This idea of heroism has captured the imagination of many cybersecurity teams. We share thrilling tales of staying up all night to protect our company or look into a threat. The poll results revealed that, on average, CISOs work 11 hours more per week than they are required to, and 10% of CISOs claim to put in 20 to 24 extra hours per week. A poor work-life balance has resulted from this regrettable tendency.
No one gains from this heroic culture. It ignores that the excessive workload and long hours create an unhealthy and unsustainable work environment. A team has been optimized for heroics rather than for efficient and long-lasting work if a CISO must continuously be brought into the loop or step in to help with frontline incident response activities. The crew may suffer severe burnout as a result of this.
Particularly over the holidays, when staff are less available, it’s critical to set expectations proactively and have a sound response strategy. When an incident occurs over the holidays, security teams should be fully prepared to respond, including understanding when to call in a CISO, when to stop working on an after-hours incident, and when to follow up during regular business hours.
It’s OK to stop the bleeding first and then address the mystery. When not necessary, many security teams raise issues to the level of CISOs, which adds to the workload. CISOs may assist in resolving this issue and improving their own and the team’s experiences by outlining clear expectations.
CISOs can inspire their employees by setting a positive example and preparing them for long-term operational success. When team members witness a CISO consistently doing all-nighters or sending late-night emails, it encourages such behaviour as the norm. Heroics are occasionally unavoidable, but CISOs should ensure they are not the rule.
Why CISOs Don’t Take Vacation Leaves Lately
As the world becomes increasingly connected and digital, the CISO role has become more critical than ever. These executives are responsible for protecting an organization’s information and assets and are often the first line of defence against cyber threats. With this level of responsibility comes a lot of pressure and stress, and CISOs may find it challenging to take time off and relax.
One reason why CISOs may not take vacation leaves is that they are constantly on call. Cyber threats can happen anytime, and a CISO needs to be ready to respond and take action quickly. This means that even when a CISO is on vacation, they may still be checking their work email and phone, and they may be called back to work if there is a security incident.
Another reason why CISOs may not take vacation leaves because they may feel guilty about leaving their team behind. CISOs are often responsible for leading a team of security professionals, and they may feel they need to support and guide their team. This can make it difficult for CISOs to relax and enjoy their vacation.
Why do They Use their Free Time to Catch Up with Pending Tasks from Work or to Improve Themself Constantly
The work of a CISO has yet to be done, and there are always new threats and challenges to tackle. Aside from not taking vacation leaves, CISOs also use their free time to catch up on pending tasks and improve themselves. They always seek to enhance their knowledge and skills to protect their organization.
CISOs must also stay current on security trends, threats, and technologies. This means they often read industry publications, attend conferences, and participate in online communities. This continuous learning and development can take a lot of time, but a CISO needs to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for any potential threats.
Moreover, catching up with pending tasks is critical to being a CISO. They must stay up-to-date with the organization’s security posture, perform regular risk assessments, and ensure that its security policies and procedures are followed. These tasks are essential to maintaining a strong security posture but can also take up a lot of time.
In conclusion, being a CISO is demanding and challenging, and it can be difficult for CISOs to take time off and relax. They may feel that they need to be constantly available to respond to cyber threats and support their team and use their free time to improve their knowledge and skills. However, CISOS need to take care of themselves and balance work and personal life. Taking vacation leaves, disconnecting from work and enjoying free time is crucial for one’s mental and physical well-being.
Reassess Burnout For The Hybrid And Remote Workplace
Burnout in cybersecurity has been widely explored, but the discussion must match the modern workplace. Since remote and hybrid workplaces are more common, many employees work partially or entirely from home. Dealing with high-stress, high-stakes cybersecurity scenarios from home has a different effect on mental health, and 59% of CISOs admit they find it difficult to unwind after work.
Not all employees have a private office in their houses. Naturally, many CISOs and the people on their teams must be prepared to frequently be contacted in the middle of the night to look into a problem. I can attest from personal experience that over the holidays when many people travel, this problem gets even worse.
Nobody wants to react to a security incident in grandma’s living room while their bewildered and disgruntled family is eating dinner in the adjacent room. To offer operationally effective security outcomes, it’s critical to detect situations like this and develop durable, humane experiences.
CISOs and their businesses must make the appropriate staffing and tool investments to prevent and manage burnout. The company doesn’t have a large enough workforce if it can’t survive a week where more than one person is absent due to illness. This issue can be resolved with the right resources.
Despite holiday travel and vacation time, other departments like engineering and customer service have had to figure out how to provide 24×7 support. This problem is not specific to security. Our sector should take note of what other businesses are doing. Hiring one more worker is nearly always more cost-effective than exhausting a team and running up additional risks and expenses.
Most burnouts among drivers can be prevented. Many of these issues may be addressed by CISOs, and they should be held accountable for doing so. It involves putting the right people in place, tightening up procedures and tools in advance of an issue, and setting an example for others. To prevent burnout, leaders must be proactive in addressing their teams’ operational requirements and ensure that the workforce levels, procedures, and technology are in place.