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Alert to alerts? Dealing with cybersecurity alert fatigue

man in office, with head in hands

It’s October. Where did summer go? We’re heading rapidly into that period of headaches and fatigue, better known as flu season. But it turns out many small business owners are already experiencing their own form of all year-round cyber flu — alert fatigue.

Alert fatigue is basically a symptom of small business owners’ overexposure to large numbers of frequent security alerts or alarms to which they can become desensitised and potentially miss or not respond quick enough to genuinely important ones. In other words, a very modern-day twist on the story of the boy who cried wolf.

Research from cybersecurity platform Arctic Wolf suggests more than a third (39%) of small business owners feel overwhelmed by the volume of security alerts their business receives (which is up to 75 alerts a day in some cases).

The cyber challenge facing SMBs

The cybersecurity threat to SMBs is very genuine. According to Hiscox, one small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds. Around 65,000 attempts to hack SMBs occur in the UK every day, around 4,500 of which are successful. That equates to around 1.6 million of the 5.7 million SMBs in the UK per year.

Big global corporations with big IT teams and budgets struggle with cybersecurity so it’s totally understandable that busy SMB owners have nowhere near the time, focus, and expertise to deal with the intensity of the security challenge they face:

  • Focus: More than half (55%) regularly deprioritise cyber issues in favour of other business activity
  • Time: A third (34%) admit to not having time to keep across every threat or alert.
  • Expertise: Almost three quarters (73%) of small businesses lack the capability and expertise to withstand a cybersecurity attack.

More stats courtesy of Arctic Wolf’s research linked above

The challenge for SMB owners is intensified by the vast and confusing amount of cybersecurity tool, product and platform options. Knowing what and when to buy is a minefield compounded by lots of buzzwords and unhelpful jargon.

It’s also important to remember that robust cybersecurity isn’t just a technology fix. There’s an important human element — in terms of people and process — that are critical to getting cybersecurity right. SMBs’ lack of expertise and resources in this area heightens the symptoms of alert fatigue and expose gaps in these processes.

No magic pill

The problem of cybersecurity, data breaches and ransomware will only become harder for SMBs. Unscrupulous cyber criminals won’t hibernate this winter.

Unlike the flu, there’s no magic vaccine to protect you from every cyber security threat. Anyone who says they can is talking rubbish. Cybersecurity is something that needs continual management, improvement and investment.

But there is good news.

Time, focus and cybersecurity expertise are three things we at Techsolve have in abundance. We’re ready to alleviate your alert fatigue, and as your trusted security partner take proactive steps to ensure you’re doing everything you can to minimise your risk.

Don’t let alert fatigue increase your chances of becoming a SMB data breach statistic.