Half of U.S. businesses say that security is the most influential factor when buying software, according to Capterra’s Security Features Survey. In fact, 45% have stopped using a specific type of software due to security concerns. Businesses are willing to pay a premium for intuitive and well-designed secure software.
Digging further, businesses share the types of security features they consider to be “must-haves.” 76% cite data backups as a dealbreaker when choosing software. This can be expected as growing ransomware attacks make it critical for businesses to have data backups. The second most important security feature is the ability to receive security notifications (72%), followed by encryption in transit (68%) and at rest (67%).
Prompted by federal government mandates, the availability of a software bill of materials (SBOM) is emerging as a required security feature among businesses buying software. An SBOM is a list of the components used to build a software package and is meant to inform organizations of related security and compliance risks. It’s cited by 55% of businesses as a must-have feature.
“Businesses should continue to place a premium on security as a key differentiator when buying software,” recommends Zach Capers, senior security analyst at Capterra. “While organizations should focus on key features such as data backups, security notifications, and encryption, don’t overlook lesser-known, but equally important, features such as the availability of an SBOM.”
Organizations are also boosting security by focusing on robust authentication measures. While 59% of businesses still look for relatively insecure password authentication, 52% want software tokens (e.g., DUO, Google Authenticator), 40% pursue hardware tokens (e.g., USB key), and 39% look for biometrics, all of which are much stronger than passwords. More intriguingly, a third are interested in passwordless authentication.
Businesses look for security certifications and attestations provided by software vendors to see how the tools they’re buying adhere to specific protections. According to 59% of businesses, a Cloud Security Alliance certification makes the software more appealing, followed by 47% that are interested in the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).
Security is a critical factor for most companies when buying software, but it’s essential to know which features to focus on that make a product fit business needs.