Many security leaders struggle to make the case for cyber security budget allocation, regardless of the economic environment. It is often viewed as an auxiliary and non-critical IT program. During a recession, not every business is affected in the same way, but all will feel the impact somehow. Cuts in spending usually target IT departments in the form of reduced budgets, employee layoffs, and a de-prioritization of cyber security as a whole.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals only become more active and successful when a recession hits. They know that businesses tend to cut spending and scale down operations during this time, and hackers use this as an opportunity to strike. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were over 791,000 crimes reported, up 69.4% from the previous year. With the current economic conditions, it is vital to ensure that your cyber security program is adequately prepared for attacks. Follow the tips below to protect your company from cybercrime during a recession.
1. Assess Your Risk Strategy
Cyber security risk assessment is an essential part of every IT program. It’s used to identify both internal and external threats, evaluate their potential impact, and estimate the costs of suffering a cyber attack. Sometimes, even the most skilled IT teams try to focus on everything at once instead of aligning resources in a cost-effective way. Heading into a financial downturn, you will need to compromise in certain areas to protect high-value applications, hosts, or cloud solutions. Reviewing your risk strategy can help to improve your focus and reduce budgets, leading to better outcomes using fewer resources.
2. Consolidate IT Operations
During a recession, layoffs and hiring freezes are almost inevitable. However, there are very few IT operations staffed well enough to cope with major layoffs and make it out unharmed. One way to combat this is by transferring or consolidating responsibilities within your larger IT team. For example, you could have system administrators take on patching/software updates and vulnerability management. If that doesn’t solve the issue, consider outsourcing talent to fill short-term gaps.
3. Formalize Your Processes
Time is of the essence when it comes to cyber security. With smaller budgets, tight deadlines, and heavy workloads, your IT team may be left with a collection of informal processes and outdated documentation. Formalizing your cyber security program can help to improve your company’s security posture, boost performance, and decrease risk. With or without a recession, your needs will likely change over time. Processes should be reevaluated on a regular basis to ensure they are still functioning well.
4. Audit Your Technology
A cyber security audit is designed to act as a “checklist” to ensure that your organization has the proper control mechanisms in place at all times. An audit lets you understand how your technology, policies, and people work together to reduce risks from cyber attacks. Annual licenses and subscriptions take up a large portion of IT budgets. In hard times, it is often easier and more valuable to focus on technology displacement and consolidation rather than new purchases.
5. Train Your Employees
Having the right people on your cyber security team is always important, but you’ll need to rely on them now more than ever. The fact is that an organization’s people, rather than its technology, are the biggest target of cyber attacks. Keep your top talent close and provide them with all of the tools and resources necessary to be successful. During a recession, even the smallest mistakes can have major negative consequences. Train your employees on the best practices for cyber security and do it often. Security awareness training has proven to be one of the most surefire ways to reduce risks and mitigate any potential fallout.
Expert Cyber Security Services in NJ & FL
In times of economic uncertainty, it is crucial to work with an IT provider who knows your industry and the scope of your cyber security needs. At Mindcore, we proudly offer a wide range of leading cyber security services for companies in New Jersey and Florida. With years of experience and a commitment to excellence, you can trust our team to help recession-proof your IT operations. For more information about our personalized security solutions, contact us to schedule a consultation and speak with a member of our team today!