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Deploying Data Alerts to Enhance Situational Awareness and Improve Decision Support

Alert fatigue was the story of 2023. Data even confirmed that up to a quarter of intrusion alerts went uninvestigated. And users spend about half an hour chasing down each false positive or actual alarm. How then to get serious about alert fatigue to enhance situational awareness in the new year? Read on to find.

How alert fatigue erodes situational awareness

The first thing to do is to understand the issue.

Alert fatigue happens when huge numbers of alerts desensitize responding individuals to individual alerts.

The term itself comes from healthcare. After the introduction of clinical decision support systems, researchers began noting that those systems were issuing excessive of limited clinical usefulness.

The excessive warnings caused “alert fatigue.” And physicians, receiving too many alerts, began tuning them out.

The same thing is happening in cybersecurity. Cyber data alerts have been on the upswing, dramatically so since COVID.

Staff surveyed by IDC staff reported spending more time (32 minutes) on alerts that turned out to be false leads than on actionable alerts.

As a result, larger enterprises saw personnel ignore nearly a third of all alerts.

It’s even caused a recruitment crisis.

Employees, particularly Security Operations Center (SOC) staffers, admit that they don’t want the thankless task of wading through innumerable data alerts.

Addressing alert fatigue with security management software to enhance situational awareness

What can be done?

Here, security management software is the only way to ensure the right data alerts get through to contribute to situational awareness in security management. Thanks to powerful workflow automation, these technologies help to aggregate and visualize alerts, thereby accelerating investigation speeds and response times.

How so?

The flexible, digital solutions which boast such information-management modalities work by capturing and consuming information from multiple sources, to provide a real-time common operating picture of the task or operation at hand.

That’s not all; they also:

  • Leverage powerful, yet easy-to-set-up workflows, to control and automate management processes and standard operating procedures, keeping the right stakeholders informed across multiple communications mediums
  • Ensure through analytics and reporting tools that decision-makers have the correct information in the best available format, when they need it
  • Track tasks to ensure that the right actions are taken and followed through, helping you to assign, manage, and track resources
  • Provides a case management framework, orchestrating information flows throughout the organization, providing consistency where multiple systems, sources, and processes are employed, and enabling the secure exchange of information and coordination of resources across multiple stakeholders

Further benefits contributing to situational awareness include:

  • Reinforced intelligence tasking and response
  • Automated review, approval, escalations, and interactions across the organization and externally
  • Enhanced ability to relate assets, events, contacts to provide a complete picture of requests, incidents, and tasks
  • An executive view of progress, emerging issues, and crises
  • Support for scalable processes to handle routine or commodity threats
  • Support for intelligence gathering for entities of interest including evidence gathering and multi-party coordination
  • Ability to accommodate low privilege users without gaining access to more sensitive information
  • Highlighted prioritized assets

In close, in 2023, alert fatigue became a major issue. Fortunately, security management platforms help get the right information in and keep the wrong information out, limiting the effects of alert fatigue and enhancing situational awareness.

Of course, alert fatigue isn’t the only challenge to improved situational awareness in security risk management. To learn about the others, check out: Situational Awareness to Enhance Security Management.