Cybersecurity Stress is Reaching a Boiling Point, Survey Says

Cybersecurity Stress is Reaching a Boiling Point, Survey Says

The cybersecurity industry is facing significant challenges these days. According to the 2024 Cybersecurity Assessment industry report, nearly two-thirds of respondents plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months—a 25% increase from the previous year. Alert fatigue, operational overhead, long hours of being on call, increasing pressure from the business staff, and the high success rate of attempted breaches are all contributing to an abundance of stress in the workplace. 

Things can get better. The right tools can automate manual, tedious tasks, streamline workflows and create efficiencies. Coupled with a managed services security provider (MSSP), these tools alleviate much of the stress associated with working in cybersecurity—helping you protect your organization while ensuring a healthier work-life balance. 

What’s Behind Cybersecurity Stress? 

The reasons behind the increasing burnout are varied—ranging from operational inefficiencies to an increasingly complex cybersecurity landscape.   

Traditionally, cybersecurity has been a labor-intensive IT function, using a variety of monitoring tools to detect threats and remediate their impact on the business. Constantly switching between tools, keeping up with an expanding threat surface, collating event data and identifying patterns have tended to be human-led exercises that require hands-on configuration. Alert fatigue is real as dozens of tools spit out event data at a rapid rate—much of it false negatives. This seemingly endless volume of work can be draining, especially if it requires overtime. According to the new survey, 70% of respondents admitted to working weekends over the past year. 

This feeling of being overwhelmed has coincided with increased pressure on the security team. When a single misconfigured server can lead to a breach that exposes customer information, disrupts operations, and results in a $5 million ransomware payout, you’d better believe that the C-Suite is paying attention to how the cybersecurity team is performing. The pressure to ensure cyber resilience has never been greater, causing anxiety and distress among cybersecurity professionals who feel they may be blamed if a breach occurs. 

Unfortunately, threat actors are getting savvier. Generative AI allows even the least-savvy attacker to spin up a sophisticated attack using fake emails and logos that seem legitimate. Cybersecurity professionals are almost always playing catch up with attackers, scrambling to put out fires, it seems, against an increasingly competent adversary. Over half of the survey’s respondents (57%) experienced a breach at their organization last year. This sense of treading water while attackers run rampant across your network can be demoralizing, leading to even more burnout and stress. 

Alleviating Cybersecurity Stress 

New solutions are emerging to help alleviate the stress in cybersecurity roles. New Extended Detection and Response (XDR) tools and working with a new generation of MSSPs can reduce operational overhead and improve cybersecurity resilience and your ability to resolve issues quickly. XDR platforms consolidate the dozens of monitoring tools you use across your complex environments you can identify, remediate and recover from threats—all from a single dashboard. Fighting fire with fire, these tools use AI to analyze feeds, create insights across events and provide next-step recommendations that can be triggered or initiated by a human.  

At the same time, MSSPs can take a lot of the work off your team’s plate by acting as the eyes and ears of your security aparatus—even taking over during the nights and weekends to give your people a break. Most importantly, their expertise and experience dealing with the latest sophisticated threats are at your disposal, helping you keep up to date on the latest intelligence without having to hire, train or upskill existing human resources. 


The escalating stress levels in the cybersecurity sector, as highlighted by the survey, are a clear indication of the urgent need for better tools and strategies. Increased responsibilities and a sophisticated threat landscape are significant contributors to this pressure. By integrating advanced XDR tools and collaborating with experienced MSSPs, cybersecurity teams can alleviate much of this stress. These solutions not only streamline operations and enhance threat detection but also support the creation of a healthier work environment and a better work-life balance for cybersecurity professionals.

Access the complete findings of the 2024 Cybersecurity Assessment Report below.

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Bitdefender Enterprise

Bitdefender is a cybersecurity leader delivering best-in-class threat prevention, detection, and response solutions worldwide. Guardian over millions of consumer, enterprise, and government environments, Bitdefender is one of the industry’s most trusted experts for eliminating threats, protecting privacy, digital identity and data, and enabling cyber resilience. With deep investments in research and development, Bitdefender Labs discovers hundreds of new threats each minute and validates billions of threat queries daily. The company has pioneered breakthrough innovations in antimalware, IoT security, behavioral analytics, and artificial intelligence and its technology is licensed by more than 180 of the world’s most recognized technology brands. Founded in 2001, Bitdefender has customers in 170+ countries with offices around the world.

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