The biggest risk to cybersecurity? Employee burnout

With the rise of employee burnout threatening to push out more IT knowledge employees, leaders must lead by example to manage the crisis.
By: | October 19, 2023

The biggest threat to Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), as well as IT security teams today, is not security risks, but employee burnout.  

As Marc van Zadelhof, Chief Executive Officer of Devo, a cloud-native logging and security analytics solution, explained in an article for Forbes, any organisation that faces security risks will need a top-notch employee working at full capacity to ensure security. “Heightened security concerns can also contribute to an even greater sense of burnout,” said van Zadelhof. “Because keeping the network and its assets safe is such a huge responsibility, security teams are under constant pressure.” This matter, he continued, is not just the responsibility of the security team to handle C-Suite leaders need to lead by example and understand burnout and its implications to manage and maintain a content, retained workforce amidst the ongoing challenges of not having properly trained cybersecurity employees.

Van Zadelhof shared key findings conducted by Devo, which saw respondents from teams grappling with cyber threats and round-the-clock monitoring discussing their mental health and state. 85% of IT security professionals were looking to leave their jobs because of burnout, with 24% considering leaving the industry altogether and 77% stating that the stress they experienced at work affected the way they handled data privacy. Hiring within the industry, he explained, was also a continuing problem: there is a shortage of employees to fill up 3.4 million cybersecurity jobs.  

READ MORE:More proactive strategies needed to improve employee mental health

Leaders, said Van Zadelhof, should treat mental health as an organisational priority, with dedicated resources and time to help employees. Mapping out how leaders can do so, he laid out the options for leaders to look into, including opportunities to network with peers to exchange information and get guidance to resolve similar problems, investments in training and education for employees across all departments to reduce risks, and encouraging them to look into third party organisations who can help address mental wellbeing in a way that befits any organisation’s unique needs.