A new survey has found that the vast majority (94%) of CISOs are stressed at work, with 65% admitting work-related stress issues are compromising their ability to protect their organisation.
Cynet’s “Implications of Stress on CISOs 2023 Report” surveyed chief information security officers (CISO) at small to midsize businesses with security teams of five employees or less to better understand their levels of work-related stress and how their mental health is impacting their work life and personal life.
The survey adds that, among the CISOs surveyed, 100% said they needed additional resources to adequately cope with current IT security challenges. The lack of bandwidth and resources is not only impacting CISOs, but their teams as well.
According to the report, 74% say they are losing team members because of work-related stress issues, with nearly half (47%) of these CISOs having more than one team member exit their role over the last 12 months. Relentless stress levels are also affecting recruitment efforts, with 83% of CISOs admitting they have had to compromise on the staff they hire to fill gaps left by employees who have quit their job. More than a third of the CISOs surveyed said they are either actively looking for or considering a new role.
“The results from our mental health survey are devastating, but it’s not all doom and gloom,” says Eyal Gruner, co-founder and CEO of Cynet. “Our research found that CISOs know exactly what they need to reduce stress levels: more automated tools to manage repetitive tasks, better training, and the ability to outsource some work responsibilities.
“One of the most eye-opening insights from the report was the fact that more than 50% of the CISOs we surveyed said consolidating multiple security technologies on a single platform would decrease their work-related stress levels.”
Key findings from the report include:
* 77% of CISOs believe that their limited bandwidth and lack of resources has led to important security initiatives falling by the wayside, with 79% of these CISOs claiming they have received complaints from board members, colleagues, or employees that security tasks are not being handled effectively.
* 93% of CISOs believe they are spending too much time on tactical tasks instead of performing strategic, high-value work and management responsibilities. Among the CISOs who believe they are overly invested in tactical tasks, more than a quarter report spending their workday almost exclusively on tactical/operational tasks.
* 84% of CISOs say they have had to cancel a vacation due to an urgent work matter and 64% report they’ve missed a private event because of work fatigue. More than 90% consistently work 40+ hours per week with no break.
The major takeaway from the survey is that CISOs – and their teams – are suffering from overwhelming amounts of stress and it’s affecting everything from the security of their company to their day-to-day work routines and, ultimately, their life outside of work. In fact, 77% of CISOs said that work-related stress was directly impacting their physical health, mental health, and sleep patterns.