Survey Finds IT Security Pros Under Increasing Pressure

Share it on Twitter  
Share it on Facebook  
Share it on Linked in  

A recent survey of 1,016 information security professionals found that 54 percent of respondents felt an increase in pressure to secure their organizations in 2014, and 57 percent expect to experience more such pressure in the coming year.

Trustwave's second annual 2015 Security Pressures Report also found that enterprise IT security pros are under the greatest pressure, with 64 percent of enterprise respondents anticipating an increase in pressure in 2015, compared to 48 percent of those at SMBs.

Sixty-one percent of respondents said they felt the most pressure from owners and board and C-level executives, up from 50 percent last year.

"The pressures IT professionals face are growing: cybercriminals are increasingly crafty, new attack vectors are emerging, budgets are tight, skills are at a premium, security policies are either incomplete or disregarded, and many security solutions are proving too complex to manage or too basic to be useful against a professional adversary," IDC program director Christina Richmond said in a statement.

Fully 77 percent of respondents said they had been pressured to unveil IT projects that weren't security ready.

And most respondents saw a significant need for more staff -- 84 percent said they want the size of their IT security increased. Fifty-four percent want their IT security team doubled in size, and 30 percent wanted it quadrupled or more.

Still, a surprising number of respondents were extremely confident about their security posture -- 70 percent of respondents said they felt safe from cyber attacks and data compromises.

"All signs point to turbulent times for IT and security professionals, and our findings back this up," Trustwave senior vice president of product management John Amaral said in a statement. "Overall, pressures for IT and security professionals increased from 2013 to 2014, and even more distress is expected in 2015."

"The report also finds that the decisions security pros make are not necessarily the ones they want to make, and many report they do not have enough resources and in-house skills to deploy a defense-in-depth security program without confronting a mountain of pressure while doing it," Amaral added.

A GFI Software survey last year found that 79 percent of IT staff are actively considering leaving their jobs due to work-related stress, up from 57 percent the year before. One third of respondents to that survey said they regularly lose sleep over work pressures, and one quarter said they had suffered stress-related illnesses.

"IT is renowned for being one of the most stressful white-collar jobs to undertake, now more so than ever given the critical role IT plays in everything from ecommerce to facilities management," Sergio Galindo, general manager of the Infrastructure Business Unit at GFI Software, said at the time.

A recent eSecurity Planet article offered tips on reducing infosec stress.