90% of CISOs willing to take nearly $10K pay cut to improve work-life balance

Chief information security officers continue to cite a growing amount of stress in their work, with 90 percent willing to opt for a 7.76 percent pay cut — roughly $9,642 — to improve their work-life balance, according to a survey from Nominet.

For the survey, titled "The CISO Stress Report — Life Inside the Perimeter: One Year On," Nomient surveyed 400 CISOs and 400 C-level executives on the difficulties of the CISO role. The participants were evenly split from the U.K. and U.S.

Here are five things to know:

1. Majority of CISOs (88 percent) reported feeling moderately or tremendously stressed. The stress is taking a toll on CISOs' mental health. Nearly half (48 percent) said that work stress has had a detrimental impact on their mental health.

2. The stress of the CISO role is also impacts their ability to do their jobs. Thirty-one percent indicated that the stress affected their ability to do their job.

3. Nearly all CISOs (95 percent) reported that they work more than their contracted hours. Only 2 percent said that they were able to switch off from work outside of the office.

4. Some of the stress comes with the responsibility to protect organizations from data breaches. Around 37 percent of CISOs and 31 percent of C-level executives believe the CISO is responsible for the response of a security breach.

5. Additionally, 29 percent of CISOs believe that the executive team would fire the party responsible for a data breach.

"We are potentially heading towards a burnout crisis if the very people who we are relying on to keep businesses secure are operating under mounting pressure," said Nominet CEO Russell Haworth. "CISO stress is on the rise — with almost 90 percent moderately or tremendously affected — and it's taking a greater toll on their personal lives and well-being. Not only is this harming the lives of CISOs but it will ultimately make it harder to retain staff, catch attacks early and improve security. It is worrying that at board level, understanding of these pressures appears not to have translated into action."

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