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The power of trust: How IT leaders prioritize security in the digital age

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Speak to any IT professional and the one thing that gives them sleepless nights are security concerns. IT security is an essential aspect of an organization’s operations, protecting against threats and vulnerabilities that could compromise the organization’s assets and reputation. But as the threat landscape evolves, organizations must continuously assess and update their security to address any emerging risks. This includes carefully choosing which SaaS providers to work with.

In our latest research, conducted by Censuswide, we surveyed 250 IT leaders across the UK to get their input on the topic of cybersecurity. This article will showcase their thoughts on the significance of organizational security credentials, how they form the foundation of brand identity and trust, and how they factor into the decision-making process when selecting a SaaS provider.

Key takeaways

1. Security is front of mind for IT leaders

The research found almost half (48%) of IT leaders cited good cybersecurity as one of the top five factors driving them to one vendor over another. This was only second to good IT support at 50%.

At the same time, 88% of respondents expressed a stronger inclination towards software providers who showcase their security credentials. It turns out that the visibility of security certifications can truly make a difference when it comes to brand distinction, especially in situations where prompt decisions are required. Accreditations such as SOC 2 Type II, ISO standards, and Cyber Essentials act as a bedrock of brand identity and trust.

2. Customer trust built on robust security

Three-quarters (76%) of IT decision makers indicated that a breach of customer data would significantly impact their business. Customers won’t trust organizations that fail to protect their data, resulting in lost business and diminished loyalty.

On the flip side, organizations that prioritize trust and compliance can actually attract new business from security-conscious customers. By being reliable and compliant, they can boost their market share and profitability, ultimately setting themselves apart from the competition.

3. Data breaches have serious consequences

A single data breach can be devastating for businesses, resulting in significant financial losses, damage to reputation, and a loss of customer trust. In fact, a staggering 77% of respondents acknowledged that a breach involving customer data would have a serious impact on their business.

Of those, the top five impacts highlighted were:

  • A reduction in brand trust (54%)

  • Reputational damage (54%)

  • Losing customers (51%)

  • A loss of intellectual property (36%)

  • Financial penalties and extra costs to correct the breach (32%)

Among the IT decision makers we surveyed, more than 20% acknowledged incurring fines due to customer data breaches. Out of these individuals, 45% indicated that as a direct consequence, there were subsequent reductions in employee headcount, R&D budgets, and business development efforts.

4. Email security is a top priority

Email security has emerged as a major concern, echoed by a resounding 92% of the IT decision makers we interviewed. The primary threats to email security were identified as:

  • Phishing attacks (51%)

  • Malware distribution (49%)

  • Ransomware (40%)

  • Unencrypted emails (35%)

  • Email spoofing (35%)

These factors highlight the importance of implementing strong measures to protect email systems and prevent potential breaches that may jeopardize the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive data.

With all this in mind, the surveyed IT leaders stated they have implemented the following measures to mitigate against risks:

  • Educating end users about security best practices (47%)

  • Encrypting sensitive information (46%)

  • Using advanced email security solutions (44%)

  • Adopting only certified or authorized software and SaaS solutions (43%)

  • Implementing multi-factor authentication (37%)

  • Having an incident response plan in place (35%)

Email is much more than just a protective measure; it is a strategic investment that paints a compelling picture. It fosters trust, nurtures a secure digital environment, and plays a vital role in the long-term resilience and success of an organization. It acts as a vigilant watchman, tirelessly guarding the fort and bringing peace of mind to all.

5. The impact of phishing scams

In the digital landscape, phishing scams represent hidden dangers. It's crucial to stay vigilant, to look beyond the surface, to take proactive measures that protect you and your organization from these deceptive threats.

Significantly, almost half (44%) of IT leaders think customers would blame their brand if they experienced a phishing scam with a hacker mimicking their brand identity. A further 35% believe they would lose customers, and 29% believe their customers would no longer engage with their legitimate emails. This highlights the critical need for brands to address and mitigate the risks associated with phishing attacks.

Ignite a continuous commitment to security

Ensuring the highest level of cybersecurity is a top priority for IT leaders. It's not just about following the latest information and best practices; it's about building customer trust. Our research shows that security credentials are more than just checkboxes, but the very foundation of a business' brand identity and trustworthiness.

At Exclaimer, security and trust are at the core of what we do. Our goal is to provide our customers with the most secure email signature management solution possible, so they can have complete confidence in our service.

For more details on our comprehensive security accreditations, visit our trust portal. With over 20 documents available, you can find answers to more than 300 questions and automatically track any changes or updates.

If you’re not yet an Exclaimer customer, sign up today for a free trial or book an online demonstration to choose the most secure email signature solution available.

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