By Devin Partida, Editor-in-Chief, Rehack.com.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes in all aspects of business. It led to rapid digitization for many companies, which helps meet the changing needs of a digitally driven economy and marketplace.
However, the pandemic also sparked a renewed global focus on the importance of cyber security. Cyber security is essential for doing business in today’s digital, data-oriented landscape.
Threat actors are becoming more sophisticated, and the number of attacks has steadily increased since the pandemic began. What’s more concerning is the potential for an economic downturn in early 2023.
Discover how the cyber security industry can survive and even thrive in an economy grappling with a recession.
The potential for a mild recession in 2023
Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is headed toward a recession, according to former Boston Federal Reserve President, Eric Rosengren. Pressure from inflation, higher interest rates and a consistently tight labor market are some of the early signs a recession could be coming.
However, Rosengren stated that if a recession does happen in early 2023, it would likely be mild. Still, businesses should prepare for the possibility and get their finances in order.
For example, gathering updated information about the economy, revisiting forecast assumptions, and realizing that recessions can shift up and down are some helpful tips to recession-proof a business.
The importance of recession-proof cyber security
Another essential step that companies should take to prepare for a potential recession is to bolster their cyber security posture. Preparing means more than adopting basic IT security safeguards like firewalls, anti-virus software and intrusion detection systems.
According to a Forbes article by Michael Steed, a global cyber investor, the cyber security industry remains quite resilient in the face of economic turmoil as compared to other sectors.
Steed cites a few reasons why he remains optimistic about cyber resilience during a potential recession:
- Advancements in technology
- Conflict in the cyber battleground due to the war in Ukraine requires being proactive
- Increased public awareness and government action
- The cyber security industry is expanding rapidly
While the industry will likely remain stable if a recession happens, it’s still critical for companies to take preventive measures and boost the efficacy of their cyber security programs.
How to promote cyber security growth during economic downturn
Here are some surefire ways companies and C-suite executives can promote growth in cyber security in an economic downturn.
Consolidate and automate
The ultimate goal of any CISO is to accomplish the same tasks with fewer resources. Companies must take this critical, cost-saving measure to prepare for a recession. Consolidating software, reviewing tech stacks and identifying key partners can help businesses strengthen their IT infrastructure.
Additionally, leveraging automation technology is a no-brainer. If the basics of IT security can be done with an automated software solution, it makes sense to speed up efficiency and leave human employees to more meaningful tasks.
Focus on strong defense
Defense is the name of the cyber security game during a recession. A potential economic downturn calls for a defensive strategy to fend off threat actors and keep cyber criminals at bay.
It’s also important for executives to identify and mitigate potential insider threats, which are becoming more frequent and intense. Focus on a strong defense to get through the challenging times of a recession.
Trust skilled employees
Layoffs, budget cuts and hiring freezes can hurt company morale and make employees feel insecure about their roles. Executives should focus on boosting workers’ experience to prioritize their mental and emotional well-being.
One effective way to garner employee loyalty is to simply trust employees. High-performing workers are often trustworthy individuals, so executives should feel comfortable increasing their workloads or using other strategies to foster a successful environment.
Understand the business value of cyber security
The term “recession” is quite anxiety-inducing, especially for C-suite executives and other leaders. Slow economic activity sparks major changes in how people do business, from cutting unnecessary expenses in the office to holding off on significant tech investments.
A potential recession is expected in early 2023. Now is the time for companies to prepare their cyber security and IT teams and to create a cyber-resilient organization.
For more insights from Devin Partida, Editor-in-Chief of Rehack.com, please see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage.