By Kris Leong, SVP of Sales – FIRMUS

With the importance and size of the cybersecurity industry growing every day, it is a race for companies to grab market shares in order to achieve revenue goal as well as reaching the ever-glorious “market leader” status, more so in an event of a potential economic slowdown to secure the opportunities available.

Unfortunately, there are instance where customers have been taken advantage of through deceptive sales tactics. While these tactics may be effective in the short-term, they are not ethical and can lead to reputational damage. This may include:

  • Making false or misleading statements about a product or service
  • Failing to disclose material facts,
  • Using deceptive marketing practices.

Cybersecurity is crucial in any industry, any time, which means all companies must be honest about their products and services and must not make false claims about the level of protection they offer.

Knowing that, it is vital for salespersons to treat prospects or customers with respect, fairness, honesty, and integrity and not be tempted to forfeit sales ethics to secure potential business. After all, the trust, and strong connections we have with our customers are the most precious assets we possess; and that is even more so in an industry like cybersecurity.

One key ethical issue in cybersecurity sales is the protection of customer data. As we work tirelessly to ensure that our customers are well protected from breaches, we too, must set the example to ensure our customer data in our possession is well protected. It goes without saying that we need to deploy measures such as:

  • Implementing strong encryption protocols
  • Utilizing best-in-breed security software, and regularly updating it
  • Providing customers with clear information about how their data will be used and protected.

Secondly, ensuring that pricing and terms of service is fair and transparent. We need to be upfront about the fees associated with a particular product or service. In cybersecurity, sales purchase cycle can take time, it is imperative for salespeople to provide customers with detailed information they need about the features and capabilities of a product or service according to different requirements, be a helpful resource to guide them through the purchase cycle. Making exaggerated claims or feature dumping to confuse customers should be avoid at all costs.

Apart from clearly communicating product and service capabilities, it is also a good practice for salesperson to remain in contact with customers albeit to catch up on customer satisfaction or updating them on the new cyberthreat trends. At FIRMUS, we believe in relationships, as great relationships build trust.

The ethical implications of misleading cybersecurity sales practices on customers’ trust are far-reaching. Unethical practices can have a detrimental impact on customers’ trust, as customers may be misled into believing that their data is more secure than it is. Ultimately, it is vital for the salesperson to take the time to assess the impact of their sales practices, on the trust of their accounts, as it is an important factor for their success. Our customers trust us to keep them protected, we too should honour that trust.

The importance of sales ethics cannot be overstated. By adhering to good principles, salespeople in this industry can then contribute to the overall health and security of the cybersecurity landscape.