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Fintech CEO: trimming cybersecurity workforce is a sucker's bet

Companies laying off cybersecurity professionals are making themselves an even larger target for cybercrime, an expert claims.

Organizations, particularly those in critical areas of infrastructure, need to up their security game in the light of an unfolding cyber war and state-sponsored activities.

Reacting to the recent advisory on Maui ransomware and North Korean threat actors, Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, said: "The advisory makes official something that organizations of all sizes should have been tracking for years. North Korea is a state sponsor of cyberwarfare, and they are becoming more and more brazen in their attacks."

The FBI, Cybersecurity Agency (CISA), and US Treasury issued a joint advisory on North Korea's state-sponsored cyber actors' use of Maui ransomware. Since May 2021, the FBI has observed and responded to multiple Maui ransomware incidents at HPH Sector organizations. Threat actors have used ransomware to encrypt servers responsible for healthcare services. In some cases, these incidents disrupted organizations for prolonged periods.

The advisory assesses that North Korean state-sponsored actors will continue targeting HPH Sector organizations.

"All this comes at the same time as we're seeing layoffs in the cybersecurity sector. Trimming your cybersecurity workforce is a sucker's bet," Gardner said.

Lately, tech giants and well-known startups have been cutting their staff in a bid to prepare for a feared recession.

According to the Wall Street Journal, cybersecurity and privacy companies have laid off at least 1,400 workers since late May. Cybereason, Lacework, Deep Instinct, OneTrust, and Automox have reportedly decided to cut their staff recently.

"All of the data we have shows that cybersecurity has never been more important. We're, quite literally, watching a global cyberwar unfold before our very eyes. There are rogue nation-states developing cyber-terrorists as an economic and foreign policy tactic. Second, there are massive shortages of talented employees in this sector. And, third, those companies that are laying off in this area are making themselves an even larger target for cybercrime," Gardner said.

The World Economic Forum stressed that cybercriminals are taking advantage of reinvented digital space, with over 2,000 cyberattacks striking the internet daily.

The criminal industry is booming, emphasizing the need for more cybersecurity professionals. Currently, there is a shortage of them, with 3 million specialists needed globally.

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