This post comes from the perspective of Richard Harris.
Information security (Infosec) has to deal with protecting your company and consumers from the unthinkable. It has to manage compliance and regulatory requirements, mitigate fraud and worry about waking-up to the dreaded headline of "Millions of Usernames & Passwords Stolen from" - insert your company name here. Security processes put a barrier and friction between what the consumer wants to do and doing it quickly and easily.
On the other hand, your marketing department wants to reach all your customers and prospects. It wants to do so in a way that is totally friction-less and easy. Marketers know that if you introduce barriers and friction consumers stop interacting. If consumers perceive risk interaction drops further. As such Marketing actively seeks to remove barriers.
Conflict - Why is it Normal and if not Managed, Destructive?
This means making your CSO & CMO happy at the same time is a real challenge.
And this impacts your business. On the one hand you don't want to risk the massive damage of a data breach - that, can be company ending; massive fines or even prison sentences for breaching compliance from Sarbox (Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002), PCI, European Banking Authority (EBA) guidelines or the upcoming PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2) are all terrifying - or they should be! On the other hand, you can be compliant to the hilt, but lose customers and growth through difficult sign-up and login processes annoying your customers and prospects causing them to give up mid transaction.
This gives you the modern age problem of convenience vs control. Let's not the forget the third variable: cost. This can be financial or opportunity - the speed at which markets and consumers move today means you can't afford to hang around. And if you annoy your consumers either with too much friction or with a headline-making breach, they switch and many don't return. Worse still they're increasingly vocal, taking to forums and social media to say just how unhappy they are in no uncertain terms.
As an early adopter of technology and a digital consumer I can tell you first hand that I have not bought a single thing from Sony PlayStation since their data breach and I'm sure I'm not alone in this.
Solution: What is the Balance?
That's all well and good I hear you say, but what's the solution?
Well, recently I spent eight weeks in the US with SixThirty, a commercially focused FinTech accelerator. Recently SixThirty and St. Louis were recognized as a pioneering FinTech community. The recognition came from VilCap Communities, a partnership between the Kauffman Foundation, Steve Case's Rise of the Rest and Village Capital.
SixThirty's founder Jim McKelvey, is also a co-founder of Square, the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) quoted electronic payment services company. SixThirty's expertise is in matching the right innovation to the right companies and making a senior level introduction. They introduced significant start-ups such as Ensygnia, to a leading US Financial Services company. We met with their C-level team and sure enough, we saw their CSO and CMO smile at the same time.
Hence, working with innovators that have cracked this problem can really help corporations move their security and customer experience to a paradigm shifting level. There are data security solutions to shift your paradigm. Please feel free to discuss this article with me. I'm on Twitter at @TelecomGuru.