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CSO burnout biggest factor in infosec talent shortage

Maria Korolov | Sept. 1, 2015
The real cause of the talent shortage in the information security field isn't a lack of new people entering the profession, but retention and churn

"If a CISO is going to get blamed for a cybersecurity breach, this can have a devastating impact for a CISO’s career and possibly force a career change," he said.

It's just not worth the money

So the CSO jobs are stressful, the expectations are unrealistic, and there could be a big embarrassing career-ending breach at any moment. But at least the money is good, right? Right?

"Lots of people think that salaries are higher than other IT jobs, but from I can tell, they aren't," said IDC's Lindstrom.

According to, the average CISO with more than 20 years of experience earns about $156,000 a year -- compared to $185,000 for a CIO with the same number of years in the industry.

The way out

Other than leaving the profession, what is a stressed CSO to do?

Happy CSOs recommend broadening horizons to think about the bigger business picture. Putting security projects in business terms such as lowering risk, increasing productivity, or becoming more competitive in the market can help the CSO make allies in other business units, make it easier to get funding, and helps translate security in terms others at the company can understand.


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