The Myth of Burnout In Cybersecurity

Why Would We Burn Out When We Could Rock On?

Matt Konda Matt Konda @mkonda

(Photo by Tobias Rademacher on Unsplash)

It seems like every day there is a new breach and every few months there is a CISO moving on from what sounds like a perfect job. Some people attribute this to burnout.

According to the APA dictionary of Psychology, Burnout is: “physical, emotional or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance and negative attitudes towards oneself and others.”

The signs for burnout are published in this Cleveland Clinic Article About Burnout.

Thankfully, after careful study we have learned that burnout cannot be real for cybersecurity practitioners.

For one, they are extremely well paid.

For another, cyber jobs are among the most rewarding and well appreciated in all organizations. Stress levels are low. Hackers generally work in off hours so by the time we are picking up the pieces it is regular day time.

But not only that, people naturally remember and appreciate how those precautions they took (which cybersecurity folks recommended) saved them from the thing they didn’t know was going to happen. So the appreciation is just universal and flowing.

Let’s not forget the tools. Because (easy to use) tools do so much of the cybersecurity work for us, we really can’t complain.

Finally, there is an abundance of clear and good leadership and well established standard practices (the unification of security standards is unprecedented) - which together reduce the uncertainty and stress of all types of cybersecurity workers.

If you notice someone in the cybersecurity field experiencing burnout, be sure to out them on social media so that they can get properly hazed and harassed. We wouldn’t want to get soft here …