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What a Recession Means for Your Business Cybersecurity


International turmoil, political conflict, and a pandemic – the world has gone through a lot in the past few years. And just when the road to recovery seems straight and clear, another bump appears. This time, it’s a recession.

The word strikes fear into the hearts of people, of business owners, primarily. After all, it does mean economic downturn, financial challenges, and significant changes. However, there is one industry many believe to be recession-proof, meaning it can survive and even thrive during this period of uncertainty. That is cybersecurity. 

However, these are claims from outside experts, so we wanted to get the insight of one of our very own experienced cybersecurity experts here at Intelligent Technical Solutions (ITS), Rob Schenk. Rob’s IT journey started during the Dot Com boom, and ever since, he’s been a great advocate of the importance of cybersecurity in the modern era.  

With his help, we’ll be able to discuss in this article the expected changes in cybersecurity and whether cybersecurity is recession-proof. 

Sean Harris (left), Rob Schenk (middle), and Kraig Kluba (right) discussing what’s next for ITS cybersecurity. Sean Harris (left), Rob Schenk (middle), and Kraig Kluba (right) discussing what’s next for ITS cybersecurity. 

4 Changes to Expect in the Cybersecurity Landscape During a Recession 

The industry may be safe from recession, but that doesn’t mean it will remain unaffected. Here are the expected changes in the cybersecurity landscape that everyone should be aware of: 

1. Boost in Cybercrime Frequency and Sophistication

boost in cybercrimeAn increase in cybercrime volume is one of the things that are sure to happen during a recession. Data from the 2008 recession support this claim, as there was a 22% increase in online crime between 2008 and 2009. Aside from that, threats and attacks are expected to be more complex as technology evolves and cybercriminals become more creative. 

Rob Schenk also believes this claim: "Safe to say that the amount of cybercrime attacks and [just] criminal activity is going to continue to rise... They’re going to increase in frequency. They’re going to get more sophisticated.” 

2. Shortage of Talent and Skills

shortage of talent and skillsTalent shortage doesn’t directly mean fewer cybersecurity professionals and experts. Instead, it refers to the existing skill gap that could grow bigger due to the inability of businesses to hire new talent or continue training programs. And although cybersecurity is necessary during a recession, something we’ll get into more later, existing personnel can still get cut due to budgetary constraints. 

3. Shift in Cybersecurity Priorities

Cybersecurity prioritiesWhen it comes down to cybersecurity spending, Rob says, “I think there’s going to be an expectation to do more with less.”  

Businesses will have to balance maximizing their budget and protecting their assets. And the way to do this is to focus on your crown jewels. These are the things that could put out your business once compromised. Build a fortress around that,” Rob says, “then, as budget allows, you can start making your way out to less important, less critical systems.” 

4. Greater AI Integration

Greater AI IntegrationAutomation will become more prevalent as businesses let go of people and priorities shift. Specific processes and procedures will be handed over to AI, freeing members from manual and repetitive tasks and allowing them to focus on creating a more significant impact on the overall business. Advanced AI and machine learning (ML) technologies that help detect and intercept malicious actions will also be used more by companies with personnel shortages. 

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What Makes Cybersecurity Recession-Proof? 

Cybersecurity is considered a recession-proof industry and investment.  

What makes the cybersecurity industry recession-proof is that it is now necessary for all businesses at any stage of growth or development. These days, cybercriminals don't pick who to attack; they just do. And during a recession, they do more, which is why the industry is sustained and thrives during this period. 

So, when a business thinks, "Oh, I'm too small. No one's going to be interested in what I have”, they're already setting themselves up for failure. The size or type of business doesn't matter anymore. Everyone is a target, and protection is a must-have. 

cyber attack prevention

As for it being a recession-proof investment, Rob agrees, albeit “to a certain degree.” According to him, it boils down to a business’s revenue and cost of operations. If the investment is managed correctly, meaning not a single penny is wasted, it becomes an inexpensive way to protect your business during such a crucial time. On the other hand, if the budget is spent loosely and non-strategically, then it just becomes a waste. 

Basically, the aim is cyber resilience within a budget, and the best way to achieve that is through data analytics and cybersecurity assessments. These identify your greatest vulnerabilities and risks, letting you know where to focus your limited resources.  

Boost Your Cybersecurity with an MSP 

Many changes to the cybersecurity landscape are to be expected with the incoming recession, such as:  

  • Boost in cybercrime frequency and sophistication 
  • Shortage of talent and skills 
  • Shift in cybersecurity priorities 
  • Greater AI integration 

Every business must adapt to these changes by maximizing its cybersecurity investments, which will be difficult with inevitable budget cuts. 

One way to do this is to partner with a managed service provider (MSP) like ITS. We can provide a more strategic approach to cybersecurity, additional automation, and strengthened protection. A partnership with experts frees you from the stress of dealing with these changes and lets you focus on the growth of your business. You can start this journey by meeting with us for a free network assessment, and we’ll discuss your cybersecurity troubles and needs. 

You can also check more of our content on cybersecurity in our learning center: 

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