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50% of IT security quit due to relentless stress: report

Survey by industry body CIISec finds that frazzled cyber security teams are close to breaking point, as Coronavirus impact piles on the pressure.

Coronavirus pandemic, budget caps, and chronic understaffing have conspired to renew the stress crisis among IT security professionals, with 54% having left a job due to overwork or burnout, or having worked with someone who has.

A survey of 445 IT security practitioners by CIISec – The Security Profession 2019/2020 – reveals multiple reasons why cyber security experts are leaving their positions.

Eighty-two percent of respondents said security budgets ‘were not keeping pace with rising threat levels’ – whether rising too slowly, staying the same, or falling.

Holidays or busy periods, when security team headcount is reduced or stretched can greatly increase stress, the survey found and also heighten the security risk to the employer organisation. Sixty-four percent of those polled said their businesses ‘simply hope to cope with fewer resources when necessary’, while 51% admit that they would let ‘routine or non-critical tasks slip’.

“Enterprise security teams are only likely to come under more pressure in 2020, as the Coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath have profound effects on businesses’ budgets and ability to operate,” says Amanda Finch, CEO at CIISec. “Against this background of increased pressure and risk, attracting and retaining IT security personnel needs to be a greater priority.”

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