We sat down with Robert Herjavec, founder and CEO of Herjavec Group, to discuss the intersection of cybersecurity and the customer experience.
What role does cybersecurity play in building and maintaining customer loyalty?
Cybersecurity is integral in building and maintaining customer loyalty. When brand names are flashed across the headlines for being the latest victim of a cybersecurity breach, it’s hard to rebuild brand integrity and trust. Brands need to demonstrate a proactive approach to cybersecurity — using dual-factor authentication, having a secure site, integrating additional layers of payment security, encouraging complex passwords, etc. In the event of an incident, it’s important they notify customers quickly and move to remedy the situation transparently. By swiftly taking action, outlining the scope and risk of the breach and providing a contact to reach out to for further information, brands can take the first step in rebuilding trust and demonstrating that security is a priority.
How can good cybersecurity practices be used as a marketing strategy to increase customer engagement and satisfaction?
We are seeing many companies deliver white papers or testimonials to showcase their enhanced cybersecurity practices. This is good and bad. We advise that our customers share these details cautiously, as we don’t want them to provide too much information to those who may leverage it maliciously.
Cybersecurity awareness programs are important internally and can be used to create a sense of togetherness and community — even boosting morale. Your team members will feel more confident about transacting online if they understand the risks, what to look out for, etc. By educating team members in a fun way, companies can increase internal satisfaction and help spread the word about what it means to be cyber-aware.
How has the industry progressed since you first became involved?
When we started in 2003, we recognized that enterprise organizations needed to keep their data secure, but in some ways, we were ahead of the curve in our offering of services. We offer consulting, delivery, managed services and remediation support to large scale organizations with very complex environments. We really couldn’t have predicted how far our space would come in such a short period of time. If I look back 30 years — wow — it’s entirely different. The internet, cellular phones, the proliferation of technology, the internet of things — it’s all about interconnectivity today. And the key word is “more” — more endpoints, more connections, more data, more threats, more risks.
Today, when you walk through Times Square in New York, the billboards can track you via your mobile phone and you’ll receive spot advertising customized for you. That’s incredible to me. Yes, today it’s digital marketing 101, but think of all the pieces of technology that have to integrate to make that possible. Also, think of the risks … cybersecurity is mainstream today because we’ve seen the repercussions personally, professionally and financially from not keeping our corporate and customer data secure. Security isn’t an IT issue, it’s a board-level issue for organizations globally. To speak more broadly, it’s a global citizen issue. The wars of today — and even tomorrow — will continue to play out via cyberwarfare.