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1 in 4 CISOs Wants To Say Sayonara to Security

Thanks to burnout and stress, Gartner predicts churn and even departure from profession among half of today's security leaders by 2025.

Enterprises can expect to see some pretty dramatic churn in their cybersecurity departments in the next two years if they're not proactive about countering security burnout. A prediction out today by Gartner estimates that almost half of cybersecurity leaders will change jobs by 2025. More startling, the analyst firm predicts that one in four leaders will exit the security stage completely.

According to Deepti Gopal, director analyst for Gartner, cybersecurity professionals are generally facing "unsustainable levels of stress." For CISOs and other security managers, the mental and emotional fallout from occupying the scapegoat role is not only spurring many them to look outside of their current jobs or their professions, it's also impacting their effectiveness when they stay.

"CISOs are on the defense, with the only possible outcomes that they don’t get hacked or they do," Gopal says. "The psychological impact of this directly affects decision quality and the performance of cybersecurity leaders and their teams."

Negative Unemployment & Burnout Persist in Cybersecurity

For a long time now, the need for cybersecurity expertise has gone unfilled across the entire industry. Per last year's (ISC)2 estimates, by 2025 there will be a shortfall of 3.5 million cybersecurity experts. Even as other jobs in the tech industry begin to evaporate in the face of tech sector layoffs, cybersecurity appears to be immune to this. A report earlier this month  from (ISC)2 showed that only 10% of corporate executives expect to lay off members of their cybersecurity teams this year.

However, these seemingly positive numbers about job security in the cybersecurity world could actually be a red flag for what's currently ailing the profession. That is, burnout and job dissatisfaction are making it tough to recruit and retain talent. A different survey out this week from Magnet Forensics shows this phenomenon within the rank-and-file population of security analysts and investigators: More than half of these security pros reported feeling burned out in their jobs.

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