IT Manager

10 Surprising Benefits of Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

It's no secret that cybercrime is up and the number of available cybersecurity professionals is down. As a result, cybersecurity teams and IT teams are critically understaffed and overworked. If you're a CISO, SOC director, or IT manager running a lean team of overworked employees, you're under considerable stress. 

The obvious solution to address the problem would be to hire more professionals to fill out sparse teams. However, 60% of organizations worldwide struggle to recruit cybersecurity talent. Budgets are shrinking, work is growing, and there is no relief in sight for professionals attempting to protect company networks from the hundreds of breaches that occur each day. In an already stressful profession, workers in the industry are feeling the pressure. As teams grow smaller and the remaining professionals take on bigger workloads, reduced performance and burnout are becoming more prevalent. With burnout comes turnover, leaving small teams even shorter staffed. It's a dangerous cycle that CISOs can recognize but have few resources to control. 

As a solution, many organizations are turning to outsourced services from cybersecurity vendors. Managed Detection and Response (MDR) offers companies of all sizes customized services that include modern cloud-based tools and assistance from cybersecurity professionals. Effective MDR services address the challenges brought about by growing networks, increased remote work, and limited cybersecurity headcount. For CISOs and security/IT team leaders, MDR can finally offer the opportunity to remain in the industry and finally get their life back.

How Managed Detection and Response Addresses Modern Cybersecurity Challenges

Managed Detection and Response is not a tool. It is a group of services that proactively monitors your networks and assesses systems for signs of malicious activity. Supplied by a combination of advanced analytics and machine learning as well as human expertise to investigate threats and take action, MDR can complement existing security solutions or act as a standalone security solution. Managed Detection and Response saves your security team time by prioritizing alerts, automating responses, and providing reports to improve your security posture. Most importantly, it can act as a way to increase security headcount without making changes to your internal team.

MDR Buyer's Guide

10 Ways MDR Gives You Back Your Life

For CISOs, security leaders, and even data analysts, the stresses related to the constant onslaught of potential threats don't only affect daily work tasks. These concerns leak into personal time and every aspect of daily life. Cybersecurity professionals are more than twice as likely as employees in other industries to report a poor work-life balance, and the average job tenure of CISOs is only a fourth as long as the average tenure of CEOs. As internal pressures rise for understaffed teams, CISOs and security leaders are faced with the burdens of attempting to manage the increased work placed on employees while struggling to protect the organization with woefully few resources. The requirements of an effective cybersecurity solution demand 24/7/365 attention. For CISOs, SOC directors, and IT/security team managers, this means always staying in work mode. 

MDR is a solution that addresses many issues that cybersecurity professionals face during the exhausting hours spent at work. It also finally provides a way for security leaders and professionals to take back their life outside of work. Not sure how a cybersecurity solution will provide a solution that will improve your personal life? Consider these benefits of Managed Detection and Response services.

Improves Your Physical Health

In 2021, businesses suffered 50% more cyberattacks than the year before. News about severe attacks that affect government agencies, critical infrastructure, and large corporations made national headlines. 63% of organizations are experiencing a shortage of IT staff dedicated to cybersecurity. Not surprisingly, 91% of CISOs say they suffer from moderate to high stress.

A single successful cyberattack can cause devastating effects on a business. It can cost millions, cripple the business, and leave permanent scars on the reputation of the company. Over a third of cybersecurity leaders believe their job would be at stake if an attack occurred within their organization. When attacks frequently happen during weekends, holidays, or at night, CISOs and security leaders must be constantly prepared to respond to an attack. As a result, security leaders think about the security of their organizations during most waking hours and sometimes even while sleeping.

This type of job stress leads professionals to be in constant fight or flight mode, which can affect overall mental and physical health. Over half of cybersecurity professionals take prescription medications for mental health. Yet, long-term stress can take a toll on your physical health as well. Prolonged stress can cause many physical conditions including:

  • Headaches
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hypertension
  • Digestive distress
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Increased risk of stroke

MDR includes 24/7 assistance from cybersecurity professionals to provide around-the-clock supervision for your entire network. This level of ongoing supervision gives CISOs peace of mind with the knowledge that the organization is always protected. Instead of constantly preparing to handle a breach, security leaders can finally turn off response mode and lower the stress hormones that cause long-term health issues.

Eliminates the Recruitment Battle

Hiring in cybersecurity and IT fields is a competitive battle and is only expected to worsen. IT security decision-makers are struggling to recruit workers even when the business leaders back new hiring. A recent survey revealed that 87% of security leaders are suffering skills shortages, with over a third saying positions were left unfilled after a 12-week period. Salaries in the industry have increased more than 11%, a tactic that yields minimal results in such a competitive market and forces organizations to stretch an already meager security budget.

Even as organizational board members recognize the importance of cybersecurity for customer relations and avoiding a catastrophic breach, available talent in the industry is failing to keep up with demand. CISOs are acutely aware the cybersecurity talent shortage is not an issue that can be fixed overnight. Even if the industry was suddenly flooded with eager-to-learn candidates, significant education and training are required to transform tech-savvy individuals into seasoned cybersecurity experts. Yet, such knowledge doesn't relieve the stress of being tasked with recruiting talent to fill empty positions on the security team. Security leaders must devise competitive recruitment strategies without compromising the already strained budget designed to protect the organization. 

Managed Detection and Response provides security leaders with a way to increase headcount without making changes to the internal team. In fact, outsourced MDR can provide a full security team with 24/7/365 monitoring for less than they would spend for a single full-time analyst. When it comes to addressing the talent shortage, the off-site SOC is one of the most important parts of the MDR puzzle. The team works as an extension of your security team to provide as much or as little support as you need for comprehensive full-time protection.

Brings Back Vacations

In an industry where an afternoon off could lead to catastrophic consequences, taking a full vacation is a distant dream for many cybersecurity professionals. In fact professionals in the cybersecurity industry are more than three times as likely not to take full vacation days as those in other industries. It's been proven that vacations are good for business. Within the business world, vacations improve productivity, creative thinking, and overall performance. Professionals return from a vacation refreshed, recharged, and ready to work. 

What many professionals fail to realize is that skipping vacations can actually be hazardous to your health. According to a study of 12,000 middle-aged men at risk for heart disease, those who skipped vacations for five consecutive years were found to be 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who took at least one week off each year. Yet, for cybersecurity professionals on an understaffed team, taking a vacation simply isn't possible. Even taking a sick day is questionable when the next disaster could be right around the corner.

Marcus Hutchins, the man hailed a hero for stemming the spread of the WannaCry attack in 2017,  was on vacation when the infamous attack hit. He cut his vacation short to investigate and halt the infections. For CISOs and security directors, taking a vacation could mean leaving your team without support at the most critical moment. It can be difficult to even encourage other members of the team to enjoy time off when the stakes are so high. 

When a team is backed with the security of MDR, you can depend on 24/7 network monitoring, assistance from experienced cybersecurity professionals, and real-time incident response. CISOs can encourage stressed team members to take vacations, prioritize health needs, and improve overall work/life balance. 

Helps You Ace the Budget Meeting

While 92% of business executives stated that cyber resilience is integrated into enterprise risk management strategies, only 55% of security-focused leaders surveyed agreed with the statement. Clearly, CEOs and CISOs aren't on the same wavelength when it comes to the effectiveness of cybersecurity efforts. This can make it difficult for CISOs to persuade boardrooms to free up budget for cybersecurity.

Although boardroom professionals can agree that cybersecurity is a top priority, it's one among many. Communicating cybersecurity risks to boardroom professionals who have never experienced an attack can be difficult. However, potential savings and cost-to-value ratios are more likely to speak volumes at boardroom meetings.

MDR is the most affordable way to get an entire cybersecurity team. For less than the cost of a year's salary for a single data analyst, MDR provides a comprehensive security solution for your entire organization. MDR addresses current cybersecurity needs with these features:

  • A turnkey experience with a predefined security stack
  • 24/7 assistance provided by experienced cybersecurity professionals
  • Services are tailored to your organization
  • Services address 4 critical parts of security: Detection, analysis, investigation, and response
  • A variety of tools and services are combined to provide an effective solution for existing and evolving threats

With a clear description of what MDR has to offer, security leaders can efficiently outline new security budget needs. 

Gives You a Good Night's Sleep

Job stress keeps more than 50% of cybersecurity professionals up at night. Sleepless nights can come from overwork, remote work concerns, growing networks, endpoints, and, of course, potential attacks. 88% of CISOs are working more than 40 hours a week, 60% say they rarely disconnect, and 25% think their job has had an impact on their physical or mental health or both. 

The role of chief security officer is not one that can be taken lightly. Remote work, an increase in attacks, and a rise in awareness surrounding cybersecurity threats have expanded the role of cybersecurity leaders and analysts to take on more tasks than ever before. CISOs must communicate with stakeholders and company leaders, juggle remote access and enterprise-wide protocols, and manage security teams that are overworked and facing many stressors themselves. These professionals must consistently multitask while maintaining a clear focus on the critical requirements of prioritizing alerts and protecting ever-expanding networks against real threats.

With the threat of catastrophe constantly looming, it's difficult for cybersecurity professionals to stop thinking about work during off-hours. When sleep should be a welcome reprieve, a barrage of what-ifs and concerns about tomorrow's workload can keep you up at night. MDR provides organizations with a combination of powerful tools and oversight from experienced cybersecurity professionals that keeps your network safe 24/7. It's like having a fully staffed SOC on call 24/7 to take care of the concerns that keep you and your team up at night. 

Reduces Burnout

Among professionals currently working in the industry, 51% experienced extreme stress or burnout in 2021, and 65% considered leaving their job because of job stress. Burnout in any industry directly affects performance. Burnout in cybersecurity can be particularly devastating as exhausted and indifferent employees can no longer recognize real threats facing the organizations they work for. CISOs and security leaders are not only facing this critical level of burnout, they are watching their teams deal with it too.

Security leaders are tasked with managing flawless protection for networks with minimal resources and significantly understaffed teams. As a result, accomplishing an impossible level of work must always be balanced by striving to maintain the health of your team under intense circumstances. MDR offers organizations a customized solution to directly address the main causes of cybersecurity burnout. Besides increasing your cybersecurity headcount with a remote SOC, MDR includes a predefined security stack that automates many of the manual tasks that take up the time of overworked data analysts. With alert prioritization and automated responses, MDR lifts the workload plaguing your team and even decreases the number of hours employees need to work each week.

Repairs Relationships

Long work hours and the inability to stop thinking about work even when you're not at home can take a toll on those closest to you. Cybersecurity professionals work long hours and are typically on call when they're at home. As a result, partners take on extra responsibilities and children often face disappointments. When these conditions persist for months or years, relationships are depleted and resentments can build. 

The explosive growth of technology and shortage of skilled professionals in cybersecurity requires security professionals to try and be everything to everyone. MDR provides 24/7/365 services that address many of the issues that require cybersecurity leaders and team members to always be physically and/or mentally at work. Cybersecurity will never be a stress-free profession, but as MDR addresses many of the issues that blur your work/life balance, you can repair and improve the personal relationships you've neglected.

Addresses Your Concerns

The threats that affect an organization's security are continually evolving. As a result, cybersecurity efforts must evolve to match the changing threat landscape. Security professionals are tasked with constantly making decisions that have a vital impact on the security of the company. The burden of these important decisions can cause considerable stress for CISOs and SOC directors. Balancing network security with a limited budget, a lean team, and user convenience can be complex. If network users and board directors view security as a burden, security leaders are forced to make compromises that could be detrimental to network security.

MDR provides organizations with the full-time assistance of cybersecurity professionals who can help shoulder the burden of decisions that affect your organization's cybersecurity posture. Along with 24/7 monitoring and incident response, the remote SOC provides ongoing communication regarding overall network security. Security leaders gain the ability to consult with experts outside the organization to address and solve critical concerns.

Takes You Off Call

It's no secret that most cybersecurity professionals work more than 40 work hours each week. This is often accepted as part of the job. However, 71% of security employees report they're also on call 24/7/365. It's true that cybersecurity is a 24/7 business that takes no holidays, but no human can be expected to successfully perform at that level. If teams depend on a vast group of disconnected tools, false alerts can increase on-call stresses by requiring a response for redundant alerts.

MDR includes 24/7 oversight by an off-site SOC as well as tools that are seamlessly integrated to reduce false-positive alerts. While cybersecurity professionals can still expect to routinely be on-call, leaders can create a fair approach to on-call scheduling and compensation. Alerts received by your team will include contextual information that indicates why the threat is relevant and suggested actions for mitigation. Always on-call can be a thing of the past, and on-call requirements considerably reduced for both team members and the CISOs who lead them.

Allows You to Take on New Projects

Despite the deluge of tasks that go along with prioritizing alerts and responding to potential threats, there is more to cybersecurity than timely response. Cybersecurity teams are responsible for discovering new and emerging technologies and strategies that can improve security and lower business costs. Preemptive security is always better than reactive security, but when cybersecurity leaders are working at breakneck speed to prioritize and manage potential threats, there is little time for new projects.

Long hours, a high-stress environment, and an overbalanced workload lead to low morale for cybersecurity professionals. Many individuals enter the industry with a desire to solve critical problems and make a difference for organizations fighting the constant threat of cyberattacks. Yet, understaffed teams rarely have the resources to take care of daily tasks, much less launch innovative projects that allow them to take on the creative side of cybersecurity.

MDR eliminates many of the manual tasks that take up all the time of cybersecurity employees, you can free up time to launch new projects that address concerns before they become alerts. In other words, you and your team will finally have time to do the job you signed up for; protect the organization.

When it comes to cybersecurity shortcomings, CISOs take the brunt of the blame if an incident occurs. These professionals spend the entirety of their careers with specific knowledge about the likelihood of an attack occurring. It's not a healthy position to be in when there simply aren't enough resources available to protect an organization. For cybersecurity leaders, workplace stress extends way beyond poor work-life balance. The combination of today's expansive cybersecurity landscape and a short-staffed team can make the position a danger to your mental and physical health. Luckily, there is finally a way to address the challenges of modern cybersecurity amidst a critical talent shortage.

MDR is not a single tool or an automated solution to address cybersecurity concerns. It's a group of services that provides the most comprehensive security solution for organizations of all sizes. At BitLyft, it's our goal to provide organizations in all industries with the resources they need to protect their networks from sophisticated cyberattacks that can devastate a business. To accomplish this goal, we take BitLyft Air beyond traditional MDR services to provide the most efficient and effective suite of tools along with the expert advice of experienced cybersecurity professionals. As a result, the benefits of MDR extend beyond an improved workplace experience to give CISOs, security directors, and security professionals of all levels a chance to reclaim their life beyond the organization they work for. Download our MDR Buyers Guide to learn more about the capabilities of MDR and how MDR services can provide organizations of all sizes with a complete security team.

MDR Buyer's Guide

Sources:

1. https://www.fortinet.com/content/dam/fortinet/assets/reports/report-2022-skills-gap-survey.pdf?utm_source=pr&utm_campaign=report-2022-skills-gap-survey

2. https://securityintelligence.com/articles/9-reasons-why-cybersecurity-stress-is-an-industry-epidemic/

3. https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2022/04/29/cyber-employees-burnout/

4. https://www.bitsight.com/blog/5-shocking-it-cybersecurity-burnout-statistics

5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2022/06/08/mental-health-in-cybersecurity-51-of-workers-take-meds-me-included/?sh=4b62e708573a

6. https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body#:~:text=The%20consistent%20and%20ongoing%20increase,%2C%20heart%20attack%2C%20or%20stroke.

7. https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/ninety-leaders-skills-shortage/

8. https://thinkhealth.priorityhealth.com/the-health-benefits-of-vacation-are-clear-take-the-time-off/

9. https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/12/wannacry-two-years-on/

10. https://www.investmentmonitor.ai/news/business-leaders-cyber-crime-wef-report

11. https://securityboulevard.com/2021/12/burnout-in-the-cybersecurity-community/

12. https://www.imperva.com/blog/8-ways-to-avoid-ciso-burnout/

More Reading

feature image read more
10 Threat Intelligence Resources for Evaluating the Risk of Cyberattacks
Cyber threats are growing in both number and complexity. While this growth puts businesses of all sizes at risk, cybersecurity...
feature image read more
What Is Vulnerability Management? How Does It Work
In the business world, it's important to be able to protect your company from cyber-attacks. This is where vulnerability management comes...
feature image read more
The Growing Threat of Ransomware Attacks on Hospitals
Ransomware attacks are carried out on all types of organizations, costing companies and their customers millions. When these attacks are...