Of the nearly 10 million Americans who recently have filed for unemployment insurance – 6.6 million this week and 3.3 million the week before – as the coronavirus pandemics shut down businesses and the economy, the cybersecurity workforce seemingly has been spared. But experts warned that widespread layoffs in the future could leave organizations vulnerable.

“It will be dangerous if cybersecurity jobs are thought of a luxury, or a component that can be downsized when times get tough,” said Timur Kovalev, chief technology officer at Untangle. “The costs that could be incurred if a data breach occurs, or if systems are taken down because of malware or ransomware could easily put a small- to medium-sized company out of business for months, or forever.”

For companies that remain operational the need to have someone standing guard is even more important, Kovalev said, as criminals go after hospitals with ransomware attacks, targeting those expecting federal financial aid or offering phony retail advertisements via texting to coerce people into clicking.

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