It’s a strange and interesting time for the IT sector. Technological advancements are driving productivity for organizations of all sizes and industry verticals. IT is dominating both mind and marketplace, and everyone’s excited about leveraging technology solutions for increasing business value and beating the competition to win the largest market share. At the same time, IT is delivering on its big promises for organizations employing a strategic approach in jumping on the bandwagon of latest technology trends.

But there’s one industry vertical leading the pack in making the most out of their relatively small IT investments. They don’t spend millions on a single technology innovation, neither do they keep their success strategies concealed from their industry-fellows. Instead, they build their success on mutual cooperation in reaching common goals or at least, in taking the same road toward achieving individual goals. In fact, by working together they make the most feared industry vertical thriving underground in the modern age of ‘digitization of everything’: the global cybercrime industry.

Success Stories of a Recession-Proof Growth Industry

What started off as a challenge or learning experience for teenage hackers has now turned into the biggest for-profit industry, and the cost of its success – to enterprises and government organizations – continues climbing at alarming rates. The illicit industry vertical has shown year-after-year double digit growth despite the ongoing economic crisis.

Operating the cybercrime industry are some of the most talented and well-educated IT professionals and computers programmers. And an even wider pool of talent is pursuing a lucrative career as a hacker in the cybercrime industry where the bar for entry is low, opportunities are growing exponentially and compensation, for some hackers, is phenomenal. And the best part, no one is ever forced into working as a cybercriminal. They join the industry because they’re passionate about hacking, considering it as a hobby and not as a job. Every individual in the cybercrime industry willfully works at their best to meet or exceed expectations to operate successfully in the highly competitive underground market where the best hackers and cybercrime rings get the biggest media hype and market share.

Another reason for global expansion of the industry is their ability to serve every individual customer with tailored hacking services. Top commercial cybercrime rings and hackers don’t advertise their services openly, or even secretly, but interested clients themselves reach intermediaries or cybercrime underground marketplaces asking for expert assistance. High-profile clients include government agencies in China, Russia and the U.S., the two nations dominating state-sponsored cyberwarfare in recent years. A recent HackSurfer editorial briefs on a variety of cybercrime service tiers available for different hacking purposes and types of customers. And if money’s no object, some people are willing to risk their lives to deliver upon client demands.

Perhaps the biggest secret to their success is mutual collaboration and transparency for wider benefits of the cybercrime industry. Established hackers operate forums and assist newbies, potential customers and intermediaries with valuable advice and paid services for conducting effective cybercrime campaigns and take credit for solving problems and passing solutions along. Malware code exchanges, forum discussions and open source hacking tools are a norm in the cybercrime underworld. Anyone discovering cyber police crackdown attempts warns other hackers on social media and secret forums. In essence, success of the entire cybercrime underworld seems dependent upon collaboration and the industry’s growth numbers reflect upon this phenomenon.

Everything Wrong with the IT Industry

Quite the opposite appears in the IT industry in relation to the wider enterprise world. Small and midsize business firms are struggling to battle the ongoing economic crisis. On the contrary, larger enterprises always seem prepared to face the challenges of trying economic times. And in event of economic shockwaves spreading through the enterprise sector, the gap between SMBs and their larger counterparts widens beyond revival, ultimately suppressing growth of the wider enterprise world.

But despite the challenges facing IT, the industry and enterprises sectors fail to offer lucrative opportunities for talented IT professionals tempted to pursue the more rewarding career as a hacker. Businesses are forced to operate on limited budgets with minimal workforce instead of building human resources necessary to overcome economic and IT security challenges.

IT companies are always in the hunt for the largest market share by offering services catering to a wider pool of customers. Tailored services are usually expensive and handling complex customizable IT solutions requires organizations to employ expert IT professionals on-site.

The worst part is that organizations in the corporate sector are all on their own when it comes to facing economic and security challenges. Large enterprises won’t share IT expertise with their weaker counterparts and smaller firms are too terrified of looking weak asking for help, which could damage their reputation and negatively affect their market share in the short term. Even IT companies don’t share most of their solutions and research with competitors for developing viable IT solutions for government organizations and enterprise customers.

On top of that, businesses within the corporate sector are working against each other for personal gains – advertising against other companies and launching cyber-attacks on competitors are common strategies. The media itself is always on the look for news portraying the negativity of businesses succumbing to cyber-attacks or economic crises.

However, if IT companies and their enterprise customers follow the cybercrime industry best-practices of mutual collaboration, support for young talent, unique and tailored services for every individual organization and a strong dedication of employees to serve their firm’s customers, they will always have all the resources to overcome financial and security challenges hampering their collective and individual success.