Wars are no longer fought on the battlefield. Wars are now fought in cyberspace.
They are fought from behind computers, with keyboards as the weapons and sensitive information as the casualties. The dangers of hacking may have come into greater prominence after the United States presidential election, but the growing need for better cybersecurity has been growing even more apparent for years, with major organizations on the receiving end of attacks, including Yahoo! (now Altaba), Oracle, Sony, Anthem and JP Morgan Chase
Data breaches have become far more common, and it is becoming harder and harder for companies to prevent them without help. It’s no wonder that cybersecurity is expected to grow by over $177 billion over the next 3 years.
For cybersecurity companies: an opening
These cybersecurity issues are certainly a problem. But for cybersecurity companies, they represent an opportunity. Now, more than ever, cybersecurity has become a critical part of owning and operating a business – especially one that operates online.
It is in the best interests of cybersecurity companies to get a head start on their marketing efforts now, so that they can benefit from the boom in security expected over the next several years. But what does that look like? The following are some of the trends that are expected in cybersecurity in 2017 and beyond, as well as some tips for cyber security marketing for your own companies.
Preventative IoT Marketing
One of the biggest concerns in the tech world is the effects that the Internet of Things (IoT) will have on cybersecurity. Easily hackable, these internet connected devices have already been used for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and videos are popping up of how easy they are to break into by a skilled hacker. Over the next few years, cybersecurity companies are likely to focus on creating and marketing cybersecurity options for not only IoT companies, but also appliance and product companies that are likely to consider creating connected devices in the future.
Hacked First, Cybersecurity Later
Hackers are seen as the criminals of the digital world, and for good reason since the only time hackers become famous is for the work they do in the black market. Although it may not happen in 2017, as more people learn how to hack, more cybersecurity companies may find that they can use these hackers to their advantage – by employing them.
Companies can pay hackers to show potential vulnerabilities in the potential client’s systems, and prove cybersecurity needs by hacking (with permission) into the servers and data of potential clients. After all, B2B companies in all industries often need to prove that they will be valuable to the customer, and openly proving that they can hack into the customer’s data is eventually going to be one of the most successful ways to prove that cybersecurity is necessary.
Cybersecurity as Customer Service
Cybersecurity marketing is also going to involve some reframing of what cybersecurity actually is. There is a tendency to focus on security as a form of crime prevention. But many companies – especially those with large IT departments, or those that believe they don’t have too much sensitive data – are not necessarily going to feel like they are about to be the victim of a crime. Instead, expect cybersecurity companies to reframe their products not just as a form of crime prevention, but also a form of customer service.
Why? Well, first, the companies that use cybersecurity will be able to avoid the negative publicity that comes with a hack. Second, those same companies can also market themselves as being far more secure. If a competitor is hacked, they can easily reel in potential customers. For those in highly competitive industries, this can be incredibly valuable.
Affordable Small Business Options
Cybersecurity firms have often focused on bigger companies that can afford more expensive services. But with so many small businesses now holding personal data – and so many more of them storing that data online – expect to see security companies creating a type of “cybersecurity light” option – one that targets smaller businesses for far less of a cost, providing some degree of protection but not necessarily as much as large companies.
Broad Based Content Marketing
Content marketing remains the most successful form of online marketing. Content educates visitors, attracts search engines, and connects with others in a way that few other forms of online marketing can provide. Since cybersecurity companies are frequently marketing their services online, and because the average company is still learning about why they need to consider cybersecurity software and support, it is highly likely that companies will invest more in content marketing in order to educate a broader audience and ensure they are the first company to show up for relevant searches.
Phase in, phase out
The above trends are likely to increase in 2017. But what about some of the marketing strategies that may be phasing out? One of the most likely forms of cybersecurity marketing strategies we’re likely to bid farewell to in the coming year is predatory sales, where the company contacts a business that has recently undergone a hack in order to try to get them to buy their services. In some cases, this type of active marketing can work. But these days, many companies are finding that the vulnerability and negative publicity that occur after a hack are causing many companies to respond poorly to this type of cold calling/active sales strategy.
Many cybersecurity companies have targeted IT staff using language that is highly technical in nature. But the decision makers on many forms of cybersecurity are not IT. They are often C-level executives that have little understanding of technical jargon, but know that they want to be protected. In 2017, expect to see this tendency to cater more towards those that understand the technical nature of hacking to be phased out in favor of more plain language solutions.
Marketing cybersecurity to a bigger audience
It seems as if every day there’s a report of a new hack, and every day the need for cybersecurity grows. It’s in the best interests of cybersecurity companies to continually look at new security marketing trends, and do whatever it takes to reach a new, broader audience with their products and services.