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Why Increased Brand Security Improves Customer Loyalty

Did you know that effective security translates to brand loyalty and an improved customer experience? Large data breaches for top brands like Target, Marriott and Equifax are regularly splashed all over the news, as are the devasting effects on revenue from unhappy customers. The demand for accurate and informed security testing has never been more paramount to positive customer experiences. With regular testing, businesses can ensure confidential data is protected, which translates into customer loyalty as brand confidence grows.

Illustrative man in front of a phone that depicts passwords, a credit card, fingerprint, and lock
Person logging into their account on their laptop

Shutterstock; Photo by vectorfusionart

Breaches can occur in a multitude of ways, through website forms and chats to phone calls and phishing. According to a report from McAfee, the cost of cybercrime since 2018 is estimated to be over $1 trillion. With regular testing on all avenues of entry, any potential weaknesses may be identified in advance, eliminating a crisis which results in fleeing customers. The more secure your site is, the more likely a customer is to stay loyal to your brand. According to a recent survey, nearly “nine of ten consumers consider the trustworthiness of a business prior to purchasing a product or service; and 59% of consumers would likely avoid doing business with an organization that had experienced a cyberattack in the past year.” Transparency is key to healthy customer loyalty.

Man smiling at his laptop

Shutterstock; Photo by SFIO CRACHO

According to industry analyst Gartner, a new customer experience trend is Breach and Attack Simulation, where organizations are bringing on experts in this field to continually assess and test security controls to protect an organization from external threats and to protect confidential customer data.

So, where do you start? First, gather your team and discuss your goals in testing. Determine what you feel are your most vulnerable areas, and then discuss the best ways to keep your applications and networks secure. A few basic methods you may want to consider include installing firewalls and encryption to something as simple as keeping your systems and software up to date.

As you drill down, more specific options include:

  1. Network Testing

    • Vulnerability Assessment – A system of tests determines vulnerable areas in your systems and software
    • Penetration Testing – An authorized simulated cyber-attack against your systems to find and exploit vulnerabilities
    • Security Scanning – A process where different elements are scanned to determine flaws in applications, networks, or devices
    • Red Team Exercises – Authorized cyber-attacks that mimic the steps a hacker would use based on recent real-world situations, where the “red team” plays the role of an enemy or competitor
  2. Application Testing

    • Program Update Checks – Application security assessments test your software to identify vulnerabilities
  3. Social Engineering

    • Phishing Assessments – Method which sends deceptive automated emails to employees from your organization so employees can see the types of emails which are suspect and understand how to avoid engaging with them
    • Vishing – Similar to phishing but uses phone calls to obtain sensitive information
    • Smishing – Similar to vishing and phishing but uses text messages
    • Physical Breach – The loss of sensitive documents or computer files from an unsecured physical location, like an office
    • Spoofing – When a criminal acts like another person, business or entity to gain sensitive information
  4. Other methods

    • Physical Security Walkthrough – This process audits your facilities from an outsider’s point of view, including password-protected areas and access control, video, security staff and more

Protecting your systems, software, teams, and physical locations is no easy feat, but it’s worth it to protect your customers’ trust. Loyalty to your brand is priceless, from existing customers and potential new ones. Take that privilege seriously and do everything you can to keep sensitive information protected for the long term.

For additional information on CX security, read more now.

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