Recent research from Nominet reveals that cyber security professionals, expensive to hire, much in demand and challenging to recruit, are at a high risk of burnout and as a result, many CISOs will only stay 26 months in a role before seeking new employment.

John Scott, Lead Cyber Security Researcher at CultureAI, explains how human risk automation can help prevent burnout and protect mental health in this high-pressure role.

Cyber criminals are relentlessly exploiting new technologies to improve their chances of success. As such, security professionals are feeling the pressure of keeping watch against these threats and trying to stay a step ahead of these criminals.

Yet, constantly remaining in a state of high alert is a formula for burnout, stress, and errors – but this doesn’t have to be the case. Human risk management automation refers to the use of software tools to automate the processes of monitoring, reducing, and fixing workforce security risks. This can help ease the burden felt by security professionals and aid in improving overall security posture.

 

The perils of perpetual vigilance

Beating burnout starts with spotting the signs. Cyber security professionals need to be on the lookout for potential risks and threats. It’s an ironic twist—being ready for attacks from everywhere can lead to doubt and burnout. Recognising this is the first step to tackling it.

 

Alert fatigue

Cyber security professionals are often subjected to an endless barrage of alerts, each one potentially heralding a breach. The sheer volume of these notifications, some of which could even be false alarms, leads to a phenomenon known as alert fatigue. This not only dulls the senses to genuine threats but can also amplify stress.

 

Reduced job satisfaction

Elevated stress levels and the constant battle against security threats can take a toll on job satisfaction. This becomes a catalyst for high turnover rates, weakening teams when they are most needed.

 

Increased vulnerability

The vigilance that is the hallmark of the cyber security profession might also increase the possibility of being prone to psychological exploits. The ongoing stress and overload of work can create weaknesses that cyber criminals can take advantage of.

 

The benefit of human risk management automation

While there is no single solution to overcoming the heightened stress facing security professionals, there are several options that can help. Implementing security automation can significantly alleviate the burden on overstretched professionals. It can also ensure that the quality of risk management remains consistent, while other benefits are outlined below.

 

Cost efficiency

Automated human risk management tools can monitor, reduce, and fix risks in real time, and much faster than human operators. This reduces the window of time where these risks can be exploited, while also keeping down costs.

 

Improved employee wellbeing

Security automation substantially lightens the workload and allows employees to focus attention and resources where they are most needed. This frees up time and reduces pressure, facilitating a better work-life balance.

 

Save time and effort

Automation tools can handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as triaging risks and generating reports. This significantly improves operational efficiency and enables security teams to focus on more strategic projects.

 

Scalability

As organisations grow, manual processes become increasingly challenging to manage. Automation provides for easy scalability without the need for a proportional increase in resources.

 

Risk is inevitable but, it can and should be effectively managed. Automating human risk management is essential. It acts as a crucial lifeline, enabling security teams of all sizes to manage the immense pressure and demands of their roles more easily. It also enhances efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. Furthermore, it allows for quicker, more precise risk identification and response, significantly reducing the risk of burnout.

 

This is why an effective, automated human risk management platform is invaluable, and as the risk landscape continues to evolve, the need for such automation will only increase.