Turning Vulnerability into Opportunity: Using Cybersecurity to Foster Customer Trust
Ensuring that your customer’s data is safe behind an impenetrable wall is now a non-negotiable aspect of customer trust.
The modern business landscape is becoming increasingly customer-centric. In a competitive market, consumers hold significant power, and this is evident in how more and more businesses are investing in building customer loyalty. And customer loyalty, in turn, is founded upon customer trust — in essence, the confidence in a company's ability to deliver on its promises and do right by the customer.
But exactly what paves the road to this trust? Is it delivering top quality products or services? Is it providing excellent customer service? Is it ensuring seamless experiences for the customer at any given time?
All of these.
But in this primarily digitally driven world, there is one other key component of customer trust: security. Ensuring that your customer’s data is safe behind an impenetrable wall is now a non-negotiable aspect of customer trust. Data breaches, in addition to causing obvious monetary losses and business impacts, also cost companies customers. It should come as no surprise that most customers respond negatively to companies that have been breached.
Consumer Trust: The New Parameter for Digital Success
According to a “global consumer” survey by Axway, customers view a data breach as proof that companies are not taking their customers’ data as seriously as they say they are, making their claims seem like “lip service.” Nearly 75% of those surveyed asserted that they'd stop doing business with a company if it falls victim to a breach that potentially compromises data. Moreover, 50% also stated that they would avoid doing business with companies that have a history of cyberattacks or data breaches. Says PwC Vice Chair Mohamed Kande, “Overall, it is much easier to lose trust than to gain it. Businesses should be proactive in their efforts to maintain customer and employee trust.”
The current landscape is dictated by a conflicting duality. On the one hand, digital-first models of conducting business require increasing and unavoidable reliance on digital tools and software. On the other hand, these very tools can create security vulnerabilities by way of increased attack surfaces, compromise vendor security, etc. Despite disruptions, customer expectations are now at an all-time high. Not only are customers seeking better and more innovative experiences and services, but they also expect this to come with the promise of robust security. Cognizant finds that 91% of consumers are “concerned” or “very concerned” about their data privacy online.
To win the trust (and therefore, the business) of customers, companies need to redefine how they approach their data privacy and security. The game now is to carefully navigate between enhancing digital sophistication and cybersecurity — striking a balance that works. For this, it is first important to acknowledge the inherent risks to data in the digital age. When organizations treat security as an afterthought, they run the risk of exposing high-value digital assets and data to attackers that are only gaining more ground with each passing year.
The Current Window of Opportunity
A 2022 PwC survey on trust finds that business leaders think consumers have more trust in their organizations than they actually do. For 87% of leaders who believe that consumers have high trust in their company, only 30% do — a gap of 57 points. Moreover, the study finds that consumers who do not trust a company are unlikely to buy from them. In fact, a whopping 73% will also avoid recommending the business to others and 64% will refuse to share information about the business on social media. Thus, the loss of trust directly affects “customer revenue” as well as business image. At the same time, it is important to understand that the cost of breach is so high because customers generally start off by trusting businesses. According to Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer, businesses command 61% trust level globally, and are seen as competent and ethical. The key for businesses is then to capitalize on this data, by maintaining and sustaining this trust to win over customers — who can eventually become part of a loyal customer base.
It cannot be clearer that security is no longer merely a vulnerability issue. Done right, it can have just as much positive business impact, as it does negative when done wrong. In a competitive landscape, cybersecurity can become a valuable tool in the business toolkit — the thing that differentiates your business from others in the market. KPMG finds that 79% of CEOs see “information security” as a strategic function that can put them ahead of their competitors. The time is ripe for businesses to focus on building a strong digital trust ecosystem as part of their overall business strategy.
Building Customer Trust through Cybersecurity
How Evren Can Help
To build customer trust, it is essential to place digital security front and centre, focusing on prevention and doing away with the “after-the-fact” approach. A key first step is to evaluate your current cybersecurity posture — how secure is your customer’s data really? If you consider the worst of the cybersecurity attacks that have happened in the recent past, are the tools you’re using right now good enough?
According to KPMG, some of the key focus areas of consideration include:
Evren thrives at the intersection of these three key areas: the use of automation for securing data and preventing attacks, enhanced price/performance ratio and ROI, and a robust incident response plan. A desktop OS built for modern enterprises, Evren has in-built endpoint security and takes a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, which relies on multiple layers of protection. Moreover, with robust security features, the OS protects your organization against all current and future cyber threats and attacks.
The Evren OS management portal runs on a major cloud service provider or can be hosted on the customer’s on-premises servers. All data is stored encrypted at rest and continuously backed up securely. Moreover, multi-factor authentication is enforced for all critical services used by Evren, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. The OS does not store any sensitive customer or end-user data, and all user data across systems can be deleted upon request.
For data transfer, Evren uses a secure channel with 256-bit SSL encryption, for secure internet connections for all the traffic between desktop clients, mobile devices, and Evren servers. All SSL termination points are hardened to provide the highest levels of security. The OS uses “Let’s Encrypt” certificates to ensure secure and short-lived certificates that are automatically renewed on a quarterly basis.
To ensure continuous security, Evren uses GuardRails for inspecting security issues in code, known vulnerabilities in dependencies, and hard-coded secrets. Finally, managed services provide timely updates and automatically fixed security. The internal policy in managing vulnerability ensures all systems are current and kept free from vulnerabilities if any. Once installed, all IT and security patches are updated automatically.
Preventing Cyber Attacks
Evren’s security features are designed keeping two things in mind: that data breach attempts will happen and that end-users will make human errors despite all the training and vigilance. To pretend otherwise is to undermine cybersecurity efforts from the get-go.
Evren ensures that the end-user is no longer the first line of defence, which eliminates one of the biggest vulnerabilities against cyber attacks. Moreover, the OS has automated features that prevent attacks before they happen and an internal Vulnerability Management Policy to ensure all systems are kept up-to-date and free of known vulnerabilities — keeping your business protected against all current and future threats.
A quick look at some of Evren’s critical security features:
Data breaches result in lost time, money, and customer faith, allowing competitors to hijack your customers at a time your company is already vulnerable. Don’t let inadequate organizational security become a weapon in your competitor's arsenal. Take a proactive approach to build customer trust, and turn cybersecurity into a business advantage.
Get in touch with our security experts to evaluate your security posture and start building better defenses. Start off with a free security audit and consultation.