Quarter of CISOs say job strain is causing physical and mental health issues

Increased workloads, lack of resources and long working hours are causing undue stress

stressed man

CISOs are coming under increasing pressure in their job roles, with demands from the wider business, increased workloads, budget constraints and lack of resources affecting their mental health.

A report by Nominet has revealed that a quarter of CISOs are reporting they are suffering from physical and mental health issues and a fifth are turning to alcohol or medication to make them feel better.

CISOs said they are expected to work long hours (88% said they work more than 40 hours a week) and almost a quarter said they are contactable 24 hours a day.

The reasons security professionals are feeling so under pressure is because risks to their business' security are growing and they must be able to protect their organisation against the rapidly evolving threat landscape.

"CISOs around the world are facing mounting pressures amid a rapidly shifting cyber landscape. Criminals are forever finding ways to exploit vulnerabilities, and do not discriminate against the businesses they attack. Everyone is a target," said Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet.

"It's no surprise that CISOs are facing burnout. Many lack support from within their organisations, and senior business leaders need to face the facts: the threats are real, and CISOs need to be given the resources and support to tackle them. If not, the board must face the consequences."

Nominet's report explained that CISOs don't feel they get support from the leadership team, either. Nearly a fifth of respondents said they don't feel valued by the board and 65% said senior members of staff just didn't "buy in" to the problem of keeping the business secure.

"The risk is not only personal to a CISO, but a business' hard-won reputation," Haworth added. "The growing economic cost is also a worrying trend - A recent report put the cost of global cybercrime at $600 billion in 2017. With that cost likely to rise in the future. We must all work harder, and cooperatively, to mitigate potential losses by having the right strategy, tools and resource in place to prevent breaches in the first place."

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