Another Problem In Cybersecurity: Too much work–> Burnout

Why is burnout important?  If we are dependent on IT personnel to perform actions on a timely basis even when off-hours work must be done. And then expect them to come to work on time, we are inadvertently stressing personnel . I know every job may have stressors, but the cybersecurity field creates some unique stress points.  Whatever personal  issues one may have adds to the work stress which never goes away since cybersecurity attacks are 24/7/365.


I have gone to IT security  conventions and there were talks about burnout and the unfortunate events that sometimes happen when some people do not take care of the depression that they may be experiencing(sometimes people take their own lives).   So I wanted to take some time now to investigate what we can do to make the system a little less onerous and also to inform what is possibly happening.

First of all I found a couple of interesting articles at  and

Jordan Peterson is a professor and clinical psychologist so he has some first hand experience with the families that had to live with the effects of a suicide. I know this may be a tough subject but we must talk about these things to maybe help just 1 person with their inconsolable grief.  There were 4 points that Jordan Peterson made(I recommend you read the whole article which I do not want to just copy and paste here):

1. “You will devastate the people you leave behind”

2. “You owe it to yourself to look at every possible alternative”

3. “Consider your life has intrinsic value”

4. “Don’t be so sure that your life is yours to take”


The ZDnet article points out an interesting stress heightening issue(another article to explore if you do not believe the high levels of stress):

{First, on the employee side. “Human error is one of the biggest causes of data breaches in organizations, and the risk of causing a data breach or falling for a phishing attack is only heightened when employees are stressed and burned out,” says Josh Yavor, chief information security officer (CISO) at enterprise security solutions provider Tessian.}

It does make sense that the more we depend on our employees and the more we want them to work. The more the stress is. Unfortunately this means that stress levels become so high in some situations that people could think the unthinkable. But that is not what we should focus on.

I always point out that this is tough work to constantly be patching and updating computers as in previous blogpost 4/21/22:

What makes the constant worry about attacks more stressful than other jobs? It probably depends on where you work, or what the environment is.  I.e. how your boss treats you, is there enough vacation time?

Can you take days off for doctor appointments and family events? Working from home is nice but not if you now are working 60 hours a week.  What if one is so stressed that there is no way to decompress? Or so it seems?

Now re-read the points Jordan Peterson made above it might make more sense.  No human being can be stressed more and more, there will be a breaking point. it all depends on how seriously one takes their job, and how personal one takes rejection or some failure. Yes criminals never sleep (somebody is awake somewhere on this earth), and ongoing security must be designed.

The constant fear of a hack as thousands of attacks just keep coming into the environment does not help. Keep everything in perspective and use risk management of the environment to guide you into keeping stress manageable.

There are always more problems to look at and learn about. The attacks come from everywhere it seems. But what has to happen is like everything else one must learn and work a little at a time. Do not take everything on all at once. One has to have time off and a sleep schedule.

But most of all as Jordan Peterson says it is important to think about what it would be like without you and how it would affect all the people if you decided to do something unspeakable.  If you have the intelligence to work in IT and thinking about all kinds of stuff, then you should also work on avenues to alleviate this problem. Depression or work anxiety (overwork) can be addressed.

This is what you should do if issues arise. do not run from problems, but head them off straight on. Contact 988 in Missouri(should be national as of last year2022) as discussed in this government website: MO Dept of Mental Health

{In July of 2022, 988 became the national three-digit phone number for all mental health, substance use, and suicide crises. 988 calls will be routed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline centers in each state, transitioning from the current Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255. 988 offers rapid access to behavioral health support through connection with trained crisis specialists. While 988 will be available nationally, it is up to each state to ensure crisis services are adequately funded and available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Missouri’s 988 Task Force is developing a 988 plan and exploring long-term funding options.}

There are people willing to listen to you to discuss whatever is going on.


Also veterans have a special line : 988 and press 1

Also the veterans crisis line: Suicide prevention.
800-273-8255 veterans crisis line and their families
press 1 or text 838255