Security leadership will never be able to eliminate all security barriers. However, the more they can address even a handful of the issues incrementally, the better their cybersecurity performance will be over time.
Even in the best of conditions, the day-to-day grind of battling threats and mitigating cyber-risk is arduous. Unfortunately, many security professionals operate in circumstances where there is more friction, making it more difficult to accomplish their tasks efficiently. Company culture, procedural limitations, and resource constraints are just a few examples of what can prevent security professionals from making substantial progress in enhancing a company’s cybersecurity posture. The following are five of the most prevalent roadblocks that prevent them from working on cybersecurity on a daily basis.
One factor that makes it difficult for some CISOs to be effective in their roles is their reporting structure. Reporting structures that are out of whack can have a significant impact on how security work is directed, funded, and how much political capital CISOs have to achieve genuine change in the company.
If they report to the CIO, for example, the CIO’s aims and objectives are frequently at odds with the CISO’s. Reporting to the CFO can prove to be tricky, and not simply because CFOs are so focused on the bottom line. The CFO’s perception of risk differs significantly from that of the CISO, and this disparity can be a cause of friction on a daily basis.
Compliance and Reporting Runaround
Compliance is an important element of the security role, but CISOs and their teams often spend so much time on the audit treadmill validating their minimal security posture that they don’t have time to make real improvements.
It’s seldom stated, but compiling reports and recording changes and security incidents for governance and compliance takes up a significant portion of an IT security team’s time.
Lack of Budget
The formulation and execution of a strong security plan becomes an uphill battle when security teams lack sufficient financial resources.
One of the most significant challenges that security professionals confront today in securing their companies is a shortage of funds. Many firms develop security budgets without first gaining a thorough understanding of their security and risk management requirements. As a result, security experts are frequently forced to complete larger projects on tighter budgets. Due to this, security personnel often lack the necessary training, time, or resources to keep up with evolving threats.
Threat hunting is a good example of this. Although there are some excellent tools available, a shortage of funds prevents experienced team members from being as productive as they could be.
One of the terrible by-products of a small staff is that not only are there fewer people to do the task, but the quality of the work produced by those who remain, tends to deteriorate over time owing to inevitable burnout.
According to VMware’s “2021 Global Incident Response Threat Report,” 51% of security professionals experienced high stress or burnout in the past year.
Security professionals that are overworked are more prone to making mistakes, miss crucial threat indicators, and lack the time and resources to execute routine proactive maintenance. Along with filling vacant job requisitions, companies must also consider upgrading the working conditions for their existing securities professionals.
Alert fatigue is a significant issue, but the variety and number of tools required to process such alerts can be an even bigger issue. Shifting from one dashboard to the next and back is a time sink, regardless of how many monitors the analyst has at their workstation.
Navigating through the various tools that CISOs and their analysis team use takes a lot of time. Various user interfaces and workflows can easily lead to cognitive weariness. Every transition from one interface to the next uses up some of the valuable attention span of the security professionals, which are both finite resources.
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