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Over half of cybersecurity professionals affected by overwork or burnout

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/pikselstock)

Overwork and burnout affect the majority of IT security professionals, suggests a new report from the Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISec).

Based on a poll of 445 IT security professionals, the Security Profession 2019/2020 report states that more than half have either left a job because of overwork or burnout, or know someone who has.

Among the possible reasons for burnout and overwork, the report cites a lack of funding and human resources.

For the vast majority of respondents (82 percent), security budgets are not in keeping with the rising threat levels. While the number and severity of threats keeps rising, budgets are either stagnant or falling.

On top of budget constraints, human resources are also stretched thin, especially during holidays and busy periods. Two thirds of respondents said their business asks them to manage the work with fewer resources, with half admitting to letting routine tasks slip as a consequence.

According to Amanda Finch, CEO of CIISec, the situation is going to get much harder before it gets any better.

“Sadly, security teams are only likely to come under more pressure in 2020, as the Covid-19 outbreak and its aftermath have profound effects on businesses’ budgets and ability to operate,” she said.

“Unless the industry can learn how to do more with less while also addressing issues of diversity and burnout, risks will rise and organisations will suffer. To avoid this, we need the right people with the right skills, giving them the help they need to reach their full potential. This doesn’t only apply to technical skills, but to the people skills that will be essential to giving organisations a security-focused culture that can cope with the growing pressure ahead.”