The Impact of Data Overload: The hidden cyber security threat

By Nitzan Levi , Cyber Security & Privacy Expert, CYBECS

In the realm of cyber security, data plays a critical role. However, having too many tools and managing excessive amounts of security related data can lead to information overload and ultimately hinder progress. Similarly, focusing too narrowly on individual data points can prevent a comprehensive understanding. To combat these issues and support cybersecurity teams, it is important to find ways to reduce information overload by going back to the basics and address common sources of information overload and how to prevent it.

Recognize the Limitations of Technology

If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.” Bruce Schneier

In cybersecurity we need to recognize the limitations of technology. While security tools and products can provide valuable data, it is ultimately our responsibility to interpret that data and make final decisions. Security teams often report feeling overwhelmed by the number of systems they use, monitor or struggle with complex user interfaces. More technology is not always the solution, so it’s important to gather feedback from your employees and adjust, such as eliminating unnecessary tools or finding the right combination of tools to use.

Recognize the Limitations of Mankind

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” Bill Gates

In 1970, futurist Alvin Toffler from the International Institute for Strategic Studies first used the term “information overload” in his book, referring to situations where too much information leads to poor decision making. This is still relevant today as humans are the backbone of every cybersecurity program, and the constant demands of this work can be exhausting. To combat cognitive overload which not only impedes efficacy but also counters productivity. When overwhelmed by information, our security teams lose the ability to focus on what is important and fail to make good judgments.

Implement a defined strategy and organize the team accordingly.

To reduce information overload, companies should establish a clear strategy and team structure for their cybersecurity efforts. This includes defining roles, responsibilities, and goals for each team member, as well as how they fit into the overall strategy. We can do this by breaking down the task of defending the organization into smaller, manageable and measurable areas of focus so that teams can work more effectively. To support this, it is important to assign specific products and services to different teams or individuals, allowing them to focus on securing specific areas of the infrastructure. It’s important to note that a clear strategy and team structure is not only beneficial for the current employees but also for the future ones as employee training is crucial in maintaining a cohesive team and ensuring that the strategy is executed effectively. It may require pausing some business operations to allow for proper training, but the long-term benefits will be worth it.

Creating a comprehensive and precise understanding of the security posture is crucial to security specialists. Too much information hindering our ability to function effectively. This is caused by individual cognitive overload and security information overload. As a result, Security teams are struggling to accomplish their objectives. This issue becomes even more significant when considering external factors and the rapid evolution of technology. Without significant improvements in our information managing operations, security continue to be at risk in the future.

It’s time to go back to the basics of risks management. Re-evaluating and refocusing on the fundamental principles and strategies of managing risks. This may include reviewing and updating risk assessment methodologies, ensuring effective communication and collaboration among security teams, and ensuring that risk management processes are aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. Additionally, it involve re-training employees on key risk management and best practices, as well as reviewing and updating policies and procedures to ensure they are up-to-date and consistent with industry standards. By doing this, organizations can better prepared to identify and mitigate potential threats to their operations.

Nitzan Levi

Cyber Security and Privacy Expert, Researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at Reichman University, Herzliya, Speaker, CISM, CISSP, CISO, CSA, CDPSE, CCSK. Nitzan is a cyber-security expert, co-founder of Cybecs security solutions and offers allied consultancy services due to vast background in the fields of governance, regulations, software development, architecture, application security, risk management, cyber training and lecturing. Nitzan’s broad expertise was acquired while performing a variety of positions in the software and high-tech industry.


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