Ask Jack: Is Burnout Causing Cybersecurity Risks?

By Jack McCalmon, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

It just seems that people are more burned out and not taking things seriously like data security protocols or am I just paranoid?


Security and paranoia are a good pairing, especially when it comes to data security. In this case, there is survey data that shows your concerns are real.

A survey of 2,500 full-time U.S. and Canadian workers found that 80 percent of workers and 84 percent of security specialists were feeling "burned out" and of those people, 20 percent did not believe that cybersecurity efforts were worth the trouble, compared to just seven percent of workers who expressed they were not burned out.

Burned out workers, according to survey, are more likely to reuse passwords (12 percent) and to use software not approved by their employer (48 percent) than workers who not experiencing burn out.

Finally, according to the survey, there appears to be a correlation between workers wanting to switch jobs and security. Approximately 49 percent of employees seeking to switch jobs are more likely to use software not approved by their employer.

So, what are the takeaways:

  • Better engagement with employees can improve data security and improve retention. Happy employees are more likely to follow the rules than unhappy employees.
  • Do not ignore burnout. Make certain your employees have balance between their work and free time.
  • Deliver a consistent message outside of discipline about data security, including not reusing passwords and to use only approved software on work devices.
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