By Devin Partida, Editor-in-Chief, ReHack.com
Everything changes as inflation rises. It doesn’t matter if it stays steady or spikes — there are questions about what to prioritize as budgets and goals shift. In the cybersecurity industry, there are more considerations than most. New and rising sectors like this must adapt to changing times, while professionals and hobbyists are learning simultaneously.
It’s essential to determine how inflation will impact cybersecurity budgets in any industry and how much focus companies should place on these subjects. Will companies who place a higher priority on protecting digital assets come out of inflation healthier than before?
How Can Inflation Change Cybersecurity Budgets?
No matter the size of a business, inflation changes financial priorities. Nobody can certainly determine the future of cybercriminal activity, but there are some factors to help guide budgeting decisions:
- The ever-evolving cybercriminal landscape.
- Geo-political or natural events, such as war or natural disasters.
- Shifting governmental regulations and professional guidance.
- Updating requirements for optimal security as threats change.
Inflation should not always cause alarm — it can benefit the economy. It’s when inflation rapidly rises that causes businesses to scramble to find strategies to stay afloat. Solidifying a productive headspace with this mind can help make significant budget decisions. It will also support research and process information regarding the factors above.
A primary concern for any business budget is employee wages — salaries must increase to keep up with inflation. Every business using tech has to think about cybersecurity, so wage increases for every enterprise affect cybersecurity allocations.
This also affects individuals entering the tech industry because it is in high demand and is likely to continue. Over 1.6 million jobs were posted for technology positions by April 2022, with only a 1.3% unemployment rate in tech. Because the need is high, salaries are competitive. With these thoughts in mind, companies can expect to increase security spending per inflation budget.
Should Businesses Focus on Cybersecurity as Prices Rise?
The short answer is yes — everything from computer software to legal counseling could become a financial prerogative. Because cybersecurity has many moving parts, businesses and criminal outfits alike have to adjust for inflation. It will affect cybersecurity budgets in every industry as projections estimate cybercrime costs will hit $10.5 trillion by 2025.
Some cybersecurity analysts say it’s a recession-proof industry. Even if inflation proves too much for the economy, there is always a need to find talent. Analysts account for the attacks hitting businesses during economic unrest.
Adversely, hackers also feel inflation pains and carrying out cyberattacks will naturally cost them more. If they engage in ransomware attacks, the price of obtaining stolen information will likely be higher than average. Because they know they can price-gouge, attack frequency could increase. As unfortunate as it may be, they are also trying to say in business.
Another reason to pay attention to cybersecurity during inflation is how it affects the stock market. People are noticing how influential the industry is. Demand for products skyrockets when data breaches become national news or new digital assets create buzz. Not all tech is flourishing, but experts state despite fluctuations, investing in cybersecurity may yield more — or at least fewer losses — than alternatives.
How Does a Company Build Resilience in Uncertainty?
The rate of cybercriminal activity and inflation trends are equally uncertain. The best way to strengthen a business is to be proactive rather than reactive. Companies cannot afford to wait until cybercriminals hit them to create a defensive strategy.
Given the current cybercriminal climate, developing accurate expectations will guide plans effectively. Though it benefits attackers to target large companies that can afford millions of dollars for a ransomware attack, the size of targets may become smaller as desperation grows. Recognizing nobody is immune to these digital threats is critical for understanding the conditions. No matter how small a business, nobody can justify cutting corners on security.
But most importantly, keep talent at all costs and train them according to trends. Retaining is essential for the industry’s success as the field stays competitive. Businesses have to give employees reasons not to move to another sector when there aren’t enough cybersecurity analysts to fill the need. This doesn’t just involve high compensation but also being aware of other negative factors in the industry causing the high turnover.
Inflation is Dependable, Yet Variable
Every business expects inflation as time passes, but nobody knows what the rate will be. It could soar one year and remain relatively constant the next.
Knowing it won’t be formulaic yearly will create foundational anticipations as companies prepare for potentially unstable futures. The progression of cyber industries will only create more possibilities for it to be in flux, so the key is tangible and mental preparation.
Devin Partida is an industrial tech writer and the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com, a digital magazine for all things technology, big data, cryptocurrency, and more. To read more from Devin, please check out the site.