Adelaide, Australia, March 13, 2020 – Despite working in such a high-pressure environment, only a very small proportion of Australian cyber security professionals (2%) struggle to get out of bed in the morning, according to a new study by Thycotic, a provider of privileged access management (PAM) solutions for more than 10,000 organisations worldwide.

In a study of over 550 IT security decision-makers globally, including 100 from Australia, being the ‘business bodyguard’ and the knowledge that they are keeping their organisation safe was the top motivator for getting out of bed in the morning (27%), closely followed by being an ‘instrument of change’ (25%).

Other motivators included being the ‘puzzle master’, enjoying the intellectual challenge and pitting their wits against would-be attackers (23%), and being the ‘upholder of ethics’ who makes a difference in protecting the integrity of data and privacy of customers and employees (23%).

On the downside, lack of support from senior leaders in how to train, appraise and develop staff (48%) was cited as the biggest issue when it comes to retaining team members in Australia. This was closely followed by burnout and stress from long hours and pressures at work (46%) and a lack of opportunity to express themselves in challenging/interesting projects (46%).

Further, when asked about the most stressful aspects of the job, more people cited meeting the growing number of compliance and regulatory demands (41%) and not having the budget to do their job effectively (38%) than lengthy shifts and need for out of hours availability (37%). Firefighting a growing number of security incidents (34%) also added to stress on the job.

Commenting on these results, Joseph Carson, Chief Security Scientist and Advisory CISO at Thycotic says, “Today, CISOs have one of the most challenging and dynamic jobs but our study clearly shows that IT professionals are content to live with this and that all they really desire is for the business to show they are valued.

“However, being constantly on duty, ensuring the ongoing protection of their company’s assets, educating the rest of the business and keeping their finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest compliance mandates and regulations does take its toll.

“Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that levels of burnout and stress are relatively high,” he continued. “This also has a knock-on effect on the cyber security skills shortage, as potential new talent is put off the industry choosing instead to seek an equally exciting but less stressful career.

“To relieve the pressure on existing cyber security professionals and entice new talent into the field, it is imperative that all employees within a business view security as fundamental and understand the business value of it. Promoting a culture in which employees are never afraid to report a potential cyber security issue is also crucial, as the earlier a problem is reported, the less the impact in terms of stress and cost to the business.”

Thycotic, commissioned independent market research specialist Sapio Research to undertake the study. Sapio asked more than 550 IT security professionals in August 2019 how they measure success and their impact on overall business success.

The sample included 100 respondents from Australia from organisations with 500 employees or more from a range of private and public sectors. The survey also encompassed respondents from USA, Germany, UK and New Zealand. Interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitable candidates were given the opportunity to participate.

Results referenced above all refer to Australian respondents only.

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About Thycotic

The easiest to manage and most readily adopted privilege management solutions are powered by Thycotic. Thycotic’s security tools empower over 10,000 organisations, from small businesses to the Fortune 500, to limit privileged account risk, implement least privilege policies, control applications, and demonstrate compliance. Thycotic makes enterprise-level privilege management accessible for everyone by eliminating dependency on overly complex security tools and prioritising productivity, flexibility and control. Headquartered in Washington, DC, Thycotic operates worldwide with offices in the UK and Australia. For more information, please visit