3 tangible benefits Communications Service Providers can derive from becoming Masters of Security
The ancient quote from Heraclitus: “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” is as relevant today as it ever were. It is certainly very pertinent to the Telecommunications industry. In fact, it’s never boring working in the telecom industry because things rarely stay the same for long. In this dynamic environment, we must always keep pace with change in order to help our customers sustain a competitive advantage. One way our customers such as Vodafone and Telefonica are able to achieve this is through advanced Security Services to protect their customers from growing online threats.
We know from working closely with communications service providers (CSPs) that they face pressure to grow revenues, maintain brand loyalty, and differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace that’s constantly transforming. It isn’t easy, but the technological changes, and the rapidly evolving ways their customers use and consume technology, provide the key to their future success. This key is security.
What’s changed to make security a driver of success?
This was recently reinforced in our latest report: “Allot Mobile Security Trends: Building revenues differentiation and brand loyalty with Security as a Service”, in which we examined the impact of Security as a Service on service providers and their customers. It’s not as if security concerns and products are new. Endpoint anti-virus security has been around for years. What’s new is the escalation in connectivity, the variety of connected devices and the massive growth in mobile apps, content and traffic. On average, each person now currently uses three to four connected devices. It’s anticipated that this number will rise to as many as six or seven by 2020, resulting in about 50 billion connected devices in total.
Hand in hand with this growth comes an increased risk of breaches of cyber security, as the number of targets rises and the ways to infiltrate and attack networks and individuals’ data become more sophisticated. The gains for cyber-criminals and the negative impact on service providers and consumers are already huge. The 2017 Identity Fraud Study, published by Javelin Strategy & Research, revealed that, in the U.S. alone, in 2016 $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million consumers, with mobile phishing being a significant source. Furthermore, over the last eighteen months, networks have experienced some of the largest and most damaging attacks on record that have succeeded in compromising security, stealing and leaking data and disabling services on a massive scale. None of it is good for business.
Three things arise from this situation that present an opportunity for service providers. First, traditional endpoint security software is no longer sufficient on its own to provide users with comprehensive protection. Second, consumers may be more aware of increased threats, but are unaware, unable and ill-equipped to deal with them. Third, operators are best placed to help subscribers mitigate risks by providing them with the expertise and the tools they have to protect them, whatever device they’re using, whenever they’re using them, and wherever they are. This final factor has great benefits for subscribers’ security and for the security of operators’ networks.
Why should CSPs offer to take responsibility for security?
OK, so operators have the means and the know-how to tackle the new levels of threat, but why should they step in? Allot’s Mobile Security Trends report identified three main motivations for them to do so, all of which create an opportunity for operators to boost their business.
Reason 1: Strong security encourages loyalty
Both the Mobile Security Trends report and our experience with service providers show that customers want a security solution from a trusted source such as their service provider. But they want a solution that’s seamless to activate, with no effort, risk or intrusion. And nowadays, they need a solution that protects their data on all of their devices, from wherever they access the network. They’re prepared to engage with service providers who can offer this combination of attributes in network-based solutions. We’ve already experienced how such solutions have reached upwards of 50% penetration in live deployments. Even “try and buy” opt-in services have achieved close to 15% penetration, far outstripping the performance of legacy device-based security apps, which have consistently underachieved, with typical penetration rates of 3-5%. And customers who subscribed to security services demonstrate much higher levels of satisfaction, with a two- to three-fold increase in customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) when compared to regular customers. So, Security as a Service adds the value of peace of mind for each customer, increases their satisfaction and their loyalty.
Reason 2: Differentiate: Stand out from the crowd
Providing comprehensive security is also a great way for service providers to stand out in a crowded marketplace. It offers a positive experience for users that’s good for them and good for brand reputation. Get recognized as offering great security, and your brand will be seen as taking the interests of your consumers to heart. This is reassuring for existing subscribers and attractive to new subscribers. Security as a Service is therefore a powerful way of differentiating yourself from the competition by adding value to your offering. In short, it’s good for business. Vodafone Secrue Net is a great example of this.
Reason 3: Increase ARPU: Earn more through security
Increasingly, operators need to find fresh and effective revenue streams, over and above the legacy voice and messaging revenues, and data connectivity plans. Security as a Service meets this need. By integrating security services into your infrastructure and delivering it on a subscription basis, it can be provided cost effectively to consumers who are willing to pay a little extra for peace of mind and ease of use. Furthermore, optimizing security in this way is a win-win for you as well as your subscribers, as it protects your network as comprehensively as it protects subscribers, because it is integrated into your network infrastructure, thereby preventing attacks that would otherwise cause costly disruption or disablement of your network.
Reason 4: Become a Master of Security: Make money and save money.
Our experience has shown that deploying network-based Security as a Service creates a virtuous cycle of effects for operators and their customers. As I’ve already noted, customers will be loyal to operators they trust. It therefore makes sense to give customers a reason to put their trust in you by providing a trouble-free unified security solution. If you become known as a Master of Security, your existing customers will stay and new customers will follow, so you’ll sustain and grow your revenue. Additionally, comprehensive protection from outbound and inbound attacks simultaneously secures your network and your business as well as your users. By preventing security breaches, you’ll lower the costs and inconvenience of fixing them, so you’ll be saving money as you make money.
Three Opportunities to Learn more about the benefits of SaaS
Deploying network-bases Security as a Service solutions has already proved to be successful in terms of service penetration rates, customer satisfaction, revenue generation and significant differentiation of operators’ brands. To find out more, click here to read Allot’s Mobile Security Trends, Q1 2018 report.
Or listen to a recent webinar, hosted by Allot, which focuses on the recipe for success with a multi-layered, unified solution to provide security value added services to the mass market. Click here to hear more.
And if you’re attending Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, from February 26 to March 1, visit our booth, #5G41, in Hall 5, or click here to set a convenient time to meet. We’d love to see you to talk more about how you can fully benefit from Security as a Service and become a Master of Security.