Information Security Leads to Customer Trust

4 min read
(August 7, 2023)

Incorporating information security into a company's go-to-market strategy is critical to build trust among potential customers, establish a competitive edge, and mitigate risks of data breaches or cyber-attacks, and the evolving role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) as a “trust leader” is essential in aligning these strategies with business goals.  

Executive Insights: 

  • Information security is critically significant for businesses, not only to protect assets and data but also to build trust with customers. 
  • The go-to-market strategy of a company now heavily relies on the company's ability to implement effective information security measures and communicate them to customers. 
  • Trust is crucial in establishing long-term relationships with the target audience. Businesses that regularly provide evidence of their trustworthiness tend to succeed strategically and operationally. 
  • A strong commitment to information security can give a business a competitive advantage by creating a "trust moat" that is hard for competitors to match. 
  • The role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has evolved from purely IT leadership to being a "trust leader", ensuring safe operations and aligning security strategies with business objectives. 
  • By recognizing the strategic role of the CISOs, companies can strengthen their trust, streamline their revenue-generation processes, and significantly enhance customer satisfaction within increasingly digital environments. 
  • There is foreseeably an increasing trend towards more investment in trust programs and security infrastructure as businesses continue to realize the value of information security in their go-to-market strategies. 

Establish Trust Among Potential Customers 

Information security is a critical concern for modern businesses across all industries. As companies increasingly rely on data-driven strategies for value growth and customer engagement, there's an escalating need for robust trust messaging as part of the go-to-market strategy. The "go-to-market strategy" refers to strategies and tactics a company employs to successfully market its products or services. Incorporating information security into this process allows businesses to safeguard their assets and operational safety and leverage those safeguards in their messaging. By investing in information security, companies not only protect their invaluable data but also establish trust among potential customers. This analysis examines the link between information security and the go-to-market strategy, spotlighting its influence on trust, safety, operational success, and the evolving role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

Investments in information security from organizations signals  their commitment to trust, and underscores the centrality of critical customer security, safety, privacy, resilience, and confidentiality priorities. This proactive approach to information security builds trust with customers, who are becoming increasingly concerned about data breaches and violations of privacy. A company's proof of safe and secure operations boosts its credibility within the market and provides a “trust moat” around the company that many competitors would find difficult to match without similar investments. Consistent proof that a business is trustworthy can provide it with a competitive edge, leading to greater operational and strategic success. In this context, trust becomes fundamental not only for acquiring customers but also for retaining them. “It is critical to ensure that you are using quantifiable metrics to demonstrate the ROI of your cybersecurity programs,” advises Dr. Vivian Lyon, CIO/CISO for Plaza Dynamics, “Ultimately, business boils down to profit and loss, so you must show cybersecurity's monetary benefit to top management, particularly those who do not understand the ramifications of maintaining the status quo and not making changes”.

Trust plays a pivotal role in attracting and retaining customers. Without trust, establishing long-term relationships with the target audience is challenging for businesses. Hence giving sufficient reasons for their trustworthiness regularly is crucial. By investing in proper information security measures and effectively communicating them, businesses can assuage customer concerns and build trust-forward relationships. For achieving strategic goals through predictable and well-governed execution, consistent operational safety is essential. Amidst an environment where cyberthreats pose notable risks, prioritizing information security is vital for organizations wishing to safeguard their operations from disruptions due to breaches or cyber-attacks, ensuring the smooth implementation of business strategies along with risk mitigation.

The Role of CISO has Evolved into that of a “Trust Leader”

Traditionally seen as an IT leader, the CISO's role has been evolving significantly. As trust has become a central focus of the value journey, the role of CISO has evolved into that of a “trust leader” responsible for ensuring safe and trustworthy value operations. Within the go-to-market strategy framework, they have a crucial role in aligning security strategies with business goals and easing customer journey-related trust concerns. Corporate executives who view the CISO as an equal peer within the go-to-market leadership team are more likely to succeed in strategic execution. Accepting the CISO's role not only strengthens organizational trust but also streamlines revenue-generation processes facilitating integration of information-security practices within business strategies thereby leading to improved customer satisfaction and sustained success.

Information security has a pivotal role enabling businesses' successful execution of go-to-market strategies. Investing in information security not only secures valuable assets but also fosters customer trust—a source of lasting competitive advantage that bolsters operational success and strategic execution. It is crucial to recognize the evolving role of the CISO as a “trust leader” vital within any go-to-market leadership team seeking to flourish amidst a progressively interconnected and digital environment. Adoption of this trust-based approach could enable businesses to secure that competitive edge necessary for attracting, winning over, and retaining customers effectively. In this context, trust becomes a fundamental component to the core value proposition, and the extent of a company's information security investments often reflects its strategic commitment to win and retain customers' trust.

Growing concerns about information security have significantly changed the role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Previously regarded as a technical lead mainly focused on IT defenses, modern-day CISOs are now vital strategic players in their organizations. Their role has expanded to include broader risk management responsibilities, deeply intertwined with operational and strategic business objectives. Today's CISO must understand the delicate balance between security requirements and business outcomes, ensuring that the company can safely innovate and remain competitive while maintaining trust with customers. As part of this transition, many CISOs now play more substantial roles in shaping go-to-market strategies by promoting clear, transparent communication about information security.

Overall, as companies continue to recognize the importance of information security in their go-to-market strategies, they will direct greater investment in trust programs as well as security infrastructure. As part of this shift, the role of business leaders – particularly CISOs – will become increasingly crucial in navigating these strategic paths.