Blog Post

Could Cybersecurity Become a Business Driver Instead of a Cost Center? (Part 3)

This is part three of a three-part series based on primary research we conducted in Spring 2020. This survey of approximately 250 U.S. consumers was conducted to understand Americans’ top concerns just as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting.

In part one, we share what consumers think about cybersecurity and responsibility. In part two, we look at what individuals are doing to protect themselves. Here, we present our conclusions and insights based on the data and some parting food for thought as we move forward in a world that will look very different in the months and years to come.

Consumers are worried. Very worried. We are at a critical juncture in our technological evolution where cybersecurity has risen to the forefront of America’s collective conscience. The good news is that awareness has caused even consumers to sit up and take ownership in ensuring their cyber security. Perhaps all of the security awareness programs of the last decade have helped. Consumers are locking down their accounts with harder to guess passwords, ensuring they don’t have open Wi-Fi networks, and even updating their software. While there’s still a lot of work to be done, we should give credit where credit is due. Some of this behavioral change has also resulted from organizations that have enforced strong passwords for their services, automatic system updates, internet service providers that install their equipment with higher levels of security, etc.

But it’s also not all rosy, unfortunately. Americans aren’t sure who to hold accountable. It’s a hot mess of shared responsibility—government, enterprises, the military? Meanwhile, the bad actors and their innovation continue to cause massive damage.

The last part of the survey gives us hope though. The key question: is there a way to continue the behavior change and raise the security bar while turning it into a business opportunity? In true American style, consumers are challenging us to do just that. They are telling us they value businesses that are more secure, they are even willing to pay more for services that offer cyber security as a feature and will recommend those services to others.

Perhaps the question now is, how can organizations and enterprises step up to the plate and fulfill consumers’ wishes? The automotive market offers a good analogy of how this might look, where consumers do in fact weigh safety highly and pay more for it. Volvo has made it the mainstay of their marketing campaigns and the brand is consistently viewed positively in this light. We would argue you are starting to see the same with security. For instance, Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase described how his company was focused on cyber security in a letter to shareholders. Cyber insurance companies are also doing their part offering incentives for organizations to adopt security products and services.

Perhaps the moral of this story is that by working together to simplify cybersecurity and focusing on prevention, detection and response, individuals, as well as the private and public sector, can come together to protect our institutions and infrastructure. That model can then be used to deliver a higher quality service to consumers, allowing them to worry less about losing everything they hold dear.

For more on the survey, click here to download the report.

Rudolph Araujo
Rudolph Araujo

VP, Marketing