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5 tips to retain great security talent

Joan Goodchild | Dec. 18, 2012
You want the best on your security team. And once you've got them, you want to keep them happy and keep them in your organization.

In that scenario, Zeltser points out, the employee has rounded out their skill set and, consequently, gained career benefits, even if it didnt come with a title change.

However, it is a rare employee who will keep taking on new roles without at some point expecting rewards.

"If someone keeps adding to their responsibilities but knows there is no chance for promotion and knows they have hit a ceiling, they will eventually end up leaving."

Avoid burnout

Security is a career well-known for being high-stress and a likely path to burnout. That perception is backed by a 2010 survey conducted by the group of industry experts who founded While the researches felt that the 124 valid responses they got weren't enough to allow them to draw statistically meaningful conclusions, they were nonetheless able to make some interesting observations.

The data revealed that almost 13 percent of those surveyed were in what was referred to as a "red flag" area for burnout and were clearly in need of some intervention. A majority of respondents noted that they thought security was more stressful than other industries.

A variety of industry-related stressors contribute to this problem. For one, security professionals worry about the impact to the organization if there's a serious security event. For another, they're worn down by the tiresome task of constantly having to tell employees and management "no."

Zeltser suggests one way to address this is to educate security team members on how to better approach these situations.

It's rarely useful to simply tell someone "no," says Zeltser. "Useful advice is, 'You can't do it this way, and here are the reasons why.' And encourage them to find and offer alternatives, too, to the issue, so it's not just saying 'no.'"


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