How the channel can shift cyber security buying behaviour
Cyber crime is anonymous, pays well, and a legacy justice system is struggling both to apprehend perpetrators and enforce effective penalties.
Meanwhile, penalties for companies found not to have adequately defended customer data from cyberattacks can be hefty. The best resort available to law-abiding citizens of the internet is, therefore, to take preventative measures. As such, it's estimated that worldwide annual spending on cybersecurity measures will surpass $42 billion this year, and continue to grow exponentially in years to come.
Simultaneously, we see a major shift in the way that tech is delivered. Time-worn hardware and software platforms are fast giving ground to more flexible and versatile solutions such as subscription and/or cloud-based services. Deployment of traditional hardware and software, moreover, is anticipated to fall by 70% over the next few years.
This enhanced need for sophisticated cybersecurity combined with the rapid shift to digital is causing seismic shifts in buying behaviour. Companies must, therefore, adjust their strategies to fit these changes or find themselves falling by the wayside. There are a number of ways in which your channels can move with the times and do more with less.
'Digital First' and businesses
The market is being transformed by the rise of 'digital first' businesses. On a business level, query handling, product and service delivery, internal interactions, and productivity management (among others) are all affected. As a result of this shift, IT decisions are no longer the sole preserve of the IT department. Business leaders are stepping up to the plate, and digital decision-making is filtering out through every tier of a business's workforce. This makes internal cybersecurity an important consideration at every level.
What businesses need in order to stay ahead of this new wave are applications which make them more agile and enable them to innovate while simultaneously providing robust security for every user across multiple platforms.
'Digital First' and consumers
On a business-to-consumer (B2C) level, businesses need to clearly demonstrate their commitment to cybersecurity while simultaneously keeping access to digital platforms and portals as pain-free as possible. Following recent data scandals such as Cambridge Analytica, the modern consumer is very wary of entrusting their data to businesses. A demonstrable commitment to keeping sites safe and secure can help to combat this trend. If done correctly, good cybersecurity can be a real asset to your marketing.
However, customers also want their experience to be as seamless as possible - something which doesn't always marry well with stringent cybersecurity protocols. Nobody wants to have to type their password in four or five times to reach their goal, and getting locked out of a digital portal due to overzealous security protocols will leave customers frustrated and liable to take their trade elsewhere. On the other hand, nobody wants to have their data stolen. There is a fine balance to strike here between a smooth UX and top-notch data security.
The global adoption of cloud-based digital tools has been phenomenal. The cloud now hosts to applications for all kinds of public and private services. However, cloud security remains an area of concern for both conscientious businesses and customers. What consumers want (and need) from businesses are protocols which offer the best multi-cloud security solutions to users while simultaneously simplifying access.
Security is a concern for everyone
The conundrum is a complicated one, but the most committed cybersecurity developers are bringing in breakthrough developments all the time. For example, biometrics make a major difference both to digital UX and to security. Many recent phone models are equipped with fingerprint pads, enabling genuine users to get past sophisticated security filters quickly and easily while simultaneously providing a security protocol which is nigh-on impossible for cybercriminals to replicate.
Safety and agility, then, are the keywords for digital-first businesses looking to attract and retain digital-first customers. These things are enabled by security solutions which stay abreast of (and utilise) the most cutting-edge research and development in the field, and which are versatile enough to allow businesses enough wiggle-room to perfect their UX without compromising security.
Cybersecurity is no longer something that only IT departments have to worry about. It's writ large in the public consciousness, and it's something that has to be considered at all times and on every level.
Jake Moore is a security specialist with ESET UK
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