Why cybersecurity threats increase during economic collapse ― and how to prevent them 

According to a recent study conducted by the UK’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology on cyber resilience, small businesses have identified fewer cyber threats in 2023 compared to the previous year. Of course, it may appear that fewer attacks occurred, but the truth is that a lower number of companies prioritise cyber security. Around 32% of the country’s businesses and 24% of charities have experienced some sort of security threat in the past year. This might be the case since cyber security has been less compiled in a company’s budget due to inflation and recent financial uncertainty.

Although we can understand the reasons for this decreasing trend, organisations need to see the bigger picture. That’s because the costs of experiencing a data breach are higher than equipping the company with all practices and IT tools for enhancing cyber security. However, some methods are cost-efficient, such as the use of proper password guidelines and network firewalls.

Unfortunately, these practices have also been reported to be declining in usage.

Besides the local challenges that businesses face regarding data breaches, their frequency increases considerably during recessions or times of economic collapse. Knowing this aspect, can companies prevent them?

The link between data breaches and recessions 

Experts have discussed a forthcoming recession since 2022, and it has yet to hit the world. Of course, the consequences would be multiple and devastating for certain economies, but one of the most concerning aspects is the effect it will have on a company’s cyber security.

Cybercriminals will definitely exploit certain weaknesses during any economic or social crisis, which has already happened during Covid-19 when the rise of people working from home meant less cybersecurity awareness.

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There are two main elements of manipulating cybersecurity matters. First, the budget for security software solutions will decrease following an economic crisis. This approach can translate into fewer employees hired for crucial positions, such as protecting the organisation, which increases the workload of existing employees and therefore raises the risk of mistakes. Next, salary freezes follow employee laid-off, which eventually exposes your system to threats from the inside of the business.

Then, as organisations cut costs for security, cybercriminal activity rises as they’re using companies’ weaknesses to their advantage. Of course, when experiencing a break in the system, you can make a data breach compensation claim in the UK to try and receive financial compensation. However, you still need to reinforce cybersecurity practices for the future.

Why enhancing security during financial crises is paramount 

Besides the Covid-19 aftermath that crashed cybersecurity, the 2008 economic crisis also showed us how phishing and malware suddenly increased, allowing experts to make future assumptions about when another expected world problem might occur.

But it’s especially important to enforce security measures during challenging times, which should be done globally to truly leverage great results. The importance of security services ensures that your company avoids consequences regarding legal, financial and reputational aspects. Of course, cyber threats might increase depending on the industry your organisation fits into, such as healthcare, financial services and retail.

Rather than cutting all costs on cyber security, your business can at least look for more affordable or free solutions that can still add a layer of data safety. This way, you can ensure that your systems are not fully exposed and hackers don’t have it that easy to break into your systems and applications.

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How can your business protect itself from cybersecurity threats?

In times of hardship, it’s best to make the most out of your budget. That means maximising your cybersecurity ROI by prioritising complying with regulatory frameworks and providing security awareness training for your staff.

When it comes to employees, it’s best to think of them as an asset to the company. That’s because your team is a valuable strategy for maintaining your company safe. But considering that profit shortages might hinder hiring new talent, what you can do is retain highly skilled people with vast knowledge of cybersecurity. At the same time, reducing staffing gaps and other challenges might ensure your company will stay strong when a recession hits.

Of course, what’s also crucial is staying up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity trends. If you know what’s lurking around company systems, you might be able to create a counterattack plan that can help your business avoid system breaches or minimise the consequences of such attacks.

Why outsourcing security services might save your organisation 

There are many ways to protect your company, and besides the basic password rule and three-factor authentication, nothing else brings new practices to the table. However, if you’re brave enough to look for new security-enhancing opportunities, you can try outsourcing security services and see if this strategy fits your company’s needs.

Outsourcing means you let a third party’s dedicated team create an excellent security plan for your company. The costs of these services may depend on several factors, but it’s worth a try. That’s because outsourcing has plenty of benefits. First, the team covers multiple types of security that target different cyber threats, such as ransomware, whose branches are pretty diverse.

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Many outsourcing companies provide expertise on your organisation’s security conditions and

ensure immediate action when risks are encountered. Due to their flexibility, these services can help adapt your security strategy when needed. Finally, this solution will help minimise risks and dangers your company might face during economic hardships, maintaining your company’s productivity at moderate levels. It may be better for your business to ask for the help of experts instead of handling challenges on your own because, as they’ve been through multiple cyber threat cases, some patterns can be revealed. Therefore a proper plan can be constructed based on your company’s features.

Is your business adequately prepared?

Now that we’ve discussed the possibility of a weaker system during recessions and economic crises, we hope that many more organisations will understand the importance of solid cybersecurity measures and approaches. If more corporations fight towards stronger systems and practices, future businesses will be able to minimise any potential risks from new hackers’ attacks.

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