Almost a third (32%) of UK and US-based security leaders are considering leaving their current role, according to new research from Blackfog.
A survey of IT security managers at companies with more than 500 employees in the UK and US found that of those who consider leaving their current organisation, a third will do so in the next six months.
The Blackfog study also found that security leaders are having trouble equipping their teams with the most up-to-date security technologies and practices. More than half (52%) admitted they struggle to keep up with new frameworks and models such as zero trust, while 54% struggle to stay up-to-date with information on the latest cyber security measures.
Additionally, 43% of respondents said they find it difficult to keep up with new innovations in the cybersecurity market. However, there was a significant difference between UK and US respondents on this (36% vs 49% respectively).
Talking to VulnerabilityDr. Darren Williams, CEO and founder, Blackfog, argued that the survey showed the need for organizations to focus on investing in automation to help ease the burden on security leaders, especially considering the shortage of cyber skills.
Indeed, these findings come amid a growing gap in cyber skills; In October 2022, (ISC)2 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study The global cybersecurity workforce gap will increase by 26.2% in 2022 compared to 2021, with an additional 3.4 million workers needed to effectively secure assets.
Blackfog research highlights stress and burnout as key factors in CISOs and IT security leaders considering leaving. The study found that 30% cited a lack of work-life balance, with 27% saying too much time was spent fighting fires instead of focusing on strategic issues.
Williams explained: “It’s not about adding more tools or people to solve problems, it’s about the quality of what you do. More complexity often leads to more problems, so we suggest a thorough audit of what is being done with a view to adding automation to help reduce many of these human-based response approaches. The more automated the system, the less the CISO has to worry about who is watching, the skills of the individuals involved, and the schedule.
Encouragingly, Blackfog found that 75% of security leaders agreed that there is complete alignment between the board’s expectations of what they can achieve in their role and what they are equipped and able to deliver. Almost two-thirds (64%) revealed that they were able to complete their priority task within the first six months of their start date.
In October 2022, a study by Securo found that more than 91% of cybersecurity professionals have experienced mental health challenges at work in the past two years.
Despite these issues, 44% of respondents to the latest research said the most enjoyable aspect of their job was being a company custodian and helping everyone work safely.