How can companies balance security and online experience?

Last updated: 17 April 2024

What’s more important to users today, data security or a good user experience?

The answer…both. Security and experience now go hand in hand, and customers will simply go elsewhere if brands fall short on either. In fact, new global research from Thales’ Digital Trust Index found that 29% of consumers have abandoned a brand in the past 12 months because it demanded too much personal information. 27% have also abandoned a brand due to poor online support.

It’s this combination of security and experience that ultimately fosters trust in a company. But how can brands strike that balance, and get the mix just right? In this blog we’ll be sharing some of the key findings from the latest Digital Trust Index and discussing the solutions that can help.

The Digital Trust Index, Key Findings

Research was carried out globally with over 12,000 consumers from Australia, UK, USA, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Netherlands, Canada and the UAE. The survey aimed to find out how users feel about security, user experience – and ultimately how this ladders up to trust. Let’s look at some of the key findings:

What data protection rights do customers expect?

  • 89% will only share their personal information if certain caveats are met
  • 55% expect the right to be informed that their personal data is being collected
  • 53% expect the right to have their data erased
  • 26% expect the right to move data from one platform to another

What makes a good online experience?

  • 80% of customers expect a fully digital onboarding experience
  • 64% get frustrated at password resets
  • 64% get frustrated when having to re-enter personal information for brands they have used before

How can businesses strike the balance?

The findings in the Digital Trust Index highlight the delicate tightrope that businesses must walk – introducing enough friction to ensure data security, but without compromising on the end user experience.

While it might seem like a catch-22, it is achievable for brands to deliver on both – and ultimately climb the trust rankings. The report identifies some of the measures that businesses can take to strike this balance, including:

Bring Your Own Identity (BYOI): BYOI is the practice that allows customers to use their existing credentials from other trusted providers to access another application or service. By allowing this, it increases convenience and gives users greater control over their online identities.

Progressive profiling: Customers only want to give their data when it’s necessary. Giving customers the option to only share information as it’s required will help grow trust without compromising on their end-user experience.

Passkeys and password-less authentication: Passwords have long been a problem, both from a security and usability standpoint. The password-less revolution may still be in its infancy; however, it will soon become the norm. In the very near future customers will expect a password-less login experience – no matter the industry or service.

Risk-based authentication (RBA): Not all data is created equal, and not all situations call for stringent security. RBA measures scale up the level of authentication based on the situation. Businesses can balance security requirements with user experience, without adding too much friction to the process.

Modern CIAM Solutions: Modern Customer Identity and Access Management solutions empower customers to have full control over their data, without compromising on experience.

The relationship between trust and experience is at the cornerstone of any online interaction. The call to action is clear: brands must uphold an unwavering commitment to both data security and user experience to earn customer trust.

In the coming months we’ll continue to explore the Digital Trust Index in more detail. In the meantime, if you’d like to read the full report you can access here.

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