I hang out with Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs). I support them because they have thankless jobs and have a mountain of responsibilities to protect an organization, most of the time without complete support from the organization. I try to help CISOs and CIOs get the budgeting they need to protect their organization and to bridge the gap between the IT folks and the C-Suite folks. It helps protect the organization from a security incident and potential reportable data breach. I prefer proactive guidance rather than after the fact reporting. Therefore, I always try to give them love and support.

You should hang out with your CISO and give him/her your love and support too. They are under incredible stress, are not feeling the love, and could use some support. They spend every day, day after day, trying to protect our organizations from malicious people all over the world whose only goal is to penetrate our organizations to steal our data or sabotage our systems. Our CISOs and IT professionals are silent cyber warriors. They battle every day but we don’t see their battles and are clueless about their constant fight behind the scenes. And they are not feeling the love.

Over the past six weeks, I have been involved in a rash of O365 intrusions because organizations have not implemented multi factor authentication. I have seen an increase in malicious and nasty intrusions targeted at CISOs. Phishing attacks are constant and sophisticated. It is taking a heavy toll, and I have heard anecdotally that the extreme pressure is effecting our CISOs’ mental health.

Protecting an organization is very difficult and stressful. It is causing CISOs, CIOs, and IT professionals to suffer mental health effects, including depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. We can’t begin to understand the pressure they are under, and we need to give our IT professionals our support. Listen to their guidance. Think before you click. Don’t download macros. Use multi-factor authentication. Follow your organization’s policies and procedures. Help them protect your organization. And hug and give them some love. They deserve it and need it.