Last updated at Wed, 24 Aug 2022 14:00:55 GMT

Years ago, “airline pilot” used to be a high-stress profession. Imagine being in personal control of equipment worth millions hurtling through the sky on an irregular schedule with the lives of all the passengers in your hands.

But today on any given flight, autopilot is engaged almost 90% of the time. (The FAA requires it on long-haul flights or anytime the aircraft is over 28,000 feet.) There are vast stretches of time where the problem isn’t stress – it’s highly trained, intelligent people just waiting to perhaps be needed if something goes wrong.

Of course, automation has made air travel much safer. But over-reliance on it is now considered an emerging risk for pilots. The concerns? Loss of situational awareness, and difficulty taking over quickly and deftly when something fails. FAA scientist Kathy Abbott believes automation has made pilot error more likely if they “abdicate too much responsibility to the automated systems.” This year, the FAA rewrote its guidance, now encouraging pilots to spend more time actually flying and keeping their skills sharp.

What you want at any job is “flow”

Repetitive tasks can be a big part of a cybersecurity analyst’s day. But when you combine monotony (which often leads to boredom) with the need for attentiveness, it’s kryptonite. One neuroscientific study proved chronic boredom affects “judgment, goal-directed planning, risk assessment, attention focus, distraction suppression, and intentional control over emotional responses.”

The goal is total and happy immersion in a task that challenges you but is within your abilities. When you have that, you’re “in the zone.” And you’re not even tempted to multi-task (which isn’t really a thing).

Combine InsightConnect and InsightIDR, and you can find yourself “in the zone” for incident response:

  • Response playbooks are automatically triggered from InsightIDR investigations and alerts.
  • Alerts are prioritized, and false alerts are wiped away.
  • Alerts and investigations are automatically enriched: no more manually checking IP's, DNS names, hashes, etc.
  • Pathways to PagerDuty, Slack, Microsoft Teams, JIRA, and ServiceNow are already set up for you and tickets are created automatically for alerts.

According to Rapid7‘s Detection and Response Practice Advisor Jeffrey Gardner, the coolest example of InsightIDR’s automaticity is its baselining capability.

“Humans are built to notice patterns, but we can only process so much so quickly,” Gardner says. “Machine learning lets us take in infinitely more data than a human would ever be able to process and find interesting or anomalous activity that would otherwise be missed.” InsightIDR can look at user/system activity and immediately notify you when things appear awry.

The robots are not coming for your job – surely not yours. But humans and machines are already collaborating, and we need to be very thoughtful about exactly, precisely how.

Like inattentive commercial pilots, Tesla drivers using Autopilot don’t much look at the road even though they’re required to, and they remain wholly responsible for everything the vehicle does. Teslas are also being hacked, started, and driven off.  A 19-year-old took 25 Teslas. We’re designing our jobs – and life on earth, too.

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