Debunking conventional wisdom: increased security improves performance and customer experience

Debunking conventional wisdom: increased security improves performance and customer experience

Conventional wisdom says businesses must balance the cost of security with user experience—implying that security is a tax on digital interactions. Conventional wisdom appears to be outdated.

According to Foundry, the need for improvements in cybersecurity was cited as the No. 1 reason for the increase in tech budgets this year. Further, CEOs’ top priorities for IT in 2023 are:

Strengthening IT and business collaborationUpgrading IT and data security to reduce corporate riskImproving the customer experience 

IT leaders do not have to compromise. Advanced security policies, increased efficiencies, and improvements to the reliability and performance of your applications for a better user experience can be achieved together. It doesn’t need to be a tax or a tradeoff.

The security paradox

To understand the “tradeoff” mentality, let’s review the ‘security paradox.’ Cyberattacks are increasing exponentially every year. According to NETSCOUT, one DDoS attack occurs every three seconds, and MITRE has reported more than 25,000 new common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) in 2022, which is a 24% increase year over year from 2021. For most organizations, it’s not if a cyberattack is going to occur, but when.

As the latest attacks and statistics make headlines, leaders often tend to overcompensate by implementing chains of security solutions, often layering on top of each other in a disjointed fashion to protect against new exploits and prevent service interruption in case of an attack.

A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. These disjointed solutions can add latency and performance bottlenecks between security layers and create single points of failure, which impact the speed and availability of businesses online. Therein lies the security paradox: an organization could inadvertently harm itself while attempting to secure its network and applications.

The cost of a data breach

Beyond the implicit cost of security, what is the actual cost of a data breach when one strikes an organization?  IBM’s annual Data Breach Report revealed that the average data breach cost in 2022 was USD 4.35 million—an all-time high. Gartner has estimated the cost of downtime from DDoS attacks to be $300,000 per hour.

What these numbers don’t include is the potential damage to a brand’s reputation and to its customers. CIO Insight reported 31% of consumers stopped doing business with a company due to a security breach; a significant number of these said they had lost trust in the brand. And certainly, poor performance leads to higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates.

With layers of piecemealed security solutions increasing operational complexity and reducing application performance, coupled with the increased frequency of cyberattacks, it’s no wonder these factors lead to negative impacts on customer experience and their ability to quickly and safely interact with businesses online. 

The good news is that a holistic approach to approach security can detect and mitigate attacks quickly before they hit the bottom line. With the right unified security solutions, performance and customer experience can improve, too. 

Debunking conventional wisdom

As already stated, businesses can indeed increase security while improving performance, operational efficiency, and customer experience. But how can this be achieved without tradeoffs? 

By adopting holistic edge-enabled security solutions built on an extensive, globally distributed platform, businesses can address the latest cybersecurity threats and achieve comprehensive protection across networks and applications without a single point of failure or performance bottleneck. The benefits of an edge-enabled holistic security solution are:

Massive scale and resiliency to ensure uptimeIntelligent rules execution for faster threat detectionIntegration with edge logic and CI/CD workflows to improve operationsAttacks mitigated at the source to improve performance and user experience

Security solutions that provide easy integration and automation can enhance IT workflows and enable quick deployments of security updates to keep up with the evolving threat landscape. Platforms like Edgio’s provide developers with a single pane of glass with visibility and control to manage their application performance and security.

So yes, businesses can, in fact, debunk conventional wisdom when it comes to performance and security, but having the right security solution matters. 

The right security solution can ultimately reduce costs, increase operational efficiency, and improve customer experience, all while protecting your data, your brand, and your bottom line. It’s a win-win for your entire organization.

Turbo-charge web application and API performance with Edgio Security.


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