there Mental health crisis escalates in the cybersecurity industry. Not only does it impact people’s wellness and team productivity, but it can also impact organizations’ ability to recruit and retain new talent. Looking there already Talent shortage in cybersecurityHowever, this closeness can be detrimental to teams that are already understaffed and overwhelmed.
This is the current state of cybersecurity retention and recruiting and why you should take your mental health and wellness into consideration when managing your current team.
Talent shortage and retention challenges
All security majors feel a lack of talent is available to fill security operations roles. for every 100 cyber security jobs have been posted, and there are only 68 qualified personnel to fill themAccording to CyberSeek. Having limited talent in the pipeline means that more organizations are vying for these few job seekers. But many of those looking for a new job would like to join an organization that cares about its employees – especially when it comes to mental health. In fact, up to 73% of job seekers Consider your organization’s health and wellness packages when deciding on a new workplace.
Security teams also face the challenge of retaining their existing staff as well. I’ve noticed that many security professionals are frustrated with outdated tools, spend their day on repetitive tasks, and don’t feel like they are actively contributing to their organization’s security posture. Detached, exhausted, and undervalued employees tend not to turn around. How bad is rotation? Sixty-four percent of security professionals Planning to switch jobs next year.
The challenge is twofold: Job seekers who don’t think you prioritize mental health may not join your company, and current employees whose mental health is affected by their work environment could leave. But it can’t be that bad in cybersecurity right now, can it?
Warning signs in cyber security
Security leaders considering hiring and retaining should be familiar with how workers in the industry manage mental health. When we asked security professionals to rank their mental health for our report on The state of mental health in cybersecurityand 67% rated it excellent, very good, or good — which might seem like a fairly high number.
However, there is a standard, such as 81% of adults in the United States They rated their mental health as excellent or good, according to Gallup. By their own self-assessment, cybersecurity professionals fall well below average. If you think the mental health of your security team members is on par with that of members of other departments in your organization, you may want to think again.
According to our report, 27% of respondents also said that their mental health had worsened over the past year. I think this drop is most likely due not only to the direct effects of the pandemic, but also to the unique situations that the pandemic has created that have affected stress levels on the security and mental health team. Moving to remote work Organizations are exposed to more vulnerabilities and attackscontinuous The “big resignation” also leaves security teams understaffed and overworked. In addition, the The war in Ukraine increases the risk of cyberattacks– Concerns escalated among security practitioners.
These are just some of the factors that contribute to high levels of stress that 66% of security professionals told us they encounter at work. In addition, 63% said they had seen their stress levels rise within the past year.
Given the above findings, organizations should take action to ensure their employees get the resources and help they need, right? not necessarily. Only 57% of security professionals told us that their workplace provides them with resources and support for their mental health. In the end, only 54% said their workplace prioritizes mental health.
All of the above factors can lead to a situation where employees walk out the door. And what does a job seeker want when they hear that your organization is losing talent due to not prioritizing employee mental health?
what you can do
The good news is that there are actions and initiatives you can take today to improve the mental health of your workers.
Begin by normalizing the conversation about mental health in order to let employees know that you prioritize their mental health and well-being. Communicate frequently about the resources available to employees and openly discuss the ways work affects mental health. Allow employees to take mental health days and encourage them to talk about their mental health. Creating a wellness culture can be an attraction for new employees, too.
Workplaces can also provide resources and support to increase flexibility. Offer an employee assistance program where employees can connect and pair up with people to talk to. Coaching the leadership on how to recognize the mental health effects on their team, and offering stress management workshops. Part of caring for your team requires more consideration of what will improve their overall mental health — will it be a more flexible schedule, access to health and wellness initiatives, or the ability to take mental health days? Even small performances can go a long way.
Security leaders can too Take steps to assess the stress on their team — stress from tasks, expectations, systems, outdated tools, and more — and take action to change those things. Most of the time, the stress comes from the friction that team members face every day trying to get their duties done. There is, of course, a lot that a team leader can do to simplify their daily workloads and requirements. At this point, leaders can point out the mental health benefits offered by the employer. They may not be able to relieve all of their team’s stress, but resources and assistance can go that last mile toward ensuring teams are healthy and well supported.
Retention and Recruitment
You don’t have to be in a situation where the good recruits go elsewhere and watch your talent go out the door. It’s always a great time to start the conversation about mental health with your teams and create a culture of wellness that gives security professionals the resources they need to be healthy and productive.
Eoin is the founder of teetha platform that allows anyone to automate repetitive security workflows without writing a single line of code.