Workloads in cybersecurity still increasing, burnout an issue

A new survey of cybersecurity professionals has revealed that more than half of them are experiencing burnout, with increasing workloads to blame.

“Security teams are getting restless,” says Eoin Hinchy, CEO and co-founder of Tines, an Irish cybersecurity automation company. His statement is backed by the results of a new survey.

In the study, dubbed “Voice of the SOC,” Tines surveyed 900 security professionals in the United States and Europe. He found that cyber specialists aren’t happy with the fact that they’re asked to do more with less while balance sheets are being scrutinized within companies.

Even though the data revealed that overall job satisfaction in the SOC (security operations centers) remains high, burnout is taking its toll.

It turns out that 63% of security professionals have experienced “some level of burnout,” and more than 80% of them say their workloads have increased in the past year, with the problem only getting worse.

Respondents to the survey felt frustrated with having to spend precious time on manual tasks – time they could better use for researching and developing new tools. 93% of them said they believed that more automation would improve the situation and their work-life balance.

“Leaders continue to feel their teams are understaffed and don’t have access to the tools that could automate the most mundane aspects of their work,” says Hinchy.

It’s interesting that even though more than half of respondents (56%) worry that automation will eliminate jobs in the near future, this figure is down from 69% last year. It may reflect a growing understanding of how jobs could evolve after automating manual tasks, Tines believes.

Respondents also said that security teams are drowning in data but struggle to turn that data into actionable insights. They also loathe reporting incidents because, it seems, the requirements for the process are quite arduous.

Most worryingly, more than half of respondents (55%) – across different job levels – said they were likely to switch jobs in the coming year.

“This should be an alarm bell to business leaders. With both cyberattacks and skill shortages increasing, staff retention in the SOC is mission critical,” said Hinchy.

When Tines asked respondents what their current organizations could do to retain them, 49% said they’d like to be paid more, 42% wanted to be provided with “more modern tools with advanced capabilities,” and 40% thought more people should be hired to reduce the workload.

Marek Boguszewicz, a veteran cybersecurity expert, told Cybernews in 2022 that the last three to four years of cyber warfare have been really intense. Cybersecurity wellness, according to him, is basically like PTSD for veterans of cyber battles who know that their company, organization, or government is under constant attack.

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