What do CISOs want from cybersecurity vendors right now?

As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, what challenges are CISOs and other cybersecurity executives dealing with and what things they don’t want to be dealing with at the moment?

CISOs cybersecurity vendors

The challenges

According to the results of a recent YL Ventures survey, their main priority now is to establish fully remote workforces in as short a time as possible and as securely as possible.

“Now is not the time to present CISOs with anything other than solutions to directly help these processes, ideally in a ‘plug and play’ type format. Expediency and simplicity have never been more crucial, and anything that does not serve these purposes will be disregarded as ‘noise’,” the report noted.

They also have much less time for exploring new vendors and solutions, especially for anything that is currently a non-critical matter.

Finally, as the economy takes a hit due to COVID-19 and the widespread “shelter in place” directives, cybersecurity executives can expect some of the previously allocated cybersecurity budget to be cut and the funds redirected towards measures that will keep the organization afloat.

Building goodwill

To companies providing cybersecurity solutions, the polled executives advised to avoid sales pitches that involve fear-mongering, to dial down cold calls and emails, and to concentrate on nurturing existing relationships.

“Messaging ought to be geared towards impacting an enterprise’s bottom line or community, rather than attempting to fearmonger or stoke panic over a situation already causing CISOs enough anxiety,” YL Ventures explained.

“Cybersecurity executives feel quite unanimously about the marketing frenzy and, according to our sources, are compiling a ‘black list’ of vendors guilty of using this tactic.”

Companies should concentrate on discovering what they can do to help their existing customers and discussing their customers’ experiences. Not only will this improve customer relations, but also provide helpful information that can inform the vendor’s future plans.

Last but not least, vendors should consider making goodwill gestures.

“Profiteering off of a world-wide tragedy will do vendors little service in the eyes of prospective customers. 41% of the CISOs we consulted with praised technology companies using their services to help other businesses and advised entrepreneurs to follow in their lead instead,” YL Ventures noted.

Supporting local clinics or emergency organizations pro-bono or with free tools or getting involved in real-world aid initiatives is a good way to build goodwill.

“This is also an excellent time to consider revising payment methods by instituting deferred payment options to accommodate new budgetary constraints,” the polled cybersecurity executives pointed out.

Don't miss