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Ninety percent of security professionals who have suffered labor shortages are now struggling with workload management. A new report by Cobalt found that labor shortages, burnout and The Great Resignation pose a serious risk for businesses as they attempt to protect themselves from constant cybersecurity threats.

Teams have been struggling to fix and prevent the same cybersecurity vulnerabilities for five years in a row. To proactively address these vulnerabilities, both security and development teams need access to more resources, particularly manpower, but these resources can be hard to come by amid talent shortages. 

Seventy-nine percent of security teams struggle to consistently monitor for vulnerabilities amid the labor shortages. This is a big issue because, when bandwidth is strained, tasks slip through the cracks, leaving digital assets exposed for malicious actors to exploit.

While security teams are looking to developers for help, development teams are equally dealing with the implications of the labor shortage. Eighty percent say that these challenges compromise the quality and security of developers’ code.

To make matters worse, 97% of developer respondents report that collaboration challenges with security teams are making it harder to meet critical deadlines for feature launches. A vicious cycle emerges: remediation is delayed, new code comes out with more flaws that add to the problem, and overstretched teams have more to deal with.

Plagued by limited resources and mounting pressure, security teams will inevitably experience burnout. Fifty-eight percent of security respondents said they are currently experiencing it, while 63% said their mental health has been impacted, and 64% even said the job stress has affected their physical health. A startling reality: 54% of Cobalt’s security respondents said they currently want to quit their jobs.

Cobalt gathered data from more than 2,000 pen tests performed in 2021 and interviewed upwards of 600 security and developer practitioners to unveil the biggest challenges the talent shortage poses on the cybersecurity community today, and how we can potentially address them.

Read the full report by Cobalt.

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