“If you’re selling a product, you’re now selling trust.” I read that in a recent HBR article on the topic of cybersecurity and how it’s now putting trust at the center of competition. Read that sentence again. Cybersecurity is making trust a differentiator in business.

I think we all know this deep down inside — but I had one of those aha moments when I really stopped to think about it. With our ever-increasing reliance on technology, there comes an inherent loss of privacy. But, it’s the companies that garner our trust that will see longevity and win our business in the long run — particularly as we all become more and more aware of how and when our data is used.


When you wake up in the morning and use your smart toothbrush, it could be recording how often and how long your brush — and will it give that information to your insurance company? When you innocently ask Alexa the weather, will she misunderstand you and send private family recordings to someone in your contacts list? Maybe your dear friend Google will sell your browsing history?

There’s no doubt that we’re giving more of our information than ever. So, the question then becomes, if you’re in the technology space, how does your company earn the trust of consumers? How can you make your cybersecurity a differentiator over your competition?


Here are just a few of my quick thoughts on building trust with consumers …

#1. Have the right tools and procedures in place.

This is a pretty obvious step, but if you’re in the tech space — which we know encompasses nearly every type of business these days — having a focus on cybersecurity is important. Even the smallest mom-and-pop shop collects emails, phone numbers, credit card information, etc. Having the right cybersecurity tools and procedures in place is step number one.

#2. Make your commitment to cybersecurity known.

As with any company policy, you have to have team member buy-in to have success. Be sure you’re training on cybersecurity and your policies, and reinforce that training often. This also applies to your C-Suite. It’s one thing to put policies in place — it’s another for them to be executed.

#3. Evangelize

How are your customers going to know your commitment to cybersecurity? How are you going to make it known that this is a differentiator among you and your competition? I think it’s important that you evangelize — sharing your cybersecurity successes and explaining how and why your customers’ information is safe. This goes beyond a legal disclaimer at the bottom of your website or a “terms and conditions” sign-up.


How are you using cybersecurity as your differentiator? Or, are you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether or not this will continue to be a differentiator or if, eventually, it will be a requirement for doing business. Or, is it now? Let’s continue the conversation over on my LinkedIn page.