Nearly one fifth of CISOs take medication or drink alcohol to contend with their daily stressors. If this is the case, could stress, distraction and lack of focus combine and combust, leading to a  lapse in cyber vigilance, offering hackers an easy way in?

“Cybersecurity professionals are overworked and stressed out to such an extent that it threatens to provide hackers and cyber criminals a better chance of conducting cyber attacks against the enterprise,” writes ZDNet.

A global study interviewing 408 CISOs found that 91% suffered from moderate to high levels of stress. No wonder, as 27% of the individuals interviewed work as many as 60 hours per week, while 20% report that they make themselves available to their teams around the clock, if needed.

On a deeper level, sources of stress emanate from lack of budgetary resources for implementing necessary security protocols, and a disconnect between CISOs, C-level executives, and the board. One fifth of CISOs feel that board members are indifferent to the security team, and may even resent their existence.

In addition to the obvious security threats posed by CISOs buckling under pressure, losing this cyber IT talent is a source of anxiety in a sector that’s already contending with a talent shortage.

In professional organizations, the role of a CISO parallels that of a first responder in an emergency. Without this group of people, organizations and society suffer.

And, since CISOs have the skills, will the prospect of hacking prove more enticing than applying for another white-hat job?

Get more on this story from Forbes.