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Cybersecurity Burnout Poses Serious Threats to Data Protection, Study Warns

Devo Technology, a leading cloud-native security analytics company, has released a new study shedding light on the concerning consequences of cybersecurity burnout. This study reveals that a significant majority of IT security professionals acknowledge that stress has led them and their colleagues to make mistakes resulting in data breaches.

The shortage of cybersecurity professionals, estimated at 3.5 million, is a pressing concern in the industry. The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Devo, underscores that the strain experienced by these understaffed teams not only takes a toll on their mental and physical health but also has a direct impact on their organization's security posture. The issue of burnout extends beyond individual well-being; it has become a business problem with implications for data security, reputation, and financial stability.

The survey uncovered alarming trends that, if unaddressed by Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and organizational leadership, could lead to costly turnover, regulatory fines, and a loss of consumer trust. Some key findings from the survey include:

  • 83% of IT security professionals admit that burnout has led to errors resulting in security breaches.

  • 85% of respondents anticipate leaving their roles due to burnout, with 24% considering leaving the field of cybersecurity altogether.

  • 77% report that workplace stress directly affects their ability to protect customer data.

Marc van Zadelhoff, CEO of Devo, emphasized the significance of these findings, stating, "Caring for security teams isn't just a 'nice thing' to do. It's the right thing to do for both the individuals working the frontlines and the broader business."

The survey also unveiled a notable disconnect between security leadership and their teams. Despite more than half of the respondents indicating that alert fatigue has led to increased anxiety or depression, they perceive that their concerns about stress and burnout are not taken seriously. Some key insights in this regard include:

  • 76% believe their IT leadership wouldn't last a full day dealing with the volume of alerts they handle.

  • 45% feel that their leadership hasn't proactively addressed employee burnout and wish for additional training, mentorship, and development.

  • 82% have been told that stress and burnout are normal aspects of their job.

Kayla Williams, CISO at Devo, emphasized the need for organizations to proactively support their staff by providing training, solutions, and mental health resources. Such measures can result in healthier and happier security teams, ultimately enhancing an organization's overall security posture. ###


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