2023 Demonstrates That Cybersecurity Is Not Exempt from Severe Job Cuts

2023 Demonstrates That Cybersecurity Is Not Exempt from Severe Job Cuts

Economic Uncertainty Affects Cybersecurity Industry

Despite the increase in cyberattacks and data breaches, the cybersecurity industry is not impervious to the challenges posed by the current economic climate.

2023 Marks the “Year of the Layoff” in Tech

2023 is shaping up to be notoriously recognized as the “year of the layoff,” with an uptick in job losses following a tough 2022, which saw over 130,000 tech professionals being laid off. This year, the trend has escalated with more than 240,000 job cuts in the tech sector documented within 12 months, according to records maintained by TechCrunch, surpassing last year’s figures substantially.

No Immunity for Cybersecurity in Economic Downturn

Previously resistant to the sweeping layoffs in the tech arena, the cybersecurity sector is now confronting the reality that it is not immune to economic downturns. Although not the most severely impacted sector, with transportation taking that spot, cybersecurity is significantly affected, with firms downsizing despite a demand for their services due to the prevailing wave of cyber threats.

Numerous Cybersecurity Firms Announce Layoffs

Based on statistics from the layoff tracking website Layoffs.fyi, over 110 cybersecurity companies have downsized since the start of the year. We have identified some of the most noteworthy layoffs in the industry.

Sophos Trims Workforce by 10%

In January, Sophos, a UK-based security company, initiated layoffs impacting 10% of its global staff, which equates to around 450 individuals. TechCrunch uncovered this development following reports of layoffs among employees in India. The company attributed these layoffs to a challenging economic landscape, aiming to recalibrate for sustained growth and profitability and refocus on delivering cybersecurity services.

Bishop Fox’s Layoffs Follow Conference Celebration

After hosting a lavish event at the RSA security conference, Bishop Fox, a cybersecurity company, announced the termination of roughly 50 staff members or 13% of its workforce in May. Despite constant demand for their products, Bishop Fox cited the need for business efficiency against a backdrop of economic uncertainty as the reason for the layoffs.

NCC Group Executes Multiple Rounds of Downsizing

The NCC Group, a cybersecurity heavyweight based in the UK, acknowledged additional layoffs following an earlier reduction of 7% of its personnel, which affected 125 employees across the UK and North America. A subsequent round of job cuts was confirmed by the company in response to altered market conditions and client demands.

Rapid7 Announces Significant Layoffs, Office Closures

U.S.-headquartered Rapid7 revealed plans in August to lay off 18% of its staff, totaling over 400 employees globally. This step was described as a strategic action to enhance operational efficiency, lower expenses, and better align with current business necessities. In line with these changes, Rapid7 also decided to permanently shut down certain office locations.

HackerOne Slashes Workforce Amid Economic Pressures

HackerOne, a reputable bug bounty and security testing platform, also resorted to considerable layoffs in August, terminating up to 12% of its workforce. This affected about 50 employees in various countries, including the U.S., Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands. Despite raising nearly $160 million since inception, the company pointed to the macroeconomic climate as the rationale behind the decision, framing it as vital for the company’s lasting success.

Malwarebytes Prepares for Division with Job Cuts

In a grueling month highlighted by numerous layoffs, Malwarebytes announced the layoff of 100 employees worldwide as they braced for an upcoming corporate division. The layoffs happened roughly a year after a previous workforce reduction of 14%. While economic factors have forced many firms to downsize, Malwarebytes CEO assured that the company remained strong and profitable.

IronNet Shuts Down Following Massive Layoffs

IronNet, a once promising cybersecurity startup founded by former NSA director Keith Alexander, terminated its entire remaining workforce and announced its business closure in October. The company’s executives reported that they are ceasing all business operations and preparing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, intending to liquidate the remaining assets to settle outstanding debts
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