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Cyber Security Works 2022 Predictions: The Great Resignation and its Epic Impact on Cybersecurity in 2022

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

The Great Resignation and its Epic Impact on Cybersecurity in 2022

By Aaron Sandeen, CEO, Cyber Security Works

"There will be a massive impact on cybersecurity thanks to the Great Resignation, which will break down cybersecurity processes, delay investment in key security infrastructure because of CEO walkouts, and exponentially increase risks because of the onboarding and offboarding of employees and customers." - Aaron Sandeen, CEO, Cyber Security Works

In the past 18 months, there has been a significant shift, popularly dubbed as the "Great Resignation," in the job market. From the lockdown-induced shutdown to employees walking away from their careers and jobs, we are seeing colossal turmoil across all industries. While organizations scramble to fill the vacant positions, there will be an upheaval in the security landscape, as this will have huge ramifications on cybersecurity.

In a recent study by Harvard University, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021 and ended the month with a record-breaking 10.9 million open positions in the US. The study found that employees reached a breaking point because of heavy workloads, hiring freezes, and work pressure leading to stress.

Dubbed as the tidal wave of resignations, the health care and tech industries led this wave with an increase of 3.6% more health care employees quitting their jobs (than in 2020), and resignations increased by 4.5% among tech employees-attributing it to burnout and stress.

From a cybersecurity perspective, the aftermath is already being felt with the increased number of breaches and ransomware attacks. Cybersecurity, as an industry, has already been grappling with a multitude of problems, such as skill gaps and an acute shortage of resources, even before the pandemic hit. The Great Resignation will have a domino effect on cybersecurity and how it is being implemented (or not) in vulnerable organizations.

According to Cyber Seek, there are 597,767 open cybersecurity positions in the US.

Cyber-Seek-Heatmap 

Source: Cyber Seek Heatmap

Delay in Security-Related Decisions

For most organizations, cybersecurity is an afterthought, especially when they are trying to grow their business, attract customers, and retain their current employees. Security-related decisions-right from allocating the budget to choosing the right vendors, tools, platforms, or defining processes-that would help maintain cyber hygiene take a back seat. The lack of cyber hygiene has already enabled attackers to launch crippling and devastating attacks on critical infrastructure. The paralysis in decision-making will further embolden attackers to plan and mount deadly attacks.

Higher Risk in Onboarding and Offboarding Employees

The churn of employees, especially when they quit en masse, affects existing security processes (if they exist). Critical processes such as removing offboarding employees' access, tracking the data they had access to, and ensuring that they do not indulge in malicious activities such as stealing sensitive data will get affected.

CEO Walkouts

Unfortunately, the Great Resignation is not just limited to mid-level executives. Tech CEOs are walking out of companies they founded. As of today, 144 tech CEOs have quit their jobs in 2021.

This spells bad news for many reasons. Interim CEOs of these companies will put security-related decisions, especially decisions related to critical security investments, on the back burner while they wait for the right leader to take over.

Security teams today need solutions with automation and intelligence with predictive analytics to keep their environment safe; without the right tools, their existing resources will experience extreme stress and burnouts resulting in more attrition.

Battle for Resources

Undoubtedly, this is a busy time for HR executives as they scramble to fill in the vacancies. Recruiting suitable candidates is a challenge for all organizations in any situation. From a security standpoint, having good security processes will help as new employees get onboarded, but this will be challenging for most organizations grappling with losing their CEO.

"The turmoil resulting from the departure of a leader in a company often leads to the breakdown of existing processes, delays in implementing security processes, and delays in renewing technology contracts. It is a recipe for disaster!" - Aaron Sandeen, CEO, Cyber Security Works

We retrospectively see organizations suffering from visibility issues. They do not know where their security challenges lie. They do not understand what they should fix first or how to prioritize dangerous vulnerabilities that exist in their environment. Last, there is no continuity in security processes (if they existed in the first place).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aaron Sandeen, CEO, Cyber Security Works

Aaron Sandeen 

Aaron is a visionary leader with more than 17 years of experience in technology. He is the current Chief Executive Officer at Cyber Security Works.

Aaron has served as the State Chief Information Officer and the Deputy Director of the Department of Administration for the state of Arizona and spearheaded Arizona's technology vision and strategy. Prior to this, Aaron helped drive technology growth in Intel, Microsoft, Syntellect, and the UnitedHealth Group.

In 2015, he co-founded Zuggand, a technology consulting and services firm specializing in Cloud, IoT, and security. Under his leadership, Zuggand quickly made its mark in the cloud computing sector as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) consulting partner.

Published Friday, January 07, 2022 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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