Michael Breeze, Group Head of Marketing at QBS Technology Group, offers up advice on how cybersecurity businesses can be a reassuring presence in an often-threatening environment.
The Cybersecurity business continues to be fast-moving and rapidly changing. Worldwide spending on information security products is rising 8.7% year-on-year according to Gartner. Working in partnership with leading software publishers, QBS is ideally positioned to help channel partners keep up-to-date on the latest trends to best service their customers. We polled some of these publishers to share their expertise of the current landscape, and to find out how best to be a reassuring presence in what has become an often-threatening cyber environment.
The domestic information landscape is changing rapidly. Because most individuals use many devices and with the Internet of Things (IoT) being on the increase, homes today can have literally dozens of vulnerabilities. Furthermore, surveys reveal that we are becoming increasingly concerned about corporate entities capturing and using our data. Wim Cops of Bitdefender commented: “Most people feel they have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies. Virtually everything we do online can be stored digitally. Also, more connected devices mean more online threats. IoT devices can be very unsafe.”
In the commercial arena, one of the biggest growth areas recently has been ransomware. Neil Martin of Panda Security commented: “We’ve seen a shift from straightforward, destructive attacks to more targeted attacks using ransomware.” The assailant encrypts or steals the victim’s data and then provides a restore key or returns the information in exchange for a large payment, inevitably in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency (another great cybercrime enabling technology). Rather than proactively relying on backups or advanced security, “the problem is aggravated by some victims taking the morally dubious route of paying up, usually quicker and cheaper.”
All vendors today agree on the overriding approach when it comes to marketing and selling cybersecurity solutions, to both the home market and also business to business: avoid scare tactics.
People today know the score. Bitdefender’s Wim Cops said: “Stay positive and do not try to scare people. It only contributes to the ridiculous notion that we publishers are malware contributors ourselves.” Panda Security’s Neil Martin agreed: “Stay clear of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) and speak in clear language. To businesses, explain the benefits of automating previously resource intensive activities. Back this up with accreditations such as ISO, Cyber Essentials and vendor accreditation. Use case studies.”
Always focus on what benefits the customer: peace of mind at all times, without the constant concern about losing data, being hacked or having precious data held for ransom.
Remain easy to understand, keep it simple and don’t be over technical. Our partners develop state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies, programmed and optimised by hundreds of engineers and experts, with advanced skillsets applied to sophisticated concepts. But ultimately the only thing the end-user wants is to be protected and have an easy-to-use, worry-free solution.
In the media
Cybersecurity has gone mainstream in the media. With frequent reports now hitting news channels and not just the reserve of the industry and IT hobbyist. This presents a challenge insofar as some clients will tend to think they know all about it, but it’s also an opportunity. CEOs ask questions of their IT departments, small business owners want to understand how their businesses are protected; and home users who have placed their identity and life online want to understand how to protect themselves.
It’s important to all of them, so make it visible. Show them the value! Give them guidance that’s easy to find and relevant to them. It could be in the form of demos, videos or blogs. Reinforce, build confidence and make your processes visible. In most cases there are many features they don’t know about, so show them and you gain their confidence, becoming a trusted partner. This gives your relationship longevity. This is the path to sustained profitability.