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Recession and the Role of Cybersecurity

October 20, 2023
Posted by Aware Force
worried about recession and cybersecurity

Last year, the US saw inflation rates surge to a four-decade high, prompting the Federal Reserve to set off on a series of interest rate hikes. Adding to the uncertainty, the US stock market became far more volatile, leading to layoffs and threatening cybersecurity budgets.

The threat of recession couples with higher interest rates affects everybody. It’s especially hard for employees. Finally, a mind preoccupied about money is more likely to lower cyber awareness and create an environment for mistakes.

Hackers thrive in that environment.

As businesses scrutinize every aspect of spending, they are apt to view cybersecurity programs as nice-to-haves. But the stakes are too high for that.

The Rising Tide of Cyber Threats in Economic Downturns

Graph showing recession

Economic downturns have historically been accompanied by a surge in criminal activities, which translates to an increase in cyber attacks. As businesses reduce spending on security infrastructure and training, cybercriminals become more opportunistic. They see an ideal time to strike. 

As your organization prepares for financial turbulence, there are three threats to watch for

Recession Driven Vulnerabilities

Because cybersecurity investments are tied to the goal of “nothing happening,” these expenses become harder to justify. Reductions in staff or resources allocated to cybersecurity create weaknesses in the organization's defenses. Saving money equates to more exposure, which can lead to catastrophic expenses.

Increased Phishing Attempts 

During recessions, there's a noticeable uptick in phishing. Fraudsters exploit people's anxieties about financial stability, offering fake job opportunities or feigning as financial aid entities to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information.

Insider Threats Amplify

With potential layoffs and employee dissatisfaction on the rise during economic downturns, the risk of insider threats escalates. Disgruntled employees can resort to selling corporate data on the side.

In light of these threats, recessions are not the time to cut corners on cybersecurity awareness and training. In fact, now is the time to position your team as cybersecurity experts who are here to help employees keep the company and family members safe online.

Cybersecurity Awareness: An Investment, Not a Cost

Compromises in cybersecurity can be catastrophic for a company’s finances and reputation. Remember: 

  1. An Educated Employee is a Digital Fortress: Regular engagement with your workforce ensures employees can spot the signs of phishing emails and suspicious system activities, making it harder for cybercriminals to gain a foothold. Give them a safe, easy way to communicate with your team.
  1. Cost of a Breach vs. Training: Expenses associated with a significant data breach are monumental, outweighing the investment in proactive cybersecurity training.
  1. Maintaining Trust in Uncertain Times: In an era where trust influences brand loyalty, ensuring customer data is secure can differentiate a business from competitors. 

The Proactive Approach: Cybersecurity Awareness as a Pillar of Stability

Is a recession coming? Maybe. But uncertainty is here now. It is time to be proactive.

Prepare your employees and keep cybersecurity on top of their minds, going beyond annual training

A terrific way to maintain vigilance and awareness is to engage employees constantly with topical, relatable videos, quizzes, instructional PDFs, posters, and breaking cyber news.

Aware Force delivers incredibly effective cybersecurity awareness resources. Our Cybersecurity Library and Employee Newsletter ensure your team remains informed, vigilant, and prepared.

Conclusion: The time to act is now

Employee cybersecurity engagement is non-negotiable. Recession or not, threats are on the rise.

Engage your employees in cybersecurity throughout the year with content branded for your company from Aware Force.

Check our Cybersecurity Newsletter page to know more or connect with us, and you'll see why organizations across the US and Canada use outstanding cybersecurity content — customized and branded — and delivered by Aware Force.

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