tips and tricks for battling antivirus alert fatigue
Alert fatigue is a leading cause of privacy and security problems in organizations. Here’s what you can do to battle alert fatigue in your organization.

It’s critical that business owners and leaders understand what malware is, how alerts protect their organization and it’s stakeholders, and the risks posed by alert fatigue in order to maintain data security.

Krystal Triumph with Atlantic IT in New Jersey shares insights in overcoming alert fatigue and why making sure organizations don’t ignore critical alerts is extremely important.

What is malware?

Malware is harmful, unwanted software that steals data from or causes damage to your computer, computer network, or server. Cyber-criminals use malware to access confidential information that can be used for their gain: proprietary information, social security numbers, and bank accounts, to name a few. Malware is typically installed when a user opens a corrupt file or visits an unsafe website.

Why are alerts so important?

why antivirus alert important
Antivirus software is designed to screen your computer, server, and/or computer network for harmful files – like viruses, spyware, or ransomware – and then alert the user of harmful files detected and any action required to mitigate risk. Additionally, these alerts can notify a user prior to damage or data breaches by alerting to unsafe websites or unsafe files prior to moving forward. These alerts are critically important in maintaining data security within your organization.

Alerts might trigger you or your employees to:

  • review a website for safety before moving forward
  • redirect activity away from a website that is known to steal information
  • stop a harmful from downloading
  • disinfect a file
  • update antivirus software

What is alert fatigue?

Alert fatigue is commonly associated with antivirus software alerts, but there are many examples in daily life. Consider the last time a battery was low in a smoke alarm in your home. At first, the warning “blip” is irritating and you consider changing the battery to make the incessant beeping stop. But within just a few hours, you no longer hear it beeping. Now, you don’t feel rushed at all to change the batteries. You’ve just experienced alert fatigue.

ignore antivirus alert
When employees suffer alert fatigue, they often close alerts without reading them first, dismissing important information and putting your organization at risk of viruses and other malware.

How can we reduce alert fatigue?

There are a few things you can do to reduce alert fatigue and better protect your organization and its stakeholders. First, automate processes when antivirus software detects a problem rather than leave the decision in the hands of the employee. To clarify, instead of alerting the employee and providing them with a decision, simply stop the download or redirect the user automatically

Second, educate employees initially and then periodically on the importance of alerts and perform occasional tests. A strong understanding of the implications won’t prevent alert fatigue altogether, but it can reduce the risk.

Photos courtesy of gettyimages.com

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