CISO Leadership Panel: Tips on Hiring and Keeping SOC Talent

Reading Time : 2min read

Due to economic pressures, staffing reductions, and lack of available talent, CISOs today are facing extreme pressure to do more with less. And retaining your best employees during tough times is becoming a major challenge across industries.

Research at Devo shows SOC analysts are feeling stressed over too much work and not enough resources. In fact, more than 71% of SOC professionals we surveyed said they’re likely to quit their job because of information overload and lack of tools.

Why the discontent? Alert fatigue is a sore spot for SOC analysts. The sheer volume of data they collect and analyze to thwart cybercrime now includes transactions, mobile devices, IoT devices, and the list goes on.

To make matters worse, the SOC analyst pool today is limited, and the competition for talent is tougher than ever. In fact the average time to fill a SOC position can be 7 months long.

Devo’s CISO Kayla Williams recently addressed these hiring and retaining issues on a panel with security leaders from FanDuel, Accenture Financial Services, and H&R Block. The group identified several steps you can take in this new competition for talent including:

Respect Work and Life Balance: Take an employee’s life challenges into account when you build hiring and retention strategies. For example, expecting staff to check in or be on call while they’re off isn’t fair and will lead to resentment. Everyone needs a break from work, so make sure high-level performers take time off as well. Other benefits such as PTO, flexible work hours, and mental health services will set your organization apart and attract new employees.

Build Skills In-House: Invest in advancing the skills and career trajectory of your analysts. This rewards the current staff for their contributions and provides a more enticing environment for hiring new candidates. For example, CISOs can tap into a larger talent pool if they relax job requirements and instead build cyber skills internally by providing education, training, and certification support for employees.

Hire Outside the Box: College degrees and several years of experience simply aren’t necessary for success for many cybersecurity positions today. To fill open spots, consider hiring veterans, new graduates, and people transitioning from other careers who have an interest and passion for cybersecurity.

Turn to Automation: Are you using automation and intelligence to offload work that can be done more effectively by machines than humans? Tools are now available that can take on some of the more tedious, exhausting areas of SOC work. By applying analytics, your SOC analysts can devote more energy to investigating substantial threat incidents, reducing the probability of successful attacks and boosting productivity. Automation eliminates the manual rinse-and-repeat work of spotting and triaging of thousands of alerts, which often leads to analyst burnout and wasted resources.

You can listen to the full CISO webinar and hear first-hand how focusing on tactics, techniques and tools can alleviate stress and provide better support for SOC workers.

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