Last updated at Tue, 25 Apr 2023 19:34:34 GMT

Of course you’re special. (So are we.) But decades of research tells us humans believe they’re good multitaskers – and we are really, seriously not.

It seems a measly 2.5% of us can multitask well.

The rest of us are best when we focus on a single goal, allowing the left and right sides of our brains (specifically the prefrontal cortex) to work in harmony.

When we go for two goals at once, the brain splits duties, and we miss details, make mistakes. And it’s not a perfect 50/50 split: The work effort is more like 40/40, with an overhead charge just for the juggling. Trying to do three tasks? The brain’s information filters fizzle out. We don’t dismiss irrelevancies as quickly. There is guessing involved.

The truth is, multitasking isn’t a thing. The average security operations center (SOC) has 45 different cybersecurity technologies, according to an IBM study. What’s actually happening is task-switching and, even worse, context-switching.

The good news? Trends for 2022 point to change: a year of consolidation, greater detection and response capabilities on endpoints and in the cloud, and the integration of tools that simplifies and smooths the work.

It’s time to say goodbye to context-switching

You’ll never get ahead of attackers without the freedom to focus. And that fact has always inspired Rapid7’s continuous mission to accelerate detection and response with InsightIDR.

  • As a unified SIEM and XDR, InsightIDR automatically creates one cohesive picture from diverse telemetry, including endpoint, cloud, applications, logs, network, and users.
  • Alerts are highly correlated by our SOC experts, and high-context investigation details blend relevant data from different event sources for you.
  • No tab-hopping in and out of multiple tools: Embedded automation workflows powered by Rapid7’s InsightConnect let users focus on threats and decisions in real time.
  • Rather than asking you to do more, InsightIDR’s cloud-native, SaaS foundation ensures that users have the scale, agility, and power to keep up, no matter how their environments grow and change.

Technology that doesn’t understand how to really serve people can stress even the most sophisticated among us. Add to that the frustration that most C-suite executives don’t understand what life in SecOps is like either: Most don’t get that a breach is inevitable, and 97% of them believe security teams have big budgets and could improve on the value they deliver. Here’s ZDNet, reporting on IBM data that reveals security folks generally agree: “74% of [security practitioners] say their cybersecurity planning posture still leaves much to be desired, with no plans, ad-hoc plans, or inconsistency still a thorn in the side of IT staff.”

If the thorn is alert fatigue and context switching – and it probably is – the answer isn’t changing your personal attentiveness habits. When you seek out advice about how to stop all the multitasking, you’ll get suggestions that no CISO can take:

  • “Plan your day,” they say.
  • “Turn off your notifications.”
  • “Learn to say no,” they say.

The human factor is decisive in cybersecurity, so we task our technology to empower you – to give you the freedom to focus on what matters. Of course, it’s theoretically possible you’re in the 2.5% of people who qualify as “supertaskers.” (But as you may have noted from our first comic book we made for you, we think you’re superheroes, which is very, very different.)

Additional reading:


Get the latest stories, expertise, and news about security today.