Cybersecurity, from cost to sales enabler

Cybersecurity is everywhere in the news these days. Governments invest in cybersecurity strategies and are rolling out plans. However, not only governments are targeted by malicious hackers; cybercriminals are in fact increasingly targeting companies with the intention of infecting their digitally delivered services or products. Time for action!

At Sirris too, cybersecurity is an important and hotly debated topic. In our daily practice with digital service and product companies and software entrepreneurs, we increasingly find that cybersecurity is not just a cost, it really is a sales enabler... at least, if you know how to handle it smartly. Nick Boucart and Patrick Coomans recently drew attention to this in their article The importance of trust for SaaS players’, which appeared on LinkedIn.

A matter of trust

The whole idea of SaaS, and of digital services in general, is that a SaaS provider relieves customer of all IT related issues surrounding their software solution. In practice, this means that customers share data with you, that they rely on your software to be available when and where they need it, and that you do everything you can to ensure that your connected service or product does not create vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Customers must therefore be certain of your reliability as a company and will explicitly check this via a Third-Party Vendor Security Assessment. This is where things can go wrong: all the carefully built trust can be completely undermined by a single 'wrong' answer, bringing the sales process to an abrupt end. It appears that the supply side sometimes different perception of 'trust' and risk assessment than the user side.

That is why Sirris and Agoria are setting up a new learning Network about these TPSA problems. The network brings together digital service builders with a medium or high risk profile, both companies with an average cyber maturity and more advanced companies, under the guidance of experienced cybersecurity experts. The aim is to use shared experience and knowledge to help companies emerge stronger from such TSPA assessments.

Sales argument

Cybersecurity can be a sales argument, rather than just a cost. We expect that increasing market pressure - such as the growing attention given to cyber incidents - will make trust in the security and reliability of a SaaS provider an even more prominent aspect in the entire sales cycle.

In this context, we are launching a collective study in which we want to find out, together with SaaS companies, how you, as a SaaS company, can present yourself as a reliable partner. This will ensure that the investments made in cybersecurity by SaaS companies will positively contribute to the feeling of trust by customers. Are you interested in participating in this study? Make sure to contact us!

Companies that are more successful in presenting themselves as safe and reliable partners will have a greater chance of selling their services than competitors who are less successful. Investments in cybersecurity will therefore be seen as a sales enabler rather than as a cost item.

Positive changes are already afoot today. For example, you have the Flemish and Belgian policy plans on cybersecurity and one of the six spearheads in the new national strategy of 20 May 2021, 'strengthening the digital environment and confidence in it'

It is going in the right direction, but there are still many blind spots and knowledge gaps to overcome. Interested in participating in our Learning Network or our collective research project? Let us know!

Finally, those who wish to sharpen their knowledge of cybersecurity can attend one of the initiatives organised by Sirris on this theme, including - specifically - for digital product or service builders: ‘Masterclass - Cybersecurity for digital service builders ‘ and ‘a TPSA learning network’.

For all manufacturing companies we provide ‘Cybersecurity for manufacturing SMEs intake day, ‘Masterclass - Secure in 30 steps’ and 'Learning network ‘Detection of cybersecurity threats and anomalies in manufacturing’.

Individual counselling or coaching is also possible; for this you can email our experts.