Budget cuts take a toll on IT decision makers’ mental health

60% of IT decision-makers agreed that budget cuts have negatively impacted their mental health and wellbeing, according to Integrity360.

IT decision makers wellbeing

To add to that, 55% noted that the current economic climate has reduced access to mental health and wellbeing resources within their organization.

It would seem that protecting sensitive data (48%) is the biggest cybersecurity challenge keeping IT decision-makers awake at night, followed by managing risk and compliance (28%), defending identities (26%), ransomware (25%) and securing cloud environments (23%). Secure IoT and OT environments (20%), expanded attack surfaces (19%) and security consolidation (18%) are also a cause for sleepless nights.

For CIOs specifically (30%), their concerns over security consolidation were somewhat higher than others such as information security analysts (14%) and CTOs (18%) that were surveyed. This is likely due to their direct involvement in managing the process, as businesses continue to tackle solution sprawl and consolidate the security tools they have deployed in order to maintain control and visibility over their networks.

Mental wellbeing in the cybersecurity workforce

Whilst ransomware ranked below protecting sensitive data, the ransomware resurgence in particular, was cited by 57% as having negatively impacted the mental health and wellbeing of those surveyed.

“Ransomware is still proving to be a lucrative means of attack and new techniques such as double extortion are just another example of why businesses should be prepared for the when and not if”, said Brian Martin, Head of Product Development, Innovation and Strategy at Integrity360.

“Ransomware operators using extortion as opposed to ransoming data means they no longer need to encrypt the data they steal, and it’s now morphed into data theft. Businesses need to be prepared for these tactics to continue to evolve and have the necessary teams and processes in place. A dedicated IR team will relieve the pressure and strains on businesses trying to keep pace with attackers.”

Worryingly, 63% of those surveyed noted that their work within the cybersecurity industry increased their stress and anxiety. The good news, however, is that almost 70% highlighted that their organization adequately supports their mental health and wellbeing. Despite this, a significant majority (75%), said they would like more investment in mental health and wellbeing resources.

“Cybersecurity budgets have always been challenging, and this year has certainly tested many businesses. A myriad of issues from budget, economic downturn and skills shortage have all impacted the workload placed on those tasked with tackling cyber threats and compliance and it’s no surprise this is having a detrimental effect on mental wellbeing.

“Businesses need to find solutions to support their employees and ensure that the systems they are working so hard to secure are up to the task. Enlisting third-party help or outsourcing to an MSSP could be a good place to start,” added Martin.

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