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How to Build Credibility for a Cybersecurity Startup

By Sophie Foggin 27 May, 2020

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Cybercrime is serious business. Whether hackers operate using social engineering, trojan malware, spyware or ransomware, these kinds of online attacks are becoming increasingly common.

By 2021, the online criminal industry is expected to be costing the world up to US $6 trillion, with 43% of all cyber attacks aimed at small businesses, according to TechJury.

Fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19, as well as reduced levels of security — caused by a recent shift to remote working patterns — have also meant that the rate of opportunistic cybercrime increased by 33% from January to March this year, a Mimecast report outlined.

For this reason, cybersecurity and reliability in digital cloud companies has never been more important. 

Luckily, some of the best cybersecurity startups are on hand to help.

But first, their customers need to believe that they can trust these companies to do their job, which is to keep them safe. Here’s how cybersecurity startups can build credibility. 

Slow and steady wins the race

When it comes to cybersecurity, there’s no use in rushing out of the starting blocks to launch a product which might ultimately risk not living up to what it says on the tin. 

Developing a thorough understanding of their target market is often a point at which many cybersecurity startups slip up. Especially when the product is promising security, it’s worth investing time in market research, even if it may seem like a tedious task. 

What sort of a client demographic does your cybersecurity startup aim to help? And exactly what problems does this demographic need your business to solve? 

By asking themselves these types of questions, cybersecurity startups can develop a buyer persona, in order to ensure that the process of how they plan to solve problems for their clients is fine-tuned. 

Not sure where to start? 

Hubspot’s ‘Make My Persona’ tool is great for cybersecurity startups hoping to pinpoint their exact target market.

Training

The best cybersecurity startups are successful because they offer their customers peace of mind. 

In order to foster this kind of trustworthy relationship, it is important to always double check that there are absolutely no holes in your product that could result in a possible security breach. 

One of the ways in which cybersecurity companies can be sure to gain the trust of their customers is to ensure that they teach their employees exactly how to use the technology they are selling them.

If employees aren’t 100% sure how to utilize the technology for recognizing cybersecurity threats and phishing attacks, they’ll not be able to get the best out of it. 

By following up with customer training, cybersecurity startups can cover their backs in the event of a breach, and build up as much credibility as possible. 

Exemplary startups offering this type of preparation include Canadian cybersecurity company Terranova, which offers training in security awareness, phishing awareness and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) awareness.

Marketing

A great inbound marketing strategy for cybersecurity startups is to offer them customer-style benefits before they even become your clients. 

Cybersecurity startups can create a credible name for themselves by offering free educational content on their websites: useful blog posts, toolkits, downloadable e-books, expert reports and webinars can all serve as resources. 

All of this content can then be marketed using both organic and paid strategies, in order to bring on clients who have confidence in the service they’re paying for because they have already benefited from it as a non-paying client.

Leading cybersecurity companies for startups to look to for digital marketing inspiration include Argus and cloud security platform CloudKnox.

Partnerships 

At times, investors can often just provide large quantities of money and then cease to have influence in a business, but it can work to a cybersecurity company’s advantage if it chooses its investor partners wisely and keeps them actively on board.

Part of ensuring that your cybersecurity startup has industry credibility involves partnering up with an investor who is also widely known and respected within the cybersecurity community.

An intelligent decision for cybersecurity startups would then be to ensure to integrate their investors as business partners into the team, so that they can continue to benefit from their expertise and build up their credibility. 

Whereas in some sectors, investment is few and far between in the current economic climate, venture capital investors in cybersecurity are still “business as usual” despite the pandemic. 

Choosing an industry specific, cybersecurity-focused venture capital firm such as Silicon Valley-based YL Ventures, for example, can have positive long-term effects for cybersecurity companies looking to build up their credibility. 

In conclusion 

Cybersecurity PR is all about credibility: an asset that can be built up gradually, using intelligent digital marketing strategies and by choosing the right partnerships. 

At a time when internet users’ security is particularly exposed, building a credible business should be a priority for cybersecurity startups, whose service is now in high demand.

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