In cybersecurity, a vulnerability is a weakness. It’s a bad thing. Defences must be strong, unbreakable, and hardened against threats 24/7. The same sentiment seems to extend to its professionals, whether we recognise it or not. As a result, a whole host of mental health issues run rife throughout the industry. We must change that. It’s time that we take a more human approach to the mental health and burnout crisis that plagues cybersecurity.
First, we must recognise that there is a problem – and enough surveys have shown us the worrying reality. For example, The State of Mental Health in Cybersecurity 2022 report by Tines found that 64% of security professionals have had their mental health affected by their work. That same survey also found that over 50% of these professionals have been prescribed medication to help with their mental health. We have found ourselves in a perfect storm for mental health issues to manifest; there’s mounting pressure from all angles, cybercriminals becoming more sophisticated, alert fatigue, reduced budgets, and the much discussed and very real cybersecurity skills gap, amongst other factors. Enough is enough.
Once we’ve acknowledged the problem, we must do something about it. Now is the time for change. We cannot delay it any further; the problem will only worsen. That’s why The Gurus are committed to speak up and use our platform for good, alongside the industry’s trailblazers. What we need now is changemakers.
Enter: The Cyber Mindfulness Corner.
What is ‘Cyber Mindfulness’?
Cyber Mindfulness was coined to solidify a new approach that unites cybersecurity and mindfulness. It emphasises the human aspect of cybersecurity, without which the industry would be nothing. It’s a more holistic approach to tackling mental health problems within the industry.
What is The Cyber Mindfulness Corner?
The Cyber Mindfulness Corner will be a place for discussion, a place to ask questions to professionals and peers (anonymously and otherwise), and a place to find resources that can be used to implement actionable change within any organisation. It’s a place where we will not shy away from discussing off-limits and taboo conversations around mental health that plague the industry and affect the day-to-day lives of our peers. We will also cover (cyber)mindfulness news, alongside tips and tricks from experts.
We’re lucky to be working alongside some of the industry’s leading professionals who champion positive mental health and sustainable workplace practices. We’re thrilled that wellbeing and productivity app The Zensory are partnering with us as we launch this exciting venture.
We’re also excited to be supporting Virtually Informed’s Mental Health in Cybersecurity paper, as well as its proposed charter.
How Can I Get Involved?
We’re committed to making The Cyber Mindfulness Corner a place for the community. If you’d like to be part of the conversation, please email:
Likewise, if you would like some advice from one of our expert Agony Aunts and Uncles, send us a message to [email protected]
But I’m Struggling Now!
If you need urgent help, please contact (UK):
- Call Samaritans on 116 123
- Text SHOUT to 85258
These emergency services are free, anonymous and always open.
More useful helplines that can be used to support yourself, loved ones, or struggling colleagues can be found here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/crisis-services/helplines-listening-services/
We cannot stress this enough: there is no small step too small for organisations and individuals to take when it comes to cyber mindfulness. Any step in helping combat burnout, alert fatigue and mental health issues within the industry is a step in the right direction. However, it will involve commitment – and time.