Simply put, when it comes to maintaining the integrity of your sensitive data, prevention is always the best approach. Of course, there is no way to achieve 100% protection. You can come close, however, by designing a complementary incident management strategy that marries prevention with sound IT security practices. This ensures that in those instances when attacks manage to slip through the security measures that are in place, the incident response process will serve as a second line of defense.

Tips for Setting Up Your Own Incident Response Team
  • Choose the right personnel. This can include employees from within the organization who are at different levels and possess various skillsets. Generally speaking, most incident response teams are made up of workers with the following credentials:

o   System Administrators
o   Network Administrators
o   IT Managers
o   Software Developers
o   Auditors
o   Security Architects
o   Disaster Recovery Specialists
o   Chief Technology Officers (CTOs)
Maintain accurate logs of applications, networks and operating systems. These should be checked daily by network administrators to ensure that all software is logging properly. Use of log analysis programs is also recommended

  • Logs should be automatically backed up and stored not only locally, but also externally. This is essential to proper recording and analysis
  • Ensure that all incidents are documented, both for auditing and compliance purposes as well as for future enhancements to IT best practices
  • Use quality software products that can improve the process and visibility of incident ownership
  • Incorporate  IT automation into the alert management process to improve prioritization, delivery and escalation of critical incidents
  • Establish a balance between reactive services (incident management and documentation) and proactive services (security audits, intrusion detection system maintenance, security strategy development, pre-incident analysis)
  • Set and implement schedules for all proactive service activities
  • Enlist a third party to conduct penetration tests at least once a year
Additionally, the team tasked with handling incident response should be made up of the following subsets:
  • Team Lead – member in charge of all incident management activities
  • Incident Lead – member who reports directly to the Team Lead and coordinates all incident responses
  • IT Contact – coordinates communications between the Incident Response Team and IT Department
  • Legal Representative – member possessing experience in IT security policy and incident response tasked with mitigating risk of litigation
  • Public Relations Officer – handles all communications regarding security incidents

Given the fact that cyber risks are at an all-time high, and with criminals learning newer, more sophisticated ways to hack, there has never been a more critical time for businesses to employ proper security measures. The most effective way to do so is by developing and implementing a quality incident response strategy. The tips highlighted above should provide a good foundation and help establish your organization in a much more secure position moving forward.





eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response