Craig Brown

Craig Brown

Director Consulting Expert – Cyber Security

I remember the excitement when I installed security cameras around my house. Doorbells with eyes, night vision sentinels on the roof – they promised constant vigilance, a digital guardian angel watching over my bricks and mortar. 

And for a while, it worked. Every leaf fluttering in the wind, every cat strutting its stuff triggered an alert. At first, it was exhilarating. Each notification was a tiny thrill, a reassuring ping that my fortress was secure. But soon, the thrill faded. The cat became a familiar face, the wind a predictable chorus. The alerts piled up, a mountain of benign true positives – harmless events masquerading as threats. 

I applied the filter. Trained the cameras to recognize me, my family, and even the neighbourhood tabby. The noise subsided, replaced by a comforting silence. Except, one day, the silence screamed. 

A figure lurked by the side of the house, unseen by my vigilant eyes. The alarm blared, but I dismissed it – another "true positive," probably the meter reader. This pattern repeated a lullaby of false alarms that lulled me into complacency. 

Then, the unthinkable happened. The meter reader turned out to be a burglar, exploiting my blind spot between my neighbour's house and mine. He waltzed in, took what he wanted, and vanished like a phantom. No alarms, no warnings, just a cold realization in the morning light. 

From Home to Business: The Alarms Don't Stop 

This story may sound familiar, but it's not just about bricks and mortar. It's about the digital walls we build around our businesses, the firewalls and intrusion detection systems that hum in the background. The cameras become logging mechanisms, the home base a bustling Security Operations Center (SOC). 

My daily home security alerts transform into security events, monitored by analysts in dimly lit rooms. They too face the fatigue of benign noise, the temptation to whitelist routine activities and tune out the static. But what happens when a real intruder slips through the cracks, unseen and unheard? How do we explain the stolen data, the compromised systems, and the breach that went unnoticed in the symphony of false alarms? 

Security monitoring: the case for a business ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ 

Security monitoring is a vital component of any organisation's cyber defence strategy. It provides visibility into the activities and events that occur on your network, systems, and applications, and alerts you to potential threats or incidents. But security monitoring is not a silver bullet.  

One of the main challenges of security monitoring is the volume and complexity of the data that is collected and analysed. According to CGI's Voice of the Client 2020, 75% of executives report that their security monitoring tools generate too many alerts, and 71% say that they struggle to prioritize and respond to them effectively. This can lead to alert fatigue, where analysts become overwhelmed and desensitised by the constant stream of notifications - and miss or ignore the ones that matter. As with my home security scenario, it can also result in blind spots, where attackers exploit the gaps or weaknesses in your monitoring coverage and evade detection. 

Another challenge of security monitoring is the dynamic and evolving nature of the cyber threat landscape. Cybercriminals are constantly innovating and adapting their tactics, techniques, and procedures to bypass your defences and achieve their objectives. They use sophisticated methods such as encryption, obfuscation, and polymorphism to hide their malicious activities and avoid triggering your alerts. Increasingly criminals are also leveraging emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation to launch more frequent and complex attacks that can overwhelm your monitoring capabilities.  

For many organisations, keeping their IT team skilled and resourced to meet these evolving threats – of which only one risk is missing that important alert, is not practical. Your home is safer when you can rely on your neighbours to keep an eye on things. This is why extending your business’s ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ to include an experienced managed security provider makes sense.  

CGI: Your Watchful Sentinel in the Digital Age 

At CGI, through our experience supporting a wide range of clients from our Melbourne-based Security Operations Centre (SOC), we understand the importance and the challenges of security monitoring. Our SOC leverages the latest techniques derived from advanced analytics, threat intelligence and automation. We help you design, implement, and operate a security monitoring solution that meets your specific needs and objectives.  

Partnering with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) means the responsibility of optimizing monitoring processes and tools, managing the noise and false positives, and enhancing the accuracy and relevance of your alerts falls to us, freeing up your teams to focus on other business goals.   

Even in an outsourced scenario, security monitoring is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires a tailored and proactive approach that aligns with your business goals and risk appetite. It also requires a trusted partner who can provide you with the guidance, support, and solutions that you need to stay ahead of the cyber curve. That's why CGI is the partner of choice for security monitoring for many organisations across the globe. We have the skills, the resources, and the track record to help you achieve your security monitoring goals and protect your digital assets. 

We might not be able to help you with your home alarm, but we can certainly help keep your business safe. Are you ready to take your security monitoring to the next level?

Let's start the conversation. Contact us today

About this author

Craig Brown

Craig Brown

Director Consulting Expert – Cyber Security

Craig Brown is a cyber security leader with over 25 years of experience in the Australian IT and cyber security industry. He has a proven track record of developing and implementing complex cyber security strategies, leading the operational security of critical infrastructure, and as advisory ...