Why cybersecurity is the ultimate recession-proof industry

BY Lake SydneyAugust 22, 2022, 6:34 p.m.

A “Get Out of Business” sign outside a store in Union City, New Jersey, seen in March 2021. (Photographer: Gabriela Bhaskar—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

With the pace of economic growth slowing and inflation at its highest in several decades, this has led many people living in the United States to start playing around with the “R” word: recession. In 2022, we experienced what is known as a “technical recession,” or two consecutive quarters of negative GDP (gross domestic product) growth. President Joe Biden, however, has – so far – had a more optimistic view, saying the United States is not yet in a recession.

Whenever we inevitably enter another recession, certain industries and types of businesses typically continue to grow, including health care, food, and transportation. Recession-proof businesses or industries are those that are more resilient than others to the economic effects of an economic downturn. And one industry that the average consumer may not see as thriving during a recession is cybersecurity.

“I think cybersecurity is pretty much a recession-proof industry,” said Cybersecurity Ventures founder Steve Morgan. Fortune. “For organizations of any type or size around the world, cybersecurity is mandatory. Without digital protection, a company will go bankrupt. Considering the market demand, for anyone with experience in cybersecurity, they are assured of a good job.

Between 2013 and 2021, the number of open cybersecurity jobs worldwide increased by 350%, from 1 million to 3.5 million, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. 2022 Conference Room Cybersecurity Report. In the US alone, around 715,000 jobs remained to be filled in November 2021, according to a report by Emsi Burning Glass (now Lightcast), a market research firm. Additionally, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that global spending on cybersecurity products and services between 2021 and 2025 will reach $1.75 trillion.

“I don’t believe there is one industry that is recession proof, but I think if there is one industry that could be recession proof, it’s probably cybersecurity,” he said. said Adi Dar, CEO and founder of cybersecurity company Cyberbit. Fortune. “Everyone is trying to recruit. Everyone is trying to hire. I think it will be years and years before some of the gap is closed. I’m not sure it will ever be completely closed.

Businesses need cyber protection

Cyberattacks are becoming more and more frequent. The average number of cyberattack attempts per company increased by 31% between 2020 and 2021, to 270 attacks, according to Accenture’s 2021 State of Cybersecurity Report. The average number of successful attacks per company was 29 in 2021, compared to 22 the previous year.

Because data and digital services are critical to business operations, it’s “imperative” to protect company assets, says Danny Allan, chief technology officer at data protection firm Veeam.

“I think the cybersecurity industry is largely insulated from market downturns,” he said. Fortune. “Additionally, we are seeing an increased focus on regulatory compliance and oversight by the public and the board during tough economic times.”

In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures’ Boardroom Security report also shows a growing need to focus on cybersecurity on the board. By 2025, 35% of Fortune 500 companies will have board members with cybersecurity experience, and by 2031 that figure will climb to more than 50%, according to the report. In 2021, only 17% of these companies had board members with cyber experience.

“Cybersecurity is the only line item that theoretically has no spending limit,” says Morgan. “There’s a budget before a business suffers a cyberattack or a series of attacks, and then there’s the actual expenses that take place afterwards. What company isn’t going to do and spend whatever it takes to recover from a hack? »

The cybersecurity industry must “catch up”

While we’ve seen tremendous growth in the cybersecurity industry with seemingly no slowdown in sight, it’s still an industry in its “infancy,” says Mark Sasson, Managing Partner of Pinpoint Search Group. , a cybersecurity recruitment company.

“If we define recession proof as ‘industry neutral’, I would say no, cybersecurity is not recession proof,” he said. Fortune. “While the industry will surely continue to grow over time, the massive growth we’ve seen over the past two years is a symptom of an industry in its infancy that needs to catch up with motivated threat actors.”

The huge cybersecurity talent gap around the world is more a result of a lack of people with the skills to fill these jobs than the result of a thriving industry, Sasson says.

“This catch-up game will likely last forever as threats continue to evolve with advances in technology,” he adds. “This translates into a need for constant innovation – and constant innovation requires investment.”

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