Downsizing the Workforce? It’s a Mistake to Skimp on Cyber Security

The global economy is struggling to cope with workforce productivity shutdowns. We don’t yet know the ultimate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we’re seeing major downsizing across all industries. Enterprise organizations will likely continue their paring down of the workforce to an essential core team.

While the future seems uncertain, the one thing we can predict is that cyber terrorists will continue to exploit vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructures. Here’s why your organization shouldn’t skimp on IT security even in the face of a corporate downsize.

Cyber Attacks and Your Business Leadership Skills

In March, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) was hacked in what Bloomberg called “a campaign of disruption and disinformation that was aimed at undermining the response to the coronavirus pandemic.” As most companies are being forced to take their operations remote, it seems hackers are doubling down on their efforts to exploit IT vulnerabilities.

The issue to consider for business leadership is whether their security infrastructure can support the mass migration of workers to their homes. IT teams already struggle with a widening architecture tied to personal device usage and public Wi-Fi networks; amid the coronavirus lockdown, there is heightened digital risk of criminal encroachment.

Business leadership must leverage the right security solutions that can scale up or down with a remote workforce. From data transfer, Wi-Fi, emails, and videoconferencing, organizations must have the peripheries of their business operations security, and this takes a revised IT security infrastructure and a new and heightened culture of cybersecurity for the at-home worker. Zoom bombing may be the least of your worries if hackers select you for infiltration. 

Hackers aren’t taking a break: Right now, the risk is heightened for IT security breaches.

SC Media suggests four crucial reasons why it’s more important than ever for companies to lead by bolstering, not cutting, IT security:

  1. Security will become a competitive differentiator that attracts new business. In this climate, compliance with rules like HIPAA and ISO 27001 will become more critical, not less.
  2. E-businesses will come under increasing regulatory scrutiny, both for data protection and consumer privacy. Organizations that have failed to follow the rules to this point will likely face harsh monetary penalties.
  3. Investors will look favorably on cybersecurity. Look for an increase in cybersecurity startups with angel investors pushing them forward this year.
  4. Remote work will become the norm and not the exception. While not everyone will remain at home long after the coronavirus ends, there will be a substantial number of business models that recognize the benefits and stick with the model.

As companies recognize that remote work will likely become the new normal, IT leaders will come under the microscope to ensure that this widening gyre of technology risk will be adequately protected. It would be a big mistake for business leaders to think that corporate downsizing should include cutting cybersecurity. Instead, companies must reinvest in this new global online business push that will undoubtedly continue for the foreseeable future. However, there are benefits beyond risk mitigation to consider during these complicated times.

87% of companies say profitability would increase if they had a more effective cybersecurity strategy. At a time when corporate profits are plummeting, businesses could use this boost in revenues. Bolstering your IT security now will not only lessen the risk, but it will also help your company survive.

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