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Cybersecurity Layoffs: Targeted MSSP, Software and Appliance Cuts Continue


Amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic fallout, some cybersecurity companies are disclosing targeted layoffs and/or temporary pay cuts for remaining employees.

Among the recent developments to note:

OpenText, FireEye and Zix are publicly held and were growing as of early 2020. In OpenText's case, the Carbonite data protection and Webroot cybersecurity businesses met financial targets in the company's most recent quarter. But the parent company wants to maintain a strong financial position amid ongoing economic uncertainty. Hence, the targeted staff cuts and temporary companywide compensation cuts.

At FireEye, the company's shift toward managed security services continues to accelerate. The targeted cuts apparently involved legacy-oriented security appliances.

And at Zix, the company continues to expand its MSP base while leveraging the AppRiver acquisition of 2019. But the April cost cuts were designed to help the company maintain a strong financial position amid the economic headwinds.

Bracing for Impact

Even well-known, cloud-based cybersecurity software companies are bracing for impact. An example: BlackBerry, parent of Cylance, has modeled scenarios where revenue drops 20 percent, 30 percent and even 50 percent, CEO John Chen told Wall Street analysts during an earnings in late March 2020.

While Chen doesn’t expect those worst-case revenue scenarios to occur, BlackBerry modeled them to prove the company could survive worst-case industry scenarios, he told analysts at the time.

Meanwhile, technology startups have been particularly hard-hit by layoffs. Over 35,000 startup employees have been laid off amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reports as of May 5, 2020.

Article originally published May 5, 2020. Updated May 7, 2020 with Zix-related information.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.