Burnout is a health hazard in any high-stress workplace, especially in any industry where highly skilled professionals must tackle urgent demands at unpredictable intervals and where effective response is time-sensitive or even urgently needed.

Employee burnout is a security and business continuity issue. It directly impacts both an employee’s performance and the organization’s stability and resiliency.

In fast-paced environments, it can be difficult to tease out the symptoms of burnout under the best of times. And these are anything but the best of times. The personal pressures the pandemic places on all of us as individuals, the communication gaps that can arise from remote working as a security team member, the pressure of supporting a hybrid/remote worker population that likely includes security apathetic non-security team members and the “scan-demic” exploits and phishing campaigns to which user communities are more likely to fall victim all take a toll on security team members.

The effects can place such employees at risk of burnout…and this is how attackers can get in.

Teasing Out Potential Burnout

It can be difficult for even the best managers and team leads to determine when a reliable employee is suffering from burnout. Here are indicators to watch for:

  • Are tasks being handled within an expected and acceptable timeframe?
  • Has a normally good-natured person become either withdrawn, frustrated, more sensitive to and around others, quick to anger or more frequently out on sick days?
  • Do they react negatively or fail to react and engage when being given new assignments that would benefit from “in the game” exchanges of information and guidance?
  • Are email responses lagging?

It’s difficult for managers to determine the morale and mental status of remote team members, but especially now, it’s crucial for an effective manager to take the added time, effort and steps required to (Read more...)