CISOs in smaller businesses suffer stress that puts the company at risk

stressed overwork pressure

A new study from extended detection and response platform Cynet finds 94 percent of CISOs in small to mid-sized companies report being stressed at work.

What's more 65 percent admit work-related stress issues are compromising their ability to protect their organization. Among the CISOs surveyed, 100 percent say they need additional resources to adequately cope with current IT security challenges.

A lack of bandwidth and resources is not only impacting CISOs, but also their teams. According to the report, 74 percent say they are losing team members because of work-related stress issues, with nearly half (47 percent) 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 percent 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 those surveyed say 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. 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," says Eyal Gruner, co-founder and CEO of Cynet. "One of the most eye-opening insights from the report was the fact that more than 50 percent of the CISOs we surveyed said consolidating multiple security technologies on a single platform would decrease their work-related stress levels."

The study shows that 77 percent of CISOs believe their limited bandwidth and lack of resources has led to important security initiatives falling to the wayside, with 79 percent of these claiming they have received complaints from board members, colleagues or employees that security tasks are not being handled effectively.

In addition 93 percent believe they are spending too much time on tactical tasks instead of performing strategic, high-value work and management responsibilities. Among these more than a quarter report spending their workday almost exclusively on tactical/operational tasks.

There's a personal impact too, 84 percent of CISOs say they have had to cancel a vacation due to an urgent work matter and 64 percent report they’ve missed a private event because of work fatigue. More than 90 percent consistently work over 40 hours per week with no break.

You can find out more on the Cynet blog.

Image credit: Wavebreakmedia/

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