The global annual cost of cybercrime is predicted to reach $9.5 trillion USD in 2024, according to the latest predictions from Cybersecurity Ventures. These staggering numbers show that adversaries behind cyber espionage and breaches are constantly evolving and growing more sophisticated in their attacks, prompting organizations to adapt and evolve to meet these challenges.
One of the top reasons compelling cybersecurity professionals to evolve is the expanding attack surfaces. With the proliferation of data and its protection across an increasing number of environments, businesses and organizations are facing the challenge of securing these digital assets. The mass digitalization of identities, data lakes, as well as cloud and edge computing has significantly expanded the attack surface, leaving organizations vulnerable to cyber threats.
Another critical concern that is forcing cybersecurity professionals to evolve is the shortage of well-trained security talent. Research from ISC2 indicates that the global industry could benefit from over 3 million additional cybersecurity professionals. The rapid growth of IT infrastructure and digital commerce has increased the demand for cybersecurity jobs, but the scarcity of a workforce with the requisite skills and training to keep pace with the expanding attack surface has become a significant concern.
Additionally, excessive alerts from an overwhelming number of tools are also adding pressure on SOC teams. While automated tools have become popular solutions for addressing the security talent shortage, they also generate a never-ending stream of alerts, some of which are false positives and difficult to triage. This influx of alerts has become a burden on SOC teams, highlighting the need for a balance between human creativity and automation in security operations.
To strike this balance, organizations need to consider the strengths and weaknesses of manual versus automated operations. While automation provides consistency in alert triage and reporting, human innovation plays a critical role in quality threat modeling and hunting. Security operations can benefit from the consistency delivered by automated processes, but they also require the creativity of human innovation to anticipate and identify potential probes or attacks on cyber assets.
Proactive threat intelligence also plays a crucial role in the evolution of SOC teams. Teams need to take advantage of proactivity to drive the creation and tuning of unique security controls that are tailored to defend an organization’s specific assets. The MITRE ATT&CK framework is an example of how SOC teams can evolve with a proactive, informed approach to threat defense, enabling them to strengthen security controls and reduce erroneous alerts.
Ultimately, the future of SOC teams lies in their ability to evolve beyond technology and reassess skills and roles to support a distributed workforce. Human creativity and innovation must be incorporated as strategic force multipliers to effectively combat the evolving threats posed by cybercriminals.
In conclusion, the escalating global cost of cybercrime, the shortage of skilled security talent, and the challenges posed by excessive alerts from automated tools are compelling cybersecurity professionals to evolve. In response to these challenges, SOC teams must strike a balance between human creativity and automation and leverage proactive threat intelligence to strengthen their security operations. This evolution will be crucial in mitigating the ever-growing cyber threats faced by organizations in the digital age.