Voice of the SOC 2023

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Written by Eoin Hinchy

Security teams are getting restless.

Before founding Tines, I spent 15 years in the SOC leading teams charged with protecting organizations from ever-evolving threats. Over that time, the challenge facing SOC analysts became harder, not easier: workloads are increasing, but teams aren’t growing alongside them. SOC analysts are burning out as a result of tedious and repetitive tasks. In the best-case scenario, staff will leave in search of new opportunities and leave their previous organizations scrambling to replace them. In the worst case, their burnout will lead to human error that could cost a company millions.

Last year, we examined these issues in detail in our first “Voice of the SOC Analyst” report. Our survey found that while SOC teams were passionate and engaged in what they do, they were plagued by endless manual tasks, inefficient processes, and overwhelming alert fatigue — all preventing them from focusing on high-impact work. The same holds true in 2023.

For the second edition of the “Voice of the SOC”, Tines surveyed 900 security professionals. We expanded the scope beyond the United States to include Europe and sought perspectives from security leaders up to and including the C-suite, rather than just analysts.

Like many, security teams have felt the added pressure of economic instability over the past 12 months. They were asked to do more with less, as business leaders scrutinized every line on the balance sheet.

This year’s data reveals that overall job satisfaction in the SOC remains high — security practitioners love the work they do. However, burnout is taking its toll. Leaders continue to feel their teams are understaffed and don’t have access to the tools that could automate the most mundane aspects of their work. The bottom line: more than half of respondents, across job levels, say they’re likely to switch jobs in the coming year.

This should be an alarm bell to business leaders. With both cyberattacks and skill shortages increasing, staff retention in the SOC is mission critical. The following report digs into the factors that undermine morale and offers practical solutions to help alleviate burnout and empower staff to do their best work.

We hope you find it useful in your SOC in 2023 and as you plan for 2024.

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