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Symantec: Cyber security pros ‘burnt out and outgunned’

Criminals are winning the cyber skills battle, warns Symantec in a new report produced in collaboration with Goldsmiths University.

In a survey of more than 3,000 cyber security decision-makers in France, Germany and the UK, almost half (48%) said their teams were failing to keep up with cyber-criminals.

More than one third (38%) of UK respondents said their teams lack the necessary skills to combat the threats they face, with 39% of UK respondents admitting that staff are too busy to keep up with skills development and 37% admitting that technological change is happening too quickly for them and their teams to adapt.

Almost all (97%) said there weren’t enough people with the necessary skills to recruit, which is increasing pressure on existing cyber security staff and contributing to burn-out.

Nearly two thirds of cyber security professionals say they have considered quitting their jobs (64%) or leaving the industry entirely (63%).

Dr. Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths, University of London, who directed the research for the High Alert study, said: “Cyber security professionals are locked in a constant arms race with attackers. where talent and skill are the most important weapons. The vast majority find this battle of wits an exciting and deeply intellectual challenge. But this demanding work comes with high stakes and is fought at a frenetic pace with little support. Add to this the relentless volume of alerts and more mundane tasks and the job can quickly turn toxic. Highly stressed workers are far more likely to be disengaged and ultimately quit. In an industry already plagued by a skills shortage, this is a significant risk to businesses.”

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