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Many security professionals suffering extreme burnout

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(Image credit: Shutterstock / Rabbit_Photo)

Cybercriminals are pushing security professionals to the brink of burnout, a new report from virtualization firm VMware suggests.

According to the report, published during Black Hat USA 2021, more than half (51 percent) of cyber-defenders have experienced extreme stress or burnout over the past year.

Polling 123 cybersecurity and incident response professionals from around the world, VMware found there is a pressing need for leaders to build resilient teams. 

Commenting on the findings, Rick McElroy, Principal Cybersecurity Strategist at VMware, argued that leaders should consider rotations of work and empower individuals to take mental health days, among an “any number of other initiatives aimed at nurturing personal growth and development".

During these pandemic times, it’s not just cybersecurity pros that are feeling the sting on their mental health - coders are in the same boat. A recent report by Haystack Analytics said more than four in five (83 percent) software developers suffer from workplace burnout, a problem that has only worsened since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In both cases, increasing workloads and the reliability of the tools were cited as the main reasons for extreme stress in the workplace. Furthermore, criminals and hackers are adopting advanced technologies such as AI, making cybersecurity professionals’ lives that much harder.