IT Staff Burnout Adds To Security Risks: Steps To Provide Balance

The global cybersecurity industry is thriving, but many problems remain. The survey by the Chartered Institute of Information Security of 300 cybersecurity professionals found four-in-five (80 percent) said they have either "good", or "excellent" career prospects. Moreover, 84 percent described the cybersecurity industry as "growing" or "booming".

But there is a downside as well. Being overwhelmed with work, constant overtime, and the stress and responsibility that comes with the job are issues that have been around for years. The same survey showed that almost a quarter (22 percent) of respondents reported working more than 48 hours per week (which is, by law in some countries, the absolute upper limit), while eight percent worked more than 55 hours, which the WHO defines as being borderline unhealthy.

Then there is the stress. Half (50 percent) admitted staying up at night due to day-to-day stress and workload, while a third (32 percent) lost sleep over cyberattack worries. Furthermore, some pros are concerned the current economic situation will increase cyber-risks, namely fraud (78 percent) and insider threats (58 percent).

Smaller organizations are likely to be more exposed, as they have fewer resources to tackle the ever-increasing number of threats. Sead Fadilpaši? "The security industry is booming - but its workers are struggling with a number of major issues" techradar.com (Oct. 16, 2023)

 

Commentary

 

In light of the surveys in the report in the above article, what could employers consider to help support existing IT talent, avoid burn-out, reduce turnover, and keep the organization safe from cyberattacks? 

Begin by asking your IT staff their thoughts. The requests may be new state-of-the-art equipment, training on emerging threats, variety in assigned tasks, increased salaries and benefits, including paid leave.

Strongly consider more paid leave. More paid leave allows IT staff to remain balanced.

Finally, preventing attacks and breaches requires teamwork and education. Allow your IT team not only the resources, but also the time and relationships to better harden your defenses. Have your IT staff communicate with other employees on a regular basis – not just during an occasional training, but have them help prepare brief internal news items that can create teamwork and keep best practices in the forefront of employees' minds.

Finally, your opinion is important to us. Please complete the opinion survey:

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