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Consumer Sentiments About Cybersecurity and What It Means for Your Organization

August 7, 2018 — by Anna Convery-Pelletier2

Over the past six months, the data breaches against companies such as Panera Bread, Delta Airlines and Sears, and Saks have proven we live in an age where cyberattacks and data breaches are now commonplace.

The result? Cybersecurity is no longer just the topic of conversation of tech gurus and IT personnel. It has transitioned into the mainstream conversation and has become a concern of the masses. Consumers are now concerned that the organizations they are conducting business with are proactive about safeguarding their information and how they will fix it if a breach does occur.

More than ever, it has become imperative that executives understand that consumer’s sentiments about the safety of their personal information following a data breach is tied directly to their loyalty to a particular brand.

[You might also like: Cybersecurity & Customer Experience: Embrace Technology and Change To Earn A Customer’s Loyalty]

To understand exactly how consumers view cybersecurity, how they would react following a data breach and what it means for leading organizations, Radware surveyed 3,000 United States consumers. Consumers are now more concerned about having their personal data stolen than physical possessions such as wallets, automobiles or house keys.

Figure 1: Which of the following items would concern you most if it were stolen?

And when a company does suffer a data breach, the vast majority of consumers must be convinced that the security issue has been addressed and any damage has been rectified before continuing to do business with the brand. Even worse for the organization’s bottom line, one out of 10 consumers will walk away entirely from the brand.

Figure 2: If one of your frequented and trusted businesses experienced a data breach, which of the following statements most accurately reflects your relationship with that brand/business?

The impact on businesses is twofold. Whereby companies were once reticent about speaking publically about cybersecurity because it would cause consumers to question their business’s fragility, organizations must now embrace and communicate their ability to safeguard customer data. Forward thinking organizations have the opportunity to use security and due diligence as a competitive differentiator to build trust and loyalty with customers in the face of an increasingly insecure world.

[You might also like: Why Cyber-Security Is Critical to The Loyalty of Your Most Valued Customers]

While suffering a data breach is never ideal, the survey also shows that honesty, transparency and a timely emergency response plan is critical. Companies must clearly communicate that a breach has occurred, those likely impacted and planned remediation actions to address the issue. Organizations that don’t admit to compromised consumer records until long after the breach took place suffer the greatest wrath from consumers.

Successful organizations must create a secure climate for customers by embracing technology and cultural change. Security threats and data breaches can seriously impact a customer’s loyalty, thereby damaging the corporate brand, increasing customer churn, and incurring lawsuits. Corporate leaders must recognize the multiple pressures on their organizations to integrate new network technologies, transform their businesses and to defend against cyberattacks. Executives that are willing to embrace technology, cultural change and prioritize cybersecurity will be the ones to win the trust and loyalty of the 21st century consumer.

Read “Consumer Sentiments: Cybersecurity, Personal Data and The Impact on Customer Loyalty” to learn more.

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Anna Convery-Pelletier

Anna Convery-Pelletier joined Radware as the Chief Marketing officer in December 2016. As a member of the executive leadership team, she leads the global marketing organization, which consists of the corporate, product, field and channel marketing teams. Ms. Convery is responsible for the marketing strategy that shapes the future of the Radware brand while directly increasing the marketing contribution to drive revenue and increase market share. Prior to Radware, Ms. Convery held the position of Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Strategy for OpenSpan Inc. (now Pega Systems Inc.) for five years. Ms. Convery has more than 25 years’ experience in enterprise technology, helping FORTUNE 500 companies drive operational and financial excellence, leveraging technology innovation to deliver digital transformation and world-class customer experience. At OpenSpan, Ms. Convery’s responsibilities included global go-to-market strategy and strategic enterprise growth for the company. Prior to OpenSpan, Ms. Convery held senior executive roles at NICE Systems Ltd., ClickFox, Inc., and Nexidia Inc., as well as global marketing and business development roles at IBM Corporation, Jacada Ltd. and Unibol Inc. Named a “Woman of the Year in Technology” by Women in Technology (WIT), Ms. Convery has received numerous industry awards and is a respected customer experience and enterprise transformation thought leader.

2 comments

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