Generic filters

Mental Health in Cybersecurity: Combating Burnout

May 9, 2023

Mental Health in Cybersecurity: Combating Burnout

From Increased Stress to Burnout: Understanding the Impact of Cybersecurity Workforce Mental Health and How Automation Can Help

If you thought about the major threat to your cybersecurity team, you might think it’s the daily toll of battling ransomware. Or the cyber workforce shortage. Or maybe it’s inefficient work processes. In one way, you’d be right. It’s all those things hitting at once. And what they all add up to is employee burnout.

A recent survey from Mimecast reveals that 84% of cybersecurity professionals are experiencing burnout. The three major reasons they cite are the increase of threats, the talent shortage, and the mistakes other employees make as a result of their burnout.

Overall, concern for cybersecurity workforce mental health is rising. Another Mimecast survey found that 56% of cybersecurity workers are experiencing increased work stress every year, and 54% of respondents say that ransomware threats are having a negative impact on their mental health. All of this impacts the mental health of your workers. And before you figure out what to do about it, you must first be able to recognize it and understand what’s causing it.

Recognizing burnout and stopping it in its tracks.

Burnout and depression are not the same thing, though many symptoms of burnout can closely mirror those of depression:

  • Employees may complain about lack of sleep, you may notice them moving slower or they may have a hard time balancing work and home responsibilities.
  • Everyone has days when they don’t want to get out of bed and go to work. When that persists, burnout results, along with feeling like you don’t make a difference, don’t like your job, or couldn’t possibly ever get ahead of your workload.
  • Tension headaches are a common symptom of burnout.
  • Changes to diet and sleep. Humans are creatures of habit, so when a person starts eating more or eating less, or if they seem more tired or their sleep patterns change, something is amiss.

While depression can have many or no apparent causes, burnout is a direct response to a specific trigger, such as workplace stress. The key is to understand the symptoms and pay attention. A thoughtful manager will pull an employee aside and talk to them about the pressures they face and how the work environment could change to make things less stressful, for example.

Burnout is something the employee can address by increasing exercise, practicing mindfulness, nurturing a hobby, and establishing a daily routine. But it needs to be a cooperative journey with the employer when it comes to improving work/life boundaries, easing workplace stress, having the right tools to do the job, and building breaks into the employee’s daily schedule.

Automation can ease several burnout triggers.

Adding the right automated tools to your cybersecurity strategy can thwart a surprising number of burnout triggers. SteelCloud’s ConfigOS Command Center and ConfigOS MPO can:

Of course, automation is not the only answer to this issue. Combating burnout needs to be addressed from multiple angles, including cultivating an awareness of the issue, improving communication around it, and building a safe environment for employees to express their frustrations and ideas.

To learn more about how automation can help you establish a healthier, less stressful workplace, schedule a demo today and see how we can make hardening easier and less stressful for you and your team.

Share This Resource:

1 comment


Only wanna say that this is invaluable, Thanks for taking your time to write this.

May 23, 2023

Leave a comment