One of the biggest problems in cybersecurity is also one of the lease talked about: Demand for cybersecurity professionals is significantly higher than supply. That means most companies are operating without adequate or even any in-house expertise.
Part of the challenge is recruiting cybersecurity professionals from a small talent pool. But retaining them proves to be an even bigger challenge. They are either lured away by better offers from another company. Or, much less talked about, they burnout because of security PTSD.
This evolving idea is based on the fact that cybersecurity professionals are exposed to tremendous pressure. They take a on a huge responsibility but are typically under-staffer and under-budgeted. And when incidents do happen, the weight of the crisis falls mostly on their shoulders. Those pressures lead directly to lower job satisfaction and higher turnover.
The question companies are now asking is how to provide these professionals with adequate support. The difficulty is balancing what is necessary with what is cost effective. Targeting investments in these areas makes life easier on cybersecurity professionals and security stronger overall:
Prioritize Cloud Solutions
Since the cloud is managed by someone else the security workload is as well. In general, cloud solutions require less from in-house IT staff. These solutions also handle routine tasks, freeing staff up to focus on more important protections. Those benefits are in addition to the cost savings of the cloud. Companies are increasingly taking a cloud-first approach specifically to make security workloads more manageable.
Expand Employee Training
An astounding 90 percent of cyberattacks are caused by human error or behavior. That means coworkers are creating most of the work for cybersecurity professionals. Training and education have been shown to be highly-effective at lowering the rates of incidents and the threat of hackers overall. Plus, professionals have to deal with fewer preventable mistakes and oversights, which makes work a lot less frustrating.
Invest in Cyber Coverage
The financial cost of any cyber incident is high. And in the worst cases it leads to financial ruin. Since the stakes are so high, cybersecurity professionals are under tremendous pressure to resolve breaches immediately. That is not easy, and sometimes it’s impossible, which is a huge burden hanging over a few members of staff. Cyber security insurance makes responding to attacks easier and more effective. Various policies provide coverage for technical assistance, public relations support, legal representation, and financial losses. That way, the fate of the company does not rest entirely on the IT team.
The obvious way to keep cybersecurity professionals on staff might be to pay them more. But, in practice, a better benefits package might be more enticing. Working in high-stress situations takes a significant physical and mental toll. No amount of money makes up for feeling miserable. Benefits packages that cover mental health or provide gym memberships provide what overworked professionals need. Being more flexible with scheduling, sick leave, and personal time is another avenue to explore.
Cybersecurity is one of the top threats today’s businesses face. That means cybersecurity professionals are essential staff. The way to treat them like that is to acknowledge how overwhelming their responsibility is. Then make the situation more sustainable for all.