Job stress causing some IT admins to shut off security alerts

The pandemic has upended everyone’s lives — and added a momentous layer of stress to the jobs of IT and security operations center (SOC) pros. First, they faced intense pressure to find immediate solutions for the historic shift to a work-from-home paradigm. Now, they are being tasked with the never-before-seen problems of the hybrid office. All of this while facing a growing onslaught of cybersecurity threats during a deadly pandemic where they were trying to keep themselves and their families safe. A new study reveals that even as IT admins were going above and beyond to keep their businesses running, their lives were being affected in profound and damaging ways.

Overwhelmed by security alerts

The study found that 70 percent of IT and SOC pros said their lives are being “emotionally impacted” because of the number of threat alerts they must deal with — many of them false positives. And 51 percent said they felt that their IT team is “being overwhelmed” by the sheer number of these alerts. The dangerous upshot of this IT job stress: 43 percent said they turn off security alerts “occasionally or frequently.”

Job stress for IT pros has been exacerbated by an array of issues. Here are a few of the factors detailed in the study:

  • Ransomware epidemic: The pandemic spawned a major rise in ransomware, with cybercriminals using “increasingly targeted and sophisticated tactics.”
  • Employee negligence: Employees working from home were engaging in extremely risky behavior that they wouldn’t do while working in the office, including insecurely transmitting confidential corporate data and loading unapproved apps on devices being used for work.
  • Work-from-home IT staff: The shift to remote work added more job stress to IT pros because it “impacted the productivity of SecOps teams used to working together in the office,” where they can bounce ideas off each other and more easily share the workload.
  • Tool sprawl: A problem before COVID-19, tool sprawl became even worse during the pandemic as IT pros were forced to add and implement new security features to make remote work a reality. This also led to an increase in security alerts and a corresponding increase in false positives.

Too much stress? Get help

Are you suffering from tech burnout because of too much IT job stress? This primer can help you spot the signs and symptoms and gives you a roadmap on how to deal with them. And if your company offers counseling, do not be afraid to reach out for help.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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