A recent report by Frost & Sullivan on the Global State of Online Digital Trust has uncovered a dangerous misconception. While business executives across all industries believe that they have earned their customer’s confidence online, in reality – “the study revealed that average consumer digital trust index was a mere 61 out of a possible score of 100, the equivalent of a failing grade.”
This is a huge worry for organizations of all kinds, as the majority of B2C communications and purchases are completed on the Web. While businesses attempt to improve their security standing, shoring up their internal data centers and deploying new advanced technologies to stop attackers from breaching their perimeters, data from the report proves that this is having little impact on customer trust. In fact, only 38% of consumers reported an increase in digital trust in organizations in the past two years.
Protecting all Touchpoints
Perhaps this is because the real risks are not coming in through the front door. Attackers know that brand impersonation is the quickest and simplest way to steal sensitive data, and have an increasing amount of channels via which to take their shot. From websites and news pages, to search engines, email, social media and mobile apps, today’s customers are everywhere, which is where your preventative measures need to be, too.
The Risks of Being Unprepared
Customer trust is just the first casualty of this digital threat landscape, as the report outlines further. Data breaches are the second-highest cost of brand reputation loss, which has a direct impact on compliance and public image. When an attacker successfully impersonates your brand, it’s easy to trick customers, employees and partners into giving over credentials and data that can cause irrecoverable damage.
61% of businesses report that the impact of a data breach on their organization would be moderate to huge, with only 4% stating that it would have no impact whatsoever. As data is such a valuable commodity in today’s world, data theft even affects the valuations of the victimized companies. Take Capital One, for example. After issuing a press release on July 29th, 2019, revealing a data breach, its stock price fell 5.9% in 24 hours and then took another 11% hit in August.
Don’t forget to add the cost of lost business or decline in sales, as well as legal or regulatory action as a result of the data breach. GDPR is the latest big player, and according to the report, “enterprise fines have ranged between €5,000 and €204.6 million (5,525 - 225.78 million USD) per violation” often ‘right-sized’ for the organization in question, to prompt a change in processes rather than to shut them down entirely.
Altogether, you can see why organizations are desperate for solutions that allow them to act ahead of time, or within seconds and minutes of any attack that threatens Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or other sensitive consumer or employee data.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices for Digital Threat Protection
The report also outlines how businesses can protect against brand impersonation attempts in the most effective way, and without it taking its own toll on resources and business bottom line.
- Avoid Manual Processes: Skilled professionals that are capable of taking on the security landscape today are expensive and hard to find. The report calculates that “a medium-sized enterprise may spend between 100,224 and 668,160 USD in security analyst costs alone to mitigate brand infringement and other digital threats beyond the perimeter” and that’s before you consider legal costs for achieving brand protection.
- Embrace Automation: Even if the cost of manually checking for threats was maintainable, an enterprise is still not going to achieve in months what smart AI can do in seconds. Criminals are already using automation to spin up and hide their attacks in seconds, and only an automated response can find and handle this type of threat.
- Ensure Early Detection and Quick Response: Speed is the defining factor that makes all the difference between impressive resolution and the negative brand impact detailed above. According to Frost & Sullivan, it’s all about reducing your MTTD (mean time to detect) and MTTR (mean time to respond). While in-house techniques have MTTD/MTTR times of weeks or even months, a strong Digital Treat Platform can reduce this to minutes or seconds.
- Proactive rather than Reactive: Getting ahead of brand impersonation and data theft attempts is key. As soon as an organization has been attacked, it’s immediately going to be swamped under data breach notifications, marketing campaigns to turn around brand image, lawsuits and legal discovery costs, financial penalties and compliance remediation. A managed digital-risk platform is two steps in front of the attackers, ensuring that these real-life risks are kept firmly at bay.
Read the whole report, here>