Cybersecurity leaders want to stop. This is what makes them leave

Man in front of a computer screen in a dark room, his head in his hands, looking stressed :(

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Almost a third of chief information security officers (CISOs) and chief information security officers in the UK and US are considering leaving their current organisation, according to a new study.

Not only that, but a third plan to quit their job within the next six months.

Cybersecurity firm BlackFog interviewed over 400 IT decision makers at companies with over 500 employees in the US and UK, to understand the challenges they faced amid growing IT security threats and a shortage of qualified professionals in the industry.

He revealed that many IT security managers are struggling to keep up with evolving threats and new cybersecurity practices, while reporting recruitment, retention and work-life balance issues that prompt many people to turn away from the industry.

Asked what aspect of their role they disliked the most, 30% cited the lack of work-life balance, with 27% saying a lot of time was spent “fighting fires rather than solving strategic business problems.

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In addition to 32% of CISOs anticipating leaving due to job stress, 52% admitted they struggled to keep up to date with new frameworks and models such as Zero Trust, while a further 20% felt that having the right skills in their team was “a serious challenge”.

Of the 32% of respondents considering quitting their job, 33% said they would within the next six months, while 37% said they were ready to jump ship within the next 7-12 months.

BlackFog’s research echoes growing concerns among cybersecurity leaders about their ability to keep businesses and consumers safe in the face of an increase in cybercrime and a severe shortage of cybersecurity skills.

It also highlights the immense pressure faced by cybersecurity professionals, who are increasingly leaving the profession due to stress, burnout and wellness issues.

Also: bosses say they’re serious about cybersecurity. It’s time for them to prove it

There were a few nuggets of good news in BlackFog’s report. For example, cybersecurity leaders feel they are finally reaching business leaders: 75% of those surveyed by BlackFog felt there was “full alignment” between board expectations and what CISOs are able to provide.

In fact, two-thirds (64%) of respondents said they were able to accomplish their priority tasks within the first six months of starting their job. BlackFog found that, on average, 27% of IT spend goes to security budgets — and CISOs seem to be happy with that.

CISOs also report a sense of purposefulness in their role: 44% of respondents to BlackFog’s survey said the most enjoyable aspect of their role is acting as a “protector” of the business andkeeping people working in safe environments. Darren Williams, CEO and founder of BlackFog, said that while the role of a cybersecurity leader comes with “huge challenges and enormous pressures”, there are “encouraging signs” that bosses are listening to their concerns. and align their budgets and business priorities accordingly.

Williams added, “However, adapting to a rapidly changing landscape is critical, and organizations need to ensure their security teams have the time and resources to devote to keeping pace with the latest thinking, frameworks and innovations. designed to reduce their cyber risk. .”

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