Cyber security: Managing mounting threats, burnout, and talent turnover

4th May 2023
Rob Fain
Principal Consultant

Rob Fain, principal in our IT & digital leadership practice, explores the growing cyber threat to businesses and the impact on recruiting and retaining security talent.

Last year, the UK Government released its National Cyber Security Strategy. This committed £22 billion towards its vision for the UK to be a leading, responsible, and democratic cyber power by 2030.

Since the pandemic we have seen an exponential rise in cyber-attacks. As recently as March 2023, iconic car maker Ferrari has been the latest high-profile victim of two separate cyber-attacks. Specifically, a ransomware attack targeting their operations and a customer data breach. It is no longer a case of ‘if’ organisations will suffer a cyber-attack, but ‘when’?

Coupled with rising cyber-attacks are a number of additional challenges. A dearth of security talent combined with increasing threats is leading to burnout – both among cyber security leaders and those they manage. Recent Gartner research shows that by 2025 nearly half of cyber security leaders will have changed jobs, including 25% for different roles entirely due to multiple work-related stressors*.

One of the major stress points is the elevated pace of development, with teams under increasing pressure to meet delivery goals and faster release cycles. Yet at the same time, excessive controls and security policies are hindering development speed, subsequently leading to friction, and causing stress among leaders and teams. Add to this the emerging concerns of how AI will impact teams, it is easy to see why anxiety levels are rising.

This psychological toll is, impacting both performance and job satisfaction, which in itself can increase the risk of a cyber-attack.

Despite this, there are reasons for optimism. External investment, exposure, and internal support for cyber security measures have never been stronger. IT Leaders are being granted more autonomy and influence and increasingly IT is gaining a seat at the boardroom table. This has been helped by the need for many organisations to digitally transform their organisations across the majority if not all functions.

Tips for attracting the best cyber-security talent:

  • The current market is heavily candidate-led – ensure the role profile, your employer value proposition and culture are suitably dynamic and compelling to give you a competitive edge.
  • Avoid drawn out interview processes and timescales – keep them as efficient as possible to keep candidates engaged with the role.
  • Keep all candidates regularly informed on progress and next steps to retain their interest and avoid losing them to the competition.

Implementing and retaining a highly competent IT and security team is essential to achieving organisational success in the 2020s and beyond.

At Berwick Partners, we source the highest calibre IT and security talent into a number of sectors and the following areas often dominate discussions. Do any of these resonate with you and your team? If so, we would really like to hear your experiences.

  • What are the areas of focus within your organisation from a cyber-security risk perspective?
  • Do you consider the faster pace of technology growth and development a cyber-security risk?
  • Is burnout and high turnover impacting your cyber security and threat detection capabilities?

Rob Fain is a specialist IT recruiter for Berwick Partners. Part of the Odgers Berndtson Group. Our IT & digital leadership practice, focuses on placing and retaining emerging leadership talent, including heads of IT functions – IT security, projects, architecture, software etc. as well as IT directors, leaders, and C-suite professionals.

To discuss your IT and / or cyber-security talent needs please contact Rob Fain.


*Gartner Predicts 2023: Cybersecurity Industry Focuses on the Human Deal, by analysts Deepti Gopal, Leigh McMullen, Andrew Walls, Richard Addiscott, Paul Furtado, Craig Porter, Oscar Isaka, Charlie Winckless, published 25 January 2023.

Categories: IT & Technology