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Arete IR Is The Latest Cybersecurity Company To Lay Off Staff

Jay Fitzgerald

The Florida-based firm, however, disputes a report that it has cut 90 jobs, or 25 percent of its workforce

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Another cybersecurity company is laying off workers amid jittery economic times.

Arete IR, a Florida-based cyber incident response firm that’s known for its handling of ransomware cases on behalf of clients, has confirmed it has laid off an unspecified number of employees, blaming “current economic conditions” for the action.

Earlier this week, the website Layoffs Tracker reported that the privately held Arete had laid off 90 people, or rough 25 percent of its workforce, based on a memo the firm’s CEO reportedly sent to Arete employees.

In a statement to CRN, Arete IR confirmed payroll reductions but said it was “not publicly sharing specific numbers.”

[RELATED STORY: 5 CYBERSECURITY STARTUPS THAT RECENTLY LAID OFF WORKERS]

The statement added, in apparent reference to Layoffs Tracker’s report, that “reported numbers are incorrect, overstating the total number of impacted employees and impacted workers as a percentage of our entire workforce.”

As for the layoff action at Arete, the Boynton Beach, Florida- based company said it had little choice but to cut jobs.

 “Arete made the difficult decision to reduce our staff in response to current economic conditions,” the firm said in its statement. “The company evaluated every option to avoid having to reduce staff but ultimately concluded that this step was necessary for the continued growth of the business.”

Arete’s statement concluded: “We have taken steps to ensure that this action does not affect our ability to provide our clients with the highest quality incident response and managed security services.”

Since earlier this year, tech companies in general have shed tens of thousands of jobs, due to a number of factors, including cautious companies pulling back on IT spending.

Recently, large tech titans such as Oracle and Microsoft as well as Google have signaled or stated their intent to reduce their payrolls and/or curtail future hiring moving forward.

Due to the strong demand for cybersecurity products and services, big security companies have been largely spared from having to cut payrolls.

But Wall Street’s recent pounding of stocks in general has dried up the IPO market, which has hurt later-stage security startups that had been eyeing on going public.

Now many of those later-stage startups, such as Lacework and Cybereason, have been cutting their workforces and other expenses in order to preserve cash until the markets stabilize and recover.

Founded in 2016, Arete IR’s recent payroll action follows a pattern of somewhat young cybersecurity companies putting the brakes on spending.

The company declined to provide CRN with information on how many people it employs and whether it has received investment money of late.

But it’s LinkedIn page indicates it has about 439 workers. And Arete IR was touting key leadership hirings as recently as this past April.

In a press release last year, the private firm also boasted of 150 percent revenue growth in its first quarter of 2021, compared to the prior year, and 320 percent growth in 2020 over 2019.

In a statement to CRN, Layoffs Tracker said that the “layoff news at Arete IR was reported as a tip by 2 of the impacted employees - mentioning the layoff news was shared in an email sent across the company by the CEO.”

Layoffs Tracker said it could not obtain a copy of the email.

Joe Mann, chief executive and co-founder of Arete IR, referred CRN questions to a company spokeswoman, who provided CRN with its statement.

Learn More: Cybersecurity
Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald is a senior editor covering cybersecurity for CRN. Jay previously freelanced for the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston magazine, Banker & Tradesman, MassterList.com, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other entities. He can be reached at jfitzgerald@thechannelcompany.com.

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