Uncovering the everyday frustrations of cybersecurity professionals

Head in hands

Anyone who has worked in IT knows that it can be a frustrating experience at times. A new survey carried out by network security provider Lastline at RSAC 2019 set out to discover security professionals' attitudes and frustrations towards their jobs.

These come from a number of places, including resources, management and other workers. We all know that there's a skills shortage in security, but funding is often an issue too.


Only two percent of those surveyed say they already have adequate funding. However, over a quarter of those surveyed (28 percent) think it wouldn't take much to get additional budget -- more specifically they said it would only take 'a good pitch to execs' to secure adequate funding.

23 percent think it would take a successful attack against their company in order to get executives to spend enough on security, by which time, of course it would be too late. 18 percent believe that another highly visible data breach, such as Target or Equifax, would help. Most surprising is that three in 10 think it essentially impossible to get adequate funding, 16 percent think it would take a declared cyberwar and 12 percent say it simply will never happen.

Another theme of the report is that the actions of the people they're trying to protect makes security professionals' jobs even harder. Despite training and reminders about phishing attacks, employees continue to click on suspicious links and fall victim to social engineering schemes. This is perhaps because most employees have expertise in other areas and are focused on their role and priorities, not on security.

One particular finding from the survey provided some insight into this with regard to the cloud. Nearly a third (31.5 percent) of security pros believe that at least half of their employees think the cloud is literally in the sky. Which is quite funny but also concerning. Only a third are confident that all of their employees understand what the cloud is (or at least that it isn't in the sky), with the remaining third falling in the range of 'some, but less than 50 percent' believe the cloud is in the sky.

So given all of this why do people work in cybersecurity? 19 percent do so because they are well paid, 28 percent for the mental stimulation and challenge. And a rather touching 33 percent say they want to help keep the world safe from cybercriminals.

You can find out more on the Lastline blog.

Photo credit: Morganka / Shutterstock

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