Is COVID-19 Vulnerable to InfoSec Jobs?

The COVID-19 pandemic has already created chaos around the world, putting businesses and the global economy at stake. As the virus continues spreading without the availability of a vaccine, it is now causing major layoffs, cost-cutting and job freeze, across industries globally. According to the Labor Department data, over 10 million Americans lost their jobs in March and applied for government aid. The Silicon Valley, a hub of global entrepreneurs, is also grappled with the impact of the pandemic, bracing itself for a post-coronavirus period with layoffs, pay cuts and freeze up on new jobs.

While the COVID-19 has hit hard organizations and individuals around the world, it has also opened new practices to embrace in order to keep up with the changing environment. Along with the crisis, there are also some challenges caused by cybercriminals. According to VMware Carbon Black threat researchers, ransomware attacks rose 148 percent in March, compared to baseline levels in February. This is largely increasing owing to corporations shift to remote working to prevent the spread of the contagious virus.

So, there is a question raised that is the coronavirus pandemic intensifying the need of security staffing or vulnerable to InfoSec careers?

Since many industries finding themselves in a struggling situation, people are looking at which security jobs will last through a recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering reports, the InfoSec job market is expected to remain incredibly strong as organizations posted 261,545 cybersecurity jobs on LinkedIn that need to be filled. Cybersecurity workforce placement company, CyberVista has noted that organizations across most sectors are still actively hiring for cybersecurity talent. The company also noted the number of job requirements as of April 2020 based on industry verticals, including IT and Services (103,001), Financial Services (67,473), Computer Software (66,341), Defense & Space (49,708), and Hospital & Health Care (49,483).

However, informal studies by groups including Cisco, Symantec and Cybersecurity Ventures indicate a shortfall of millions of cyber jobs in the coming years. Apart from this, Gartner TalentNeuron™ data also predicted that there would be a global shortage of 2 million cybersecurity professionals by the end of 2019, and the number can also increase in the wake of the global pandemic. The report notes, despite a decline in new job postings during the period of February 1 and April 10, both the U.S. and the U.K. saw an increase in demand for Infosecurity roles.

The uncertainty driven by the outbreak of COVID-19 has fuelled the cybersecurity industry and emphasized the growing significance of the cybersecurity roles in maintaining and safeguarding the global economy. Due to the sudden shift to remote working that has created a dire need for cybersecurity professionals to secure networks, technology, and personnel activity, some companies are not in that place where they can help their employees.

For instance, Aqua Security, an Israel-based cybersecurity company, recently laid off just under 10 percent of its workforce covering sales, marketing and engineering positions in Israel, North America and Europe. This can be a pessimistic impact on cyber jobs. There is no denying fact that the pandemic has hit hard particularly small businesses. In a latest PwC research, the research firm is looking at how organizations plan to tighten or budgets to accommodate for coronavirus losses. The research found that just 2 percent of organizations surveyed are anticipating cuts in cybersecurity or privacy, compared to the general workforce, where 62 percent of organizations are planning layoffs.