Cybersecurity in the face of mass layoffs: what makes it resilient?

July 21, 2022


After years of growth for the tech industry, today, we're witnessing mass layoffs worldwide. This trend quickly became a hot topic since even global organizations and brands started to cut their workforce for reasons unrelated to people's performance.

woman with brown hair and wearing a blue suit looks at camera

In the face of inflation and interest rate hikes, companies started tightening their belts by reducing staff to survive the uncertain times ahead. As of July, all this resulted in more than 400 companies laying off over 80 000 workers worldwide.

In this interview, we speak to Karina Dajoraitė-Dirvonskienė, Chief People Officer at Nord Security, who shares her insights into the mass layoff trend, its impact on the cybersec industry, and the situation at Nord Security. She also gives tips on how to bounce back after experiencing a layoff.

The current job market

What, in your opinion, are the main reasons behind current layoffs in the tech sector?

There are several factors. Some of them come from the global perspective, like the looming threat of recession with the inflation and interest rates shooting up as well as the changing behavior of consumers. Of course, no one can account for a global crisis. Still, once it happens, some action scenarios should be put in place to secure your organization and ensure it stays afloat without making drastic sacrifices.

Also, there could be other factors at play here, too - like overplanning your hiring quotas, too much reliance on outside funding, as well as, changing evaluation of companies with the focus of investors from growth to profit, and failure to raise additional capital as a result.

The situation at Nord Security

What is our current situation in Lithuania, Berlin, and Nord Security in general?

Nothing is changing at Nord Security. We continue growing and expanding our global team with new locations and hires. After more than a decade of being a profitable bootstrapped business, last quarter, we officially became a tech unicorn by raising $100 million from investors at a valuation of $1.6 billion. And for the future, that means more growth and more talent joining our community worldwide.

Do you believe that the current trend will affect hiring goals at Nord Security? If so, how?

I believe it will. We will use this global trend of layoffs as an opportunity to fill our vacant positions more quickly. As I’ve mentioned, the growth of our organization continues. Therefore we’re looking for new talent to join our team.

Why do you think the situation at Nord Security is different from that of tech companies, that are currently laying off large numbers of staff?

Actually, our co-founder, Tom Okman, has recently commented on the situation that Lithuanian businesses are mainly profitable or bootstrapped. That was the case with us, too. Therefore, there's no need to rely on outside funding too much. Also, I think the cybersecurity market that we work in also has an impact here. It is constantly growing and is expected to reach $376.32 billion in 2029. Moreover, the pandemic, geopolitical unrest, and an increase in cyberattacks have highlighted the need for our products.

Cybersecurity threats will continue to exist as long as we have our online lives. As a result, not only the demand for cyber products and services is growing, but also the need for cybersecurity professionals. Currently, there are more than 36,000 open positions for cybersec experts in the public sector and more than 700,000 available jobs in the private sector globally. These factors are the main reasons why the cybersecurity industry hasn't seen hiring freezes or layoffs on a broad scale.

What should be considered when planning recruiting volumes, and how does this help us maintain sustainable growth?

We plan our recruiting volumes meticulously with every team in the organization, evaluating the needs, pain points, and plans for growth. I think it’s important to have this alignment throughout the whole organization and with the key stakeholders if you want your recruitment volumes to be on track and ensure sustainability. So for our team, communication and alignment are key in this accord.

Bouncing back after a painful layoff

Can you give some advice to people who have experienced layoff? How can they cope with the stress of losing their job?

Well, first of all - not to panic. Of course, it’s never pleasant to lose your job. However, while some companies are overhired, others are experiencing shortages. Therefore, there’re still plenty of job opportunities available, especially for those with tech skills. This demand will continue to grow in the future, notwithstanding the current hardships. So here are some tips on what you can do to find your next employment easier:

  • If your local market doesn’t have a suitable offer, check global companies - remote work is still very much a possibility.

  • Be active on LinkedIn - if you have recruiters in your connections, don’t hesitate to drop them a line.

  • Reach out to friends to refer you to their employer. Many companies have internal referral programs available. At Nord Security, we even launched an external referral program - you can check it HERE.

  • Network - there are plenty of events and meetups to attend online or offline for techies. Who knows, maybe there's another job opportunity waiting for you.