Tech Industry Burnout: How to Prevent Employee Exhaustion From Becoming Your Top Safety Risk

Burnout could be the most critical cybersecurity risk for businesses in 2022 – 1password CEO Jeff Shiner talks about how to go about it

When it comes to protecting the security of our organizations, we must always look at our own habits first. Globally, about 85% of security breaches involve a human component, while the massive shift toward remote working has prompted record levels of concern about rising risks among employers.

They’re right to be concerned – especially when it comes to the rising number of employees around the world who are reporting that they’re feeling burned out. It’s important that we address this issue head-on, before it’s too late.

1Password’s State of Access report — aptly named “The Burnout Breach” — found that burned-out employees can be dangerously indifferent to workplace security practices. They are more likely to circumvent policies, take shortcuts, and download unapproved apps. Almost twice as many burned-out employees choose simple passwords and use the same password or just a few passwords for everything at work (12% vs. 7%) compared to those who don’t feel burned out.

Three key steps to protecting your organization from security breaches caused by burnout

Tackling the ubiquitous problem of employee burnout and the cybersecurity risks that come with it requires a multi-pronged approach. Here are my top three tips for organizations looking to protect themselves and their employees:

Put safety at the center of people

Whether it’s signing up for a VPN or using a company-approved app that’s more cumbersome than the unapproved one, employees make hundreds of decisions every day between what’s safe and what helps them get more work done to do. Between the explosion of cloud-based apps and the merging of work and home, employees are constantly logging in.

Strive to eliminate the tension between security and convenience. Every time we can use tools that make the safe way the easy way, everyone wins.

embrace simplicity

Despite the high level of automation in today’s business environment, too many workplaces still rely heavily on non-experts to strictly adhere to critical and often complex security protocols.

Keeping security simple can free people from boring, repetitive tasks and allow them to focus on more creative, satisfying tasks that require higher-level thinking. The right solutions can also remove human judgment from the security equation—while reducing the cognitive load on employees by reducing the number of decisions to be made.

Create a mentally healthy workplace

Once a taboo subject in the workplace, mental health conversations are now at the heart of the best organizations. Leaders can encourage these conversations by creating Slack channels, virtual meetings, and wellness polls on the topic, giving employees the opportunity to share their experiences and access resources. It can also help support employees’ mental health by ensuring they can fully disconnect from work if necessary and giving them time to support their recovery.

Sometimes, however, burnout has less to do with a crushing workload and more to do with a company’s overall culture and environment. When employees feel their contributions are recognized and treated fairly, they report higher engagement and lower levels of burnout. A positive workplace culture inspires employees to comply with safety procedures—while reducing the likelihood of former employees trying to violate it. In short: be friendly!

As advances in remote working, cloud-based applications, AI and automation continue to transform the modern workplace, productivity can skyrocket.

By tackling employee burnout from multiple angles—and, where possible, removing human judgment from the security equation—we can reap the benefits of these innovations without falling victim to the security vulnerabilities they all too often expose. Tech Industry Burnout: How to Prevent Employee Exhaustion From Becoming Your Top Safety Risk

Fry Electronics Team

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