Just ask sleep-deprived cybersecurity leaders and their SOC crews
Cincinnati, Ohio – Oct. 21, 2021
Security leaders are tired of FUD tactics (the manipulation of fear, uncertainty and doubt) hyping-up cybersecurity solutions in this booming trillion-dollar market. They want reliable and relevant information that objectively addresses their responsibility to protect us from cybercrime.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that we may discover this resolve in one of the most prominent marketing assets — the blog.
What’s behind all the FUD?
Social psychologists extensively investigate our tendency to pursue previously invested time, efforts and monies to a given pursuit, even when outcomes don’t justify the costs.
Known as the Sunk Cost Effect, this behavior has thrived since the beginning of humanity, where our most advanced technologies were sourced from earth for sustenance and weapons to hunt or combat enemies. The survival instinct plays a vital role in our lives today, in an era where modern technology is both a luxury and wielded by adversaries as one of our greatest threats.
In cybersecurity, this persistent commitment is exemplified by the entrepreneurs who are determined to deter cybercrime. Their often-unavoidable sunk costs include R&D, prototyping and patenting tech, stacking IT & security infrastructures, staffing, media platforms such as the must-have website and social channels, scoring various levels of capital to make all this happen, and cyber insurance to protect enterprise assets from inevitable breaches.
By the time their investment goes to market, business owners can’t help but wonder if the venture will gain traction because they’ve got too much to lose.
The conventional wisdom that businesses must grow or die is true for most public companies and venture-backed tech startups for many reasons, according to Bo Burlingham, author of Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead Of Big.
He contends that investors expect and demand steady increases in sales, profits, market share and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). If the capital venture goes south or becomes stagnant, investors will run to the exits.
There’s a lot at stake in our industry considering the staggering number of venture capital deal flows, mergers and acquisitions, and rising cyber startups. Consequently, security firms escalate their commitment and fork out 6-7 figures annually in marketing spend, hoping to secure loyal customers that will advocate for long-term business success.
These well-founded concerns to succeed on this competitive turf exert tremendous pressure on marketing professionals who are challenged to get the word out, sales teams who must seal deals with qualified leads, and copywriters who churn out massive volumes of content to feed the funnel.
For Sale: CybercrimeBlog.com
Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures on domain names
FUD will never disappear — respect it.
Somewhere along heavy email traffic, approval chains, and in the babble of digital marketing demands, it is easy to lose sight of what our audience truly needs. We often render irrelevant garbage that chills on the blog page because it scared the FUD out of readers who abandoned the website altogether.
Just ask sleep-deprived cybersecurity managers and analysts who are burnt out from threat alerts hitting their stacks in the security operations center (SOC). They need help protecting the enterprise. Vendors who hinge their incredible solutions on distasteful marketing tactics aren’t doing any favors for our cyber heroes.
Whether we’re writing thought leadership pieces about how CISOs can integrate a product into existing technology to harden their defenses, educating overwhelmed SOC analysts about how to beat alert-fatigue, or addressing the latest On-Demand training platform’s definitive resolve for the cybersecurity talent crunch — how we tell the story will either win or lose the hearts of consumers.
The fact is we can’t discuss cybersecurity without talking about cybercrime. Yet, many of us, intentionally or not, leverage cybercrime to incite defeating emotions in people who are reaching to us for help.
We must identify the universal threat and address what people need to overcome it. These critical components of communication are right under our nose. Eliminate “cyber” and there they are: “crime” and “security.”
Try these non-malicious tactics:
Fear: Don’t strike emotional chords with scary — though very real — cyber threats lurking out there. Spin the message to convert fear into hope. Empower folks to stomp cybercriminals!
Uncertainty: Don’t presume consumers want what you’ve got in the store. Craft informative dialogue about your specialty. Maybe they’ll shift their uncertainty to confidence that you’ve got the right stuff.
Doubt: If you’ve got the right stuff, prove it. Don’t ask writers to fluff the truth in your favor or throw competitors under the bus. It will bleed through every sentence and amplify doubts about your credibility.
Engaging readers with respect and empathy are honorable tactics that may win their trust and loyalty.
Keep it real!
There are more heroes than bad actors in the world. But we hear less about them; they are either doing the hard work in the shadows or the headlines are too cluttered with cyberattacks.
Extend respect to firms creating arsenals of solutions that protect us, security leaders and their teams for taking the fight to adversaries, thought provokers who challenge our views, marketing pros who roll up their sleeves on the digital landscape every day, and to the writers who are devoted to this challenging craft.
The duty is on us in these capacities to be accountable as we leverage blogs to elevate the conversation on cybercrime.
– Eli Kirtman is founder and CMO at G-Force Cybersecurity Ghostwriters, delivering GhostWriting-as-a-ServiceTM to F500 & G2000 security firms throughout cyberspace.