By Hunter Donahue
For start-ups, small businesses, and large, multi-national organizations alike, differentiating your products and services from those of your competitors and driving home your competitive advantage to customers is crucial to success. More often than not, businesses look to promote their latest and greatest in capabilities and features when attempting to establish their competitive advantage with consumers. Yet in a time when consumer behavior is changing, the uncertainty around what can be trusted online is at an all-time high, and shoppers are constantly inundated with targeted adverts, finding or maintaining your edge in the marketplace requires new and different strategies and messages.
Cybersecurity as Competitive Advantage
Customers, more than ever before, can easily sway public opinion about your business or brand. Commonly, consumers leverage social media and reviewing websites (such as google) to inform their decision making. A strong cybersecurity program supports maintaining your reputation, builds a sense of accountability both in public opinion and internally, and can be positioned as a cornerstone of your competitive advantage.
By investing in your cyber posture, you communicate to your customers and employees that you understand the severity of risk presented by cyber adversaries, and want to ensure that they’re personal information is safeguarded when working with you. This increases customer satisfaction, and employee morale by showing an investment onto their protection.
Combine these benefits with the potential business-saving measures and you can add a huge boost to your organization against its competitors.
It’s no secret that one of the major contributors in any security incident is human error. From top to bottom, organizations and their employees face a variety of attacks. And many of these attacks prey on untrained employees under constant duress. Beyond investing in technology to improve your cyber posture, providing your employees with appropriate training and education that protects from these threats reduce stress and contributes to an improved corporate culture.
No one likes to hear that one of their favorite brands or a trusted company suffered a security incident, but it’s even worse if they were on the one’s exposed. According to Varonis, 65% of people who hear about a security breach no longer trust the company affected. Even worse than that is 80% will take their business to a close competitor instead of returning, regardless of the actions taken by the company to recompense.
With 52% of customers saying security is a top priority issue when choosing where to spend their dollars, your cybersecurity program must be a priority. Target and Uber learned this the hard way, with an almost 90% drop in their credibility of they suffered an incident. In Target’s case, they openly acknowledged the issues and with renewed security programs, managed to restore most of its credibility. With Uber however, they hid the incident and did not invest further, leading to their credibility to still be down years later.
With the constant growth of the online marketplace, the need for cybersecurity only continues to grow. We’ve seen that cybersecurity not only provides boost to safety and reputation, but a genuine competitive advantage that sets businesses ahead of their peers. Getting started today into adapting it to your environment and wielding the powerful benefits cybersecurity provides, is both future proofing and enhancing for your current operations.