Skip to content ↓ | Skip to navigation ↓

Getting burnt out in your job is an issue that many of us deal with, but in the information security field it’s even more pronounced. The problem is there are a lot of negatives built into the job title, before you even look at what it takes to do the job on an ongoing basis, explained Jack Daniel (@jack_daniel), product manager at Tenable Network Security and a co-founder of Security B-Sides.

At the Security B-Sides conference I spoke with Daniel about security burnout and he set the stage by outlining all the negative job characteristics of working in security:

  • Those who migrate to security are cynical
  • Penetration testing always succeeds so you always know you’re vulnerable.
  • A good day for a person in security is when nothing happens.
  • You’re always playing defense.

Possible solutions to security burnout, that are not unique to security professionals, are giving a greater sense of control of your work environment and the value you’re bringing to the organization. If we have a better sense of control then it reduces our cynicism. It’s hard for employers to do, but if you can create that positive environment security workers are less tired after a day of the same amount of work, Daniel explained.

Another problem is when you think you’re not accomplishing anything is to take on more work. If you do that, which isn’t all that bad, is to make sure that the work you take on is meaningful and rewarding to you, said Daniel. This is one way to turn a problem into a possible solution.

Another solution is to look for a mentor or be a mentor. If you can contribute to community it can help make you feel that what you’re doing is valuable if not to your company to the greater security community, Daniel said.

If all else fails, turn to Twitter, said Daniel. The security community has embraced it, have you?

Make sure to check out our list of “Top 25 Security Influencers You Should Be Following.”

Stock photo of exhausted woman courtesy of Shutterstock.