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Impact of stress on CISOs’ mental health has doubled report

CISOs say they’d give up percentage of salary for a better work-life balance, according to the latest Nominet Stress Report.

Nearly 50% of CISOs believe that work stress has had a ‘detrimental impact’ on their mental health, according to the latest Life Inside the Perimeter report by Nominet – a figure almost twice as high as 2019’s survey (27%). Thirty-one percent of respondents also reported that their stress had further ‘impacted their physical health’.

The research found that 88% of CISOs surveyed remain ‘moderately or tremendously’ stressed, a small decrease from 91% in 2019. This reduced level of stress, however, is now taking ‘a greater toll’ on the mental and physical health of CISOs surveyed, as well as their personal relationships.

The report’s other key findings include:

  • 40% of CISOs say that their stress levels had affected their relationships with their partners or children.
  • 32% say that their stress levels had repercussions on their marriage or romantic relationships; 32% said that their stress levels had affected their personal friendships.
  • The proportion of CISOs turning to medication or alcohol to help them cope with work-induced stress has increased by 25% year-on-year, from 17% in 2019 to 23% in 2020.

This personal impact is also having negative effects for organisations, with 31% of CISOs surveyed saying that stress had affected their ability to do their job – 2% more than in 2019. This results in a high rate of burnout, with the Nominet survey reporting that the average tenure of a CISO now stands at just 26 months.

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