Some 49% of UK cybersecurity decision-makers have considered leaving the industry due to mounting stress levels, and a similar number know someone who has in the past year, according to new research.
The data comes from security vendor Deep Instinct’s latest Voice of SecOps report, compiled from interviews with 1000 C-suite and senior cybersecurity professionals in North America, the UK, France, and Germany. These respondents work in companies with over 1000 employees and annual revenues of more than $500m.
Worryingly, 46% of UK respondents said the stress of dealing with mounting threats had risen measurably over the past year. Even more (51%) believe this pressure is impacting their decision-making.
Ransomware (51%) was highlighted as the number one contributor to this stress for CISOs, followed by supply chain attacks (49%) and the impact of digital transformation on security posture (47%).
For senior security pros, ransomware again ranked first (48%), followed by concerns over insufficient SecOps staff (42%) and alert overload (49%).
The latter two are regularly reported challenges faced by SecOps managers. Trend Micro research from May last year revealed that 70% of security operations center (SOC) staff are becoming emotionally overwhelmed by the sheer number of alerts pouring in from disparate security tools.
This alert overload makes it difficult to separate the real from the noise. In fact, Deep Instinct found that 85% of respondents spend an average of nine hours each week dealing with alerts caused by false positives.
Over three-quarters (78%) said their false positive rate has increased over the past year, and a quarter (24%) admitted to turning off alerts altogether as a result of becoming inundated.
“Considering that the constant waves of cyber-attacks are likely to become more common and evasive as we move forward, it’s of the utmost importance to ensure that those who dedicate their careers and lives to defending our businesses and country don’t become overly stressed and give up,” argued Guy Caspi, CEO of Deep Instinct.