Governance & Risk Management , Leadership & Executive Communication , Training & Security Leadership

New Foundation Sees Mental Health Tied to Cyber Resilience

Mental Health Charter Targets Burnout, Stress Among Cybersecurity Professionals
Sarb Sembhi, CTO, Virtually Informed, and co-founder, Mental Health in CyberSecurity Foundation

In response to rising stress levels in cybersecurity, industry leaders, including CTO Sarb Sembhi of Virtually Informed, have launched the Mental Health in CyberSecurity Charter and Foundation to focus on mental health, high-pressure jobs and burnout in the field.

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The cybersecurity industry faces unique challenges, and professionals often operate under high stress due to the complex nature of their roles and the ever-evolving threat landscape. Sembhi pointed to the transformative changes in cybersecurity roles over the past two decades.

"Cybersecurity leaders used to focus solely on protection, but today we operate under the assumption of breach, adding significant stress and complexity to our roles," he said. The new initiative aims to shift organizational approaches and prioritize the well-being of cybersecurity teams as essential to maintaining overall cyber resilience.

"Mental health for the cyber team is a cyber resilience issue, not a wellness issue," said Sembhi. He has called for a fundamental reevaluation of how the industry perceives mental health issues and responds to them.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Sembhi discussed:

  • How the roles and expectations of security leaders have changed, particularly with regard to mental health awareness;
  • The objectives of the Mental Health in CyberSecurity Charter and Foundation;
  • How a culture of transparency in the CISO recruitment process could help mitigate stress and burnout and support the organization's overall cyber resilience.

Sembhi, who leads technology and security at Virtually Informed, also serves as co-vice chair of the Smart Buildings Working Group at the IoT Security Foundation. He is a speaker and activist within the cybersecurity community, and he promotes best practices through thought leadership.

About the Author

Anna Delaney

Anna Delaney

Director, ISMG Productions

An experienced broadcast journalist, Delaney conducts interviews with senior cybersecurity leaders around the world. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website for The European Information Security Summit, or TEISS. Earlier, she worked at Levant TV and Resonance FM and served as a researcher at the BBC and ITV in their documentary and factual TV departments.

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