Automation and gamification will help fight cybercriminals

McAfee survey reveals that concerted efforts to increase job satisfaction, automation in the Security Operations Center (SOC) and gamification in the workplace are key to beating cybercriminals at their own game.

According to the report, 46% respondents believe that in the next year they will either struggle to deal with the increase of cyber threats or that it will be impossible to defend against them. Further complicating the dynamics of the competition between security responder and cybercriminal is the cybersecurity skills crisis.

Survey respondents believe they need to increase their IT staff by nearly a quarter in order to manage the threats their organizations are currently facing, while 84 per cent admit it is difficult to attract talent and 31 per cent say they do not actively do anything to attract new talent.

“With cybersecurity breaches being the norm for organizations, we have to create a workplace that empowers cybersecurity responders to do their best work,” said Grant Bourzikas, chief information security officer at McAfee.

“Consider that nearly a quarter of respondents say that to do their job well, they need to increase their teams by a quarter, keeping our workforce engaged, educated and satisfied at work is critical to ensuring organizations do not increase complexity in the already high-stakes game against cybercrime,” added Bourzikas.

By pairing human intelligence with automated tasks and putting human-machine teaming in practice, automated programs handle basic security protocols while practitioners have their time freed up to proactively address unknown threats.

Gamification, the concept of applying elements of game-playing to non-game activities, is growing in importance as a tool to help drive a higher performing cybersecurity organization.

Within organizations that hold gamification exercises, hackathons, capture-the-flag, red team-blue team or bug bounty programs are the most common, and almost all (96%) of those that use gamification in the workplace report seeing benefits. In fact, respondents who report they are extremely satisfied with their jobs are most likely to work for an organization that runs games or competitions multiple times per year.

To address the shortage skilled cybersecurity workers, the report findings suggest that gamers, those engaged and immersed in online competitions, may be the logical next step to plugging the gap. 92% of respondents believe that gaming affords players experience and skills critical to cybersecurity threat hunting: logic, perseverance, an understanding of how to approach adversaries and a fresh outlook compared to traditional cybersecurity hires.

 

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