IT security is emerging as one of the most important considerations businesses must address as more and more of the workspace involves information technology and digital content. Every transaction and communication that happens online can be intercepted and/or exploited by people who hack into systems or unleash viruses that steal data. IT security involves the measures we can take to protect our data and that of our customers, and its importance in the modern world can actually be leveraged to improve overall business performance.
A fundamental component of business
Research has shown that a large number of prominent executives in global business prioritise cybersecurity as one of the paramount IT considerations. But while CMOs are a component of driving digital growth for many organisations, a lot of them have a habit of overlooking the security department. They want to enhance the customer experience as much as possible but show a reluctance to involve themselves in decisions around cybersecurity, and so many IT services focus on security procedures that are simple and largely invisible to online shoppers.
Simplicity is a consistent requirement of the online retail sector, but the invisibility of security procedures seems to be giving way to greater transparency that shows what companies are doing to keep their customers secure. In fact, showing that your site is secure and trustworthy has become a key to successful business.
Consequently, marketers and the companies they work for are overlooking a powerful opportunity to improve their business: leveraging IT security practices that can build greater trust with customers, which will lead to boosts in sales. Online security and customer trust are inextricably linked, with many consumers claiming they are willing to adopt new payment technologies if it means they will have greater security. As many as two-thirds of eCommerce customers would change their online behaviour for the guarantee of safer online shopping activity. Deepening your knowledge of the all-important customer may be the most effective way for you to secure their online touchpoints whilst simultaneously enhancing the customer experience.
Putting the customer first
It will require a business-oriented, holistic approach to improve both security and the overall experience for customers. The primary concern is communicating to listeners that your brand is engaging with the issue. Research has suggested that 95% of consumers expect banks to be equipped with the very latest technologies to keep their information secure, 89% expect the same of the stores they shop at, 88% trust their payment network to be armed with those cutting-edge technologies, and 83% are looking forward to new technologies that will help improve upon existing security measures.
But the only way you can show consumers that you live up to their expectations is by providing ‘cues’ that the state-of-the-art security measures you have invested in are actually in place. These cues can include:
- A message detailing the latest updates to security systems
- A visual representation, such as an icon or image
- Partnerships with prominent security organisations, with their logo placed on your website
- Changes in the shopping process prompting an extra authentication procedure
The objective, particularly with the last option, is to add extra friction that will ward off fraudsters without making it excessively difficult for customers to get through the transaction process.
Furthermore, given the growing use of multiple devices for online shopping, and the habit of making multiple visits, marketers need to take a broad approach to recognising the ‘digital DNA’ of their visitors. Companies like Amazon and Google incorporate a two-factor out-of-band authentication process, which uses a second item for identification like an SMS code.
If CMOs start to work with IT support services more closely, there are some exciting possibilities.
Personalised experiences seem to be the way forward, and marketers have been working to identify customers by more than mere demographics. Newer technologies also identify the behaviour of individuals, and this kind of intimacy can be leveraged to further enhance customer protection. With a knowledge of a customer’s historical behaviour, the devices they use, and the places they visit, you can unlock new methods of verifying their identity. And better customer recognition can improve the customer experience for every individual, which will help boost customer loyalty and inspire more to create accounts.
Amazon now uses the technology that provides automated recommendations based on search history to enhance their security. The 1-click purchasing options not only enhance the user experience, they also have fraud rates that are only a fraction of those for purchases that aren’t processed with ‘1-click’.
A password-free future
Some organisations are working to remove passwords as a security measure entirely, which means implementing a range of other technologies that help to identify customers. Facial biometrics is one such technology, which the user can experience for that reassurance of their security. Other technologies operate more in the background, providing organisations with lots of information from user interactions that help identify ‘normal’ behaviours.
A flawless security system may be too much to hope for, as cybercriminals usually find gaps they can exploit. But the real objective should be to be able to verify identities without adversely impacting the customer experience. The conversation about cybersecurity needs to incorporate marketers so that their efforts can work together to simultaneously market the brand and boost customer trust and loyalty. The increase in sales and decrease in security risks will enhance your business, your brand, and your overall profits, and working with an IT consultancy can help you implement the right changes.
Working to improve your IT security
If you are looking for an IT consultant in London to help with your cybersecurity, Purple Lattice are a leading firm offering a comprehensive range of security services that can help improve your IT efforts.