An organisation’s investment in cyber security – particularly in the financial services field – is a major selling point for sales reps that are looking to lure in new clients, according to Michael Colao, the head of security at insurance firm AXA UK.
Speaking on a panel session at Infosecurity Europe 2014 at Earl’s Court in London today, Colao said that banking and insurance sector firms that can justly claim to be investing more in security than their competitors find it easier to attract clients.

“We can say we’ve invested more than our competitors, and if it’s true like it is for us, then get your sales reps to fully understand that because they love that as it is a differentiator,” he said.
He added that unlike other differentiators, investment in security is “difficult to respond to quickly [for competitors] as it’s a complex process”.
Lee Barney, head of information security at the Home Retail Group, which owns Argos and Homebase, believes the retail industry can’t function in the same way.
“With retail, customers can go elsewhere straight away if the retailer has suffered a data breach but in financial services it is harder to move, and that’s why we have to do our best to keep our customers [from a security perspective],” he said.