It’s official – for the first time ever, consumers now prefer security over convenience. So say the results of a study carried out this past February by IBM Security, which surveyed 4,000 adults from several different regions across the world. For anyone who’s been paying attention, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
The slapdash ways in which businesses store, process, and transmit user data has spent an unpleasant amount of time in the spotlight over the past year or so. From the explosive scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to multiple massive, brand-shattering data breaches, cybersecurity has spent more time than ever in the public eye. And with the GDPR now in full swing (and others like it soon to follow), it’s past time for a change.
“We always talk about the ease of use, and not impacting user experience, etc, but it turns out that when it comes to their financial accounts…people actually would go the extra mile and will use extra security,” explained IBM Executive Security Advisor Limor Kessem, speaking to Tech Republic. “They understand that there’s something they can do to prevent [a data breach], and they need to secure their accounts. We figure that could be a reason, especially when it comes to where their money lays. They want to make sure that’s more secure.”
Mind you, it’s not just organizations in the financial services space that should be paying attention here. 45% of millennials – a demographic with an incredible amount of purchasing power – say that they would never share personal data with a company. They simply don’t trust businesses to keep their data safe.
It’s also important to note that the market, no matter what industry you’re in, is now more competitive than ever. Thanks to the Internet, your business is functionally competing on a global stage with others like it. Differentiating yourself solely on your products will only get you so far.
And that’s where we really drill down to the core of why cybersecurity should be part of not just your business’s culture, but its marketing efforts. Because demonstrating that you’re secure – demonstrating that you care about the personal information and privacy of your customers – endears you to them. It paints an image in their minds of your company as authentic and conscientious.
More importantly, it fosters trust, the most valuable commodity in the modern day.
Certainly, there are still some people who aren’t going to care about security no matter what happens. But even so, amidst the constant stream of news about data breaches and cyber incidents, a business that prioritizes keeping customer data safe is one that stands out. It’s one that people love working with – and buying from.