Cyber security burnout: risks and remedies

Craig Hinkley, CEO, WhiteHat Security considers how can we all balance the demands of the job with personal well-being to achieve long and fulfilling careers.
Many of us working in cyber security will know of one or more people who have, quite understandably, struggled with the pressures of the job. And we all know that chronic, high levels of stress are extremely unhealthy and can lead to eventual burnout at severe personal cost.
While our industry is far from unique, cyber security roles often carry a level of responsibility and constant pressure not seen elsewhere. For us, a mistake can have implications far wider and more dangerous than our immediate role.
But it’s vital work and we’re lucky to be in an industry where there are so many highly committed people keeping businesses and individuals safe from cybercrime in all its forms.
Part of the problem is that cyber security skills and experience are in massive demand. Relentless cybercrime activity coupled with a global skills shortage is putting immense strain on the industry. As Cybersecurity Ventures has reported, by 2021 there will be an estimated 3.5 million unfilled security jobs. I believe stress and burnout is playing an increasing role in this alarming disparity.
We are, therefore, at an important time in the development of our profession. How can employers and professionals identify, manage and mitigate the risks of stress and burnout? How can we all balance the demands of the job with personal well-being to achieve long and fulfilling careers?
Also of interest: Could veterans be the answer to the cyber skills shortage problem?