Vertical Markets

Cyber and CNI staff

by Mark Rowe

Staff burnout and a shortage of IT skills could weaken Britain’s defence against attacks on transport, energy and other critical national infrastructures, according to new research from a cyber security services company. In the last year, 85 per cent of IT decision-makers working to protect Britain’s infrastructure have felt increased pressure to improve cyber security controls. Of those, 47pc have suffered unsustainable stress, 41pc have been absent because of burnout, 32pc are looking for another job and 28pc have resigned, says Bridewell Consulting.

Daily life depends on critical national infrastructure (CNI), so threats such as nation state attacks or malware can have implications; financially and to public safety and even causing loss of life, the company says. Most, 86pc of CNI organisations detected cyber attacks in the last year and 93pc of these experienced at least one successful attack, according to the survey of UK IT decision-makers in CNI organisations.

Lack of knowledge and skills is the top challenge facing cyber security teams, the report suggests; followed by an increase in duties and responsibilities, and burnout of employees. Most, 84pc of decision-makers believe there will be a critical cyber security skills shortage in the CNI sector in the next three to five years. By 2025, understanding new technology is anticipated to be the biggest challenge, emphasising the need for the right skills and knowledge.

Scott Nicholson, Co-CEO at Bridewell, says: “Cyber security experts are a vital first line of defence but stress and burnout seem to be seriously affecting individuals’ wellbeing. The prospect of people leaving jobs as a result is particularly worrying at a time when the threat of attacks is so high. Ultimately, cyber security isn’t just an IT or OT issue – it’s a business issue. Tackling it as such will result in the strongest, most effective teams, equipped with the right tools to keep our infrastructure safe.”

The full research report “CNI Cyber Report: Risk & Resilience” can be downloaded from the Bridewell website.

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