Employee burnout puts business security at risk

A new survey of 2,500 adults looks at how workforce burnout has opened businesses to attacks, with trends such as remote and hybrid work, the Great Resignation and worse behavior by cybersecurity professionals being the driving forces behind the threat.

The research, from password manager 1Password, finds that 84 percent of security professionals and 80 percent of other workers are feeling burned out, leading to serious backsliding around security protocols.

"Pandemic-fueled burnout -- and resultant workplace apathy and distraction -- has emerged as the next significant security risk," says Jeff Shiner, chief executive officer at 1Password. "It's particularly surprising to find that burned-out security leaders, charged with protecting businesses, are doing a far worse job of following security guidelines--and putting companies at risk. It's now a business imperative for companies to engage the humans at the heart of security operations with tools, training and ongoing support to create a culture of security and care that helps us all stay safe at work."

Symtoms of the problem include that 60 percent more burned-out employees than non-burned-out employees are creating, downloading or using software and apps at work without IT's permission (48 percent compared to 30 percent).

Security professionals are twice as likely as other workers to say that due to burnout, they are 'completely checked out' and 'doing the bare minimum at work', while significantly burned-out security professionals are more than twice as likely to say security rules and policies aren't worth the hassle, compared to those who are only somewhat burned out (44 percent compared to 19 percent).

The study also finds that 64 percent of respondents say they are actively looking for a new job, on the verge of quitting, or open to the idea of switching jobs. Security professionals are nearly 50 percent more likely than other workers to be actively looking for a new job.

These 'ready to resign' employees are 50 percent more likely to say convenience is more important than security at work and nearly 50 percent more employees looking to switch jobs are creating, downloading or using software and apps at work without IT's permission (49 percent), compared to those with no interest in a job change (34 percent).

Interestingly security professionals are more likely than other workers to say they work around their company's policies because they are trying to solve their own IT problems themselves (37 percent vs 25 percent) or because they hate the software their company provides (15 percent vs five percent).

You can get the full report from the 1Password site.

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