Security and Software Buyers: A New Survey with Updated Figures and Trends

By Alex Passett, Editor  |  March 27, 2023

Marketplace and consumer assistance company Capterra recently shared research in the vein of marketers and influencers; the most commonly selected payment methods, influencer campaign budgets, brand ambassadors, influencer marketing platforms and investments therein, and more. We covered Capterra’s findings here.

Now, Capterra has shared more research, this time about businesses’ security concerns. Capterra’s Security Features Survey details how businesses in search of new software may need to consider security more heavily; as of the survey, only half (50%) of U.S. software buyers consider security to be influential in their buying process. This figure isn’t shabby, but more buyers could certainly benefit from properly addressing security options.

Below are takeaways from Capterra’s survey of 298 business respondents:

  • Challenge: 45% of businesses have stopped using a specific type of software due to security concerns; data shows they’re willing to pay a premium for intuitive and well-designed security software, but they don’t always find what they need. This leaves them open to cyber threats, in the interim.
  • Factors: In addition to the percentage of buyers considering security to be the most influential factor, 49% consider functionality the most, followed by 46% regarding ease of use. A certification from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is a major decision for software buyers, followed by the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and other standards/frameworks.
    • CSA: 59%, specifically (which boils down to nearly three in five buyers) are more attracted to CSA-certified software.
  • Security Features: The most important security features for respondents are data backups (76%), security notifications (72%), encryption in transit and at rest (68% and 67%, respectively), role-based access control (56%) and a software bill of materials, or SBOM (55%).
    • SBOM: An SBOM, i.e. an emerging feature that Capterra anticipates will likely become more prevalent, is “a structured list of metadata that identifies and tracks the components used to build a software package. SBOMs are meant to inform organizations about the code used to develop software so that security and compliance risks are better understood as they emerge. Many regulatory bodies in the U.S. and Europe have mandated SBOMs as a prerequisite for software vendors to do business with government agencies or regulated organizations.”

Overall, while security features are dealbreakers for most businesses looking to buy software, deals should still be made in order to secure important data. In this age of commonly reused, cracked or leaked passwords, strong authentication is a must. (Thankfully, per Capterra, 92% of surveyed companies used 2FA in 2022, which was a massive jump from the 64% in 2019.)

Going forward, Capterra urges software buyers to continue to prioritize security as a leading differentiator when evaluating their needs. Software packages offering robust authentication options will reduce dependance on convoluted password alternatives. Also, Capterra suggests checking for those features (e.g. data backups, encryption, security alerts) as well as taking the time to explore the certifications out there so the most well-suited vendors for specific security needs are chosen.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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