Cybersecurity firm Bishop Fox laid off around 50 employees — or 13% of its workforce — on Tuesday, the company told TechCrunch.
The layoffs come just a few days after the company threw a party at the cybersecurity conference RSA, where the company apparently served branded drinks that it called “cyber soup.” Bishop Fox’s official Twitter account said last week that the company will have “other events in Vegas later this year,” referring to the Black Hat and Def Con security conferences held every year in Las Vegas.
Bishop Fox spokesperson Kevin Kosh said in an email that the company had an event space at RSA “reserved many months in advance and was primarily secured for the purposes of the day-long livestream (mirroring the one we did for DefCon), which was a forum to engage, and share knowledge with the larger community. The reception followed that for the participants, team, industry friends and RSA attendees.”
The company declined to say how much it spent on the RSA party. Kosh confirmed that the company had around 400 employees before the layoffs yesterday.
“We proactively made these changes in response to the global economic situation and opportunities we identified to make our business more efficient. While demand for our solutions remains solid and our business is stable, we can’t ignore the market uncertainty and investment trends in this very different global economy,” Bishop Fox CEO Vinnie Liu said in a statement sent to TechCrunch. “Bishop Fox remains healthy, and we continue to be bullish about our growth and technology investments over the coming quarters and years. Our firm’s cash reserves (including our Series B raise), combined with this restructuring, allow us to maintain a strong financial position that enables scale, innovation, and of course, delivery of the high-quality solutions our customers have come to expect.”
Last year, Bishop Fox raised a total of $129 million in a Series B round from several investors, including WestCap, NextEquity Partners and Rockpool Capital.
And last week, the company announced at RSA that it was expanding to the U.K. with “an initial focus on organizations in Northern Europe.” In the announcement, the company also said that it had “a 40% year-over-year company growth.”
Employees who said they lost their job on Twitter called the layoffs “unexpected.” One of them said it was “due to internal restructuring.”
In September 2022, the company’s vice president of customer success Christie Terrill said the company was “hiring across the board,” and the company’s official LinkedIn account wrote in a post that it was “hiring across several different teams in the Fox Den, from pentesting to technical editing to sales.”
The layoffs at Bishop Fox come as the whole tech sector is suffering from the economic downturn. Still, some considered cybersecurity to be a safer sector. Last year, a report from (ISC)², a nonprofit association for “information security leaders,” predicted that cybersecurity teams “will be the least affected by staff reductions, as organizations anticipate an increase in cyber threats in 2023.”
The report was based on a poll of 1,000 C-suite executives. At the time, (ISC)² chief executive Clar Rosso said that “the importance placed on cybersecurity professionals, even during uncertain economic times, suggests that top executives understand the critical need for a strong cybersecurity team now more than ever.”
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