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Security teams face mounting stress, call for execs to step in

A significant 93% of security professionals lack the tools they need to detect known security threats, and 92% are still in need of appropriate preventative solutions to close known security gaps.

This is according to a new report by LogRhythm titled, ‘The State of the Security Team: Are Executives the Problem?’.

The report is based on a global survey of more than 300 security professionals and executives to understand the root causes of the stress under which security teams operate, obtain feedback on the ways in which it could be alleviated and the best paths to remediation.

It found 75% of security professionals now experience more work stress than just two years ago, and this is largely due to lack of executive leadership.

When asked what causes the most work-related stress, the two most selected answers were not having enough time (41%) and working with executives (18%).

In fact, 57% of respondents indicated their security program lacks proper executive support defined as providing strategic vision, buy-in and budget.

Furthermore, security professionals cited inadequate executive accountability for strategic security decisions as the top reason (42%) they want to leave their job. This is particularly notable given nearly half of companies (47%) are trying to fill three or more security positions.

Another key finding of the report is that deployment of redundant security tools points to value of tool consolidation. 68% of respondents admitted their organisation has deployed redundant security tools, and 56% confess this overlap is accidental once again emphasising the need for improved strategic oversight from executives.

Despite duplicative tools, 58% of respondents said they still need increased funding for tools when asked what additional support their security programs require.

Consequently, the report highlights the growing value of IT consolidation. Security professionals rate the value of solution consolidation highly, citing top benefits as less maintenance (63%), faster issue detection (54%), identification (53%), and resolution (49%), as well as lower costs (46%) and improved security posture (45%).

Yet, only one in three companies (32%) have a real-time security dashboard which provides a clear, consolidated view of all their security solutions.

According to LogRhythm, the top five ways to reduce stress among security teams are to increase the security budget (44%), have experienced security team members (42%), have better cooperation with other IT teams (42%), have a supportive executive team (41%), and have a fully staffed security team (39%).

LogRhythm Labs CSO and VP James Carder says, “Now, more than ever, security teams are being expected to do more with less leading to increasing stress levels.

“With more organisations operating under remote work conditions, the attack surface has broadened, making security at scale a critical concern. This is a call to action for executives to prioritise alleviating the stress and better support their teams with proper tools, processes, and strategic guidance.”

LogRhythm VP for international markets Joanne Wong says, “As businesses across the world accelerate digital adoption to ensure operations continue to run seamlessly following the onset of COVID-19, the pressure on cybersecurity teams to perform are even higher than before.

“However, the outstanding challenge with the shortage of cybersecurity talents, where Asia Pacific faces a huge 2.6 million shortfall, means that there is an urgent need to help relieve the pressure from security professionals, in order for them to be more efficient and effective in their job.

“In addition to expanding the security team size, implementing smarter detection-focused tools could significantly help security professionals to better analyse network traffic and user behavioural data and speed up threat detection and remediation.”

Carder says, “All employees, from the CEO to the frontline IT worker, need to feel that they play a significant role in maintaining the security of the company for which they work.

“At LogRhythm, we are committed to empowering the SOC team and improving visibility and automation so our customers can successfully safeguard their critical assets.”