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Every third decision-maker in cybersecurity is stressed and considers leaving

One-third of cybersecurity decision-makers are contemplating leaving their role in the next two years due to stress or even burnout. According to Mimecast, an email and collaboration security company, this is the human element of cyberattacks.

Mimecast’s 2022 State of Ransomware Readiness Report, released on Monday, explores the financial and business-related impact of ransomware across global businesses and their employees.

It turns out that working in cybersecurity can be dangerous to your mental health. 54% of cybersecurity decision-makers, polled online in July 2022, reported that ransomware attacks negatively affected their psychological well-being, while 56% said their role gets more stressful each year.

Furthermore, one-third of cybersecurity professionals consider leaving their position in the next 24 months due to stress or burnout. Another one-third experience an increased number of absences due to burnout post-attack.

Mimecast research shows that the pressure on cybersecurity leaders has, indeed, been growing as the number of ransomware attacks keeps increasing.

“Ransomware has become one of the primary threats to organizations of all types over the past few years. It has become so widespread and costly that many insurance companies are even reconsidering payouts and excluding some forms of ransomware attacks from their coverage – making the need to prevent attacks in the first place all the more pressing,” Mimecast reports.

Three-quarters of cybersecurity leaders say the number of cyberattacks against their company has increased since last year or stayed the same (77%). The COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and inflationary pressures gave rise to almost daily ransomware incidents across the world.

Marek Boguszewicz, a veteran cybersecurity expert, recently told Cybernews that the last 3-4 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.

“Believe me, people I know in cyber feel like they are in a pressure cooker 24/7,” Boguszewicz said.

An impressive 94% of cybersecurity leaders believe more budget is required to combat ransomware, identifying an incremental budget boost of 28% on average. There are so many attacks that, according to Mimecast, personal accountability amongst this particular set of cyber professionals is actually decreasing.

Fewer cybersecurity leaders feel personally responsible for a successfully implemented ransomware attack: 57% in comparison to 71% last year. 

Yet, this might be related to the finding that the surveyed respondents see ransomware attacks as virtually inevitable, driving a focus on mitigation rather than prevention.

“Cybersecurity leaders seemed almost resigned to a breach – in turn, they feel less personally responsible if criminals succeed, as long as mitigation strategies are in place,” Mimecast reports.

“With the profession facing a pressure cooker of ongoing attacks, disruption, and burnout, it’s critical that organizations support security teams by giving cyberattacks the focus and resources needed – or face losing critical employees.”

In an interview last December, Mark Ralls, president & COO of Invicti, an app security company, told Cybernews that cybersecurity professionals actually want less mundane tasks – they could live without snacks and game rooms that are offered to them as perks if they could actually feel appreciated in return.

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