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Half of cybersecurity professionals expect to burnout in the next 12 months

A new report reveals alarming statistics among cybersecurity professionals, with 50% expecting burnout within a year.

Half of cybersecurity professionals expect that they will burnout in the next 12 months due to the stress and pressures of their job.

The findings have been published in a new report* titled: Stress & Burnout in Cybersecurity: The Risk of a Thousand Papercuts Based on a survey of 173 international cybersecurity professionals, the report reveals the mental health pressures they are facing and the heightened chances of burnout occurring.

The report found that while 52% of cybersecurity professionals felt quite resilient to stress, almost the same number (50%) said that within the next year or sooner they are going to reach a point of burnout. These burnout rates also include 35% of respondents who are going to reach burnout in the next six months and overall, 80% of respondents indicated they’ll hit burnout in three years or less.

In the report, burnout is defined as “lacking the motivation to do their job effectively.” As a result, cybersecurity professionals feel compelled to leave their organisation or seek out new opportunities to manage the stress burden they are experiencing.

When asked about the support structures in place, the majority (79%) said they are at least somewhat comfortable sharing their concerns around burnout with their supervisors. Further to this, 81% of respondents indicated Senior Level Management (SLM) at least somewhat understand their stress. However, only 23% of cybersecurity professionals believe that SLM actively works to reduce their stress, and, in fact, nearly 50% of respondents indicated that SLM adds to their stress, acting as a significant contributor to feelings of burning out.

Dr Daniel Shore, co-founder and social behavioural scientist at MultiTeam Solutions, commented on the report’s findings.

“At a time when the frequency of cybersecurity attacks is exponentially on the rise, our research has revealed that the burnout crisis is now. Work-induced stress is impacting motivation and bringing many cybersecurity professionals to a breaking point. It means these individuals are seeking out new opportunities, undermining longevity and increasing the industry’s already high turnover rate. Not to mention, that when these professionals move to a cybersecurity role in another organization, they are entering a very similar culture as the one they just left and will, if they and their new employer are lucky, at best have a honeymoon period of motivation before burning out yet again.

“Naturally, we are led to ask what is being done by organizations to reverse the trend. At the moment, our research infers that SLM and supervisors are at a loss of resources, skills, capacity, and their own motivation.

“A complete cultural shift is needed which properly appreciates the mental health pressures placed on cybersecurity professionals, breaking down silos that isolate individuals and understanding the human factors linked to burnout. Failing this, there is a real risk the industry will continue to be at a disadvantage for addressing the mounting cyber threats which only continue to increase in number and complexity.”

*Report by MultiTeam Solutions

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