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Many security workers are considering leaving their jobs due to stress

(Image credit: Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay)

A large proportion of security professionals starting their careers are close to quitting their jobs due to the stress of the workplace, new research has found.

A study from SIRP Labs found that half of first-time security analysts working in Security Operations Centres (SOCs) are planning to leave after just three months in the job, with none planning to stay in their current role for any longer than 18 months.

Among the chief frustrations for junior workers were mundane tasks (51%); frustration at events outside control (45%); the inability to allocate time effectively (30%) and a pressure cooker environment (29%). 

The worries are not limited to junior workers, with nearly half (48%) of all the 250 security analysts interviewed for the study considering leaving their role, with many saying they would only be able to stay in their current position for less than a year.

Most also cited increasingly high workloads as another major pain point, with almost half of respondents (46%) having experienced a reduced workforce as a result of the pandemic, while just over 2 in 5 have had to spend more time on non-productive tasks and a similar number, 42%, are feeling pressure on the job.

Overall, a third of analysts (34%) said their work life balance has been disrupted, and the study found that the average amount of time spent in the same post across all pay grades is just 30 months, a worrying figure for businesses looking to foster team continuity.

“High rates of staff churn continue to plague under-pressure SOCs,” said Faiz Shuja, Co-Founder & CEO of SIRP Labs. “This research clearly shows organisations neglect conditions in their SOCs at their peril.

“The double-whammy of a global cyberskills shortage coupled with the pandemic have created melting-pot conditions where good staff are hard to keep and even harder to come by,” he continued. “Morale could easily be improved with more automation along with fast access to the right information, helping to improve productivity and reduce the amount of missed or false-positive alerts.”

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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.