Many economists predict that the US is on the verge of an economic recession that may differ from previous ones. Although companies have been implementing cost-cutting measures, lay-offs, and pullbacks more gradually than before, the impact of the slowed economy is being felt across industries. To remain profitable, departments deemed non-essential or with higher fixed costs are likely to face the most significant budget cuts. This raises the question: Is cybersecurity recession-proof?
During a recession, the need for cybersecurity may be even greater. Cybercriminals often take advantage of the chaos and uncertainty to launch attacks. Organizations also rely heavily on third-party suppliers, and these vendors will also be affected by the current economic climate. If vendors decrease their spending on IT security, lay off staff, or shift their strategy to survive, there can be significant impact on the security posture of an organization’s third-party ecosystem. If not properly managed, these relationships can quickly introduce risk to a business.
Considering this, it’s crucial that companies not simply ask whether cybersecurity is recession-proof. Rather, companies should focus on leveraging cybersecurity as a strategic asset to withstand the risk associated with economic uncertainties.
Making Risk Management Recession Proof
As the economic uncertainty continues, businesses must prioritize managing their cyber risks to ensure their resilience against threats. One of the most significant risks that organizations face is from third-party suppliers that may not have adequate cybersecurity measures in place. An organization is only as secure as its weakest link. With the economic downturn, many vendors may reduce their spending on IT security, laying off staff or changing their cybersecurity strategy, which could increase the risk of third-party cyber-attack. Identifying and mitigating third-party cyber risks and embracing efficient, scalable solutions is crucial to an organization’s cybersecurity strategy recession proof.
Assess Third-Party Security
To mitigate these risks, companies must first identify the third-party suppliers with which they have a relationship and assess their cybersecurity posture and financial health. It is important to determine and prioritize high-risk and business crucial vendors as part of these exercises. They should evaluate vendors’ policies, procedures, and security practices to ensure that they meet their organization’s security requirements and can withstand potential cyber threats.
Establish Guidelines & Contingency Plans
Companies should also establish contractual agreements that require third-party suppliers to meet minimum cybersecurity standards, with clear consequences for non-compliance. This should also include contingency plan that outline the steps vendors should take in the event of a crisis, like an attempted or successful breach. A well-defined crisis management plan helps to minimize the impact of the breach and prevent further damage, protecting both the vendor and its partners. The plan should include procedures for containing the breach, restoring operations, and communicating with stakeholders, including customers, vendors, and regulatory bodies.
Improve Internal Efficiencies
Evaluating and improving internal security measures also builds recession-proof cybersecurity. In addition to establishing vendor security posture, third-party risk assessments help determine the impact potential of third-party data breach for the primary organization. Organizations can evaluate their internal disaster recovery plans and should consider finding alternative vendors and developing contingency plans to mitigate any potential disruptions.
Making Recession Proof Investments in Security
As businesses face the uncertainty and unpredictability of economic downturns, they must make wise investments to protect themselves from potential cyber threats. By making strategic investments in cybersecurity, organizations can gain long-term cost savings and benefits. Investing in automation and other tools, like cyber risk management platforms help to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve organizational resilience.
Invest in Tools & Automation
One investment that can help businesses become recession-proof is a Third-Party Cyber Risk Management (TPCRM) platform. TPCRM tools, such as myCYPR, offer several benefits, including automating many of the manual tasks required to manage third-party relationships, such as risk assessments, monitoring, and reporting. By automating these tasks, businesses can reduce their operational costs and improve the overall efficiency of their cybersecurity program.
Additionally, TPCRM platforms offer several features that provide valuable risk insights, such as vendor risk scoring, security questionnaire assessments, and continuous monitoring. These features can help businesses identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks proactively, reducing the likelihood of costly cyber incidents.
Consolidate for Better Results
By consolidating multiple cybersecurity tools into a single platform, businesses can save on licensing fees and other related costs. Consider finding a single tool that offers more capabilities or dual functions and could replace several tools currently at your disposal. Tools like myCYPR provide businesses with capabilities for due diligence, risk assessment, monitoring, reporting, and remediation tracking, on one license.
The consolidation of tools can also simplify the management of cybersecurity programs, allowing for better oversight and more efficient workflows. By consolidating toolsets and automating many risk management tasks, TPCRM platforms allow businesses to focus on other critical areas while saving time and budget.
Weigh Benefits vs. Cost
While some investments are more strategic than others, each still comes at a cost. When facing budget constraints, it is natural to consider the necessity of increased investment in software and tools. However, it’s important to consider the value of both time and cost. The most affordable tools and solutions are not always the friendliest in terms of time spent on integration and completion. By considering the amount of time spent on processes, the existing tools being used, and what costs might be eliminated organizations can make informed, strategic cybersecurity investments.
By making cybersecurity a strategic asset, organizations can enhance their resilience and position themselves for long-term success. It’s important to act before a third-party data breach occurs. While a slowed economy can present significant challenges, organizations can harness cybersecurity to improve their risk management strategy by making strategic investments. By strategically investing in cybersecurity now, organizations can minimize the impact of economic uncertainties and ensure the security and continuity of their operations.