Australian cyber resilience: How to keep your customers from leaving

  • Simon Bowker
  • Solutions
  • Cybersecurity and Risk
  • 2023
February 28, 2023

Cyber resilience: woman in front of open laptop smiling at person sitting across the desk from her

The increasing frequency and cost of hacks across industries in Australia has made cyber resilience a top priority for businesses and governments. It’s also made consumers more aware of risks to their data: The 2022 ServiceNow customer experience (CX) survey found 64% of respondents trust organizations less than they did a year ago to keep their data secure.

Cybersecurity can directly affect your bottom line. Australia’s telecommunications sector is a good example. After one of Australia’s largest firms was hacked, 10% of its customers walked away, according to Another 56% indicated they were considering leaving.

Similarly, the ServiceNow CX survey found 59% of Australians will stop doing business with a company if it gets hacked and loses their data. Nearly half (47%) of survey respondents view organizations keeping their personal information safe as a critical factor in good customer service.

Organizations must maintain a strong security posture to keep all their digital assets and IT systems protected. Those that don’t will likely see customers take their business elsewhere.

The changing cybersecurity landscape

Hacks are on the rise for many reasons. The threat surface—the number of potential entry points or vulnerabilities that can be targeted—has increased as new technologies and digital business models have become more widespread. The rise of remote working, cloud computing, and the internet of things (IoT) means security measures must extend far beyond office walls.

The IBM Security Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022 found a cyberattack costs an Australian business on average AU$4.29 million, with the largest expense associated with detection and escalation.1 It took 70 days on average to resolve a hack.

Meanwhile, a 2022 cybersecurity study from ThoughtLab, co-sponsored by ServiceNow, found more than 40% of businesses fear their cybersecurity efforts aren’t keeping pace with digital transformation. Remote work has only increased the risks.


 cyberattack costs an Australian business on average AU$4.29 million, with the largest expense associated with detection and escalation. - IBM Security, Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022, July 2022

3 ways leaders can prioritize cybersecurity

Customer service is uniquely vulnerable to a data breach, as it’s where most customer data flows into a business. Every employee, regardless of their role, should think about security, but good cybersecurity practices need to be a leadership priority. CX leaders should be especially alert.

Here are three ways organizations can help ensure their leadership prioritizes cybersecurity:

1. Create a steering committee for cybercrime, gathering stakeholders from different parts of the organization. The members of the committee can include the chief operating officer, chief information officer, general counsel, and division leaders, as well as board members.

This committee should conduct planning exercises and bring together cross-functional teams to map business functions and the threat landscape.

2. Think like an attacker. Make plans around likely incidents that are relevant to your sector and business. Look at what assets or teams would be most affected and how much your business, staff, and customers would be damaged if the worst happens.

3. Plan your response to a hack. If it takes 70 days to resolve an attack, that’s 70 days your business won’t function properly and customers won’t be served. Practice your action plan and rehearse restoring your systems and data from backups.

The customer reward from secure systems

The recent Australian hacks have put cybersecurity front and center. They’ve also led to a mindset shift for customers. Investing in cyber resilience preserves future revenue by helping to ensure customers don’t walk if a breach happens.

Breaches will become more common. Concepts such as privacy by design that build security into every stage of your products and services can be competitive differentiators.

Find out how ServiceNow helps organizations improve cyber resilience and vulnerability management while speeding response times.

1 IBM Security, Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022, July 2022

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