A Third of Security Leaders Considering Quitting Their Current Role

Nearly a third (32%) of UK and US-based security leaders are considering leaving their current role, according to new research by BlackFog.

The survey of IT security managers in companies of over 500 employees across the UK and US found that of those thinking of leaving their current organization, a third would do so within the next six months.

The BlackFog study also found that security leaders are facing difficulties in ensuring their teams were equipped with the most up-to-date security technologies and practices. Over half (52%) admitted they are struggling to keep up with new frameworks and models like zero trust, while 54% struggle to stay updated with information on the latest cybersecurity solutions.

Additionally, 43% of respondents said they found it difficult to keep pace with the newest innovations in the cybersecurity market. However, there was a significant variation between UK and US respondents on this (36% versus 49%, respectively).

Speaking to Infosecurity, Dr Darren Williams, CEO and founder, BlackFog, argued the survey showed the need for organizations to focus on investment in automation to help ease the burden on security leaders, particularly considering the cyber skills shortage.  

Indeed, the findings come amid the worsening cyber skills gap; in October 2022, the (ISC)2 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study found that the global cybersecurity workforce gap increased by 26.2% in 2022 compared to 2021, with 3.4 million more workers needed to secure assets effectively.

The BlackFog research highlighted stress and burnout as major factors for CISOs and IT security leaders considering quitting. The study found that 30% cited a lack of work-life balance, with 27% stating that too much time was spent on firefighting rather than focusing on strategic issues. 

Williams explained: “It’s not a matter of adding more tools or people to solve the problem, but rather the quality of what you are doing. More complexity often creates more problems, so we advocate a thorough audit of what is being done with a view to adding automation to help alleviate many of these human based response approaches. The more automated the systems, the less a CISO has to worry about with regards to who is watching, the skills of the individuals involved and scheduling.”

Encouragingly, BlackFog found that 75% of security leaders agreed that there is a full alignment between the board’s expectations of what they can achieve in their role and what they are equipped and able to deliver. Close to two-thirds (64%) revealed they were able to complete their priority tasks within the first six months of their starting date.

In October 2022, a study by Sekuro found that more than 91% of cybersecurity professionals have experienced mental health challenges at work during the past two years.

Despite these issues, 44% of respondents in the latest research said that the most enjoyable aspect of their job is being the company protector and keeping everyone working securely.

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