The Crunch: Trust Guard helps brands demonstrate their commitment to protecting consumers from web hackers with its range of security, privacy, and business verification certifications. Its comprehensive scanning technology detects almost 80,000 website vulnerabilities and security holes, protects internal networks and applications, and manages credit-card security compliance so brands can stay focused on business. On average, brands that prominently display Trust Guard certification seals on their websites see conversion-rate increases of 15% or more. And, in an environment of growing online security threats, Trust Guard does all this while remaining cost-competitive and customer-focused. An e-commerce brand is only as trustworthy as its customers think it is, and Trust Guard helps brands project trustworthiness and increase sales.
It’s no secret that web hackers are growing evermore skilled and ambitious. Hardly a week goes by without news of another prominent e-commerce brand falling prey to an attack and sensitive customer data being compromised.
In that environment, brands inevitably struggle to overcome the consumer tendency to stick with what works. It’s fair for consumers to question why they should risk doing business with anyone new or unfamiliar, especially when their credit card numbers are at stake.
Trust Guard helps brands overcome marketplace inertia, win and retain customers on their merits, and increase sales. Websites that pass Trust Guard’s comprehensive security scan earn the right to display the company’s Security Scanned Seal, which demonstrates compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) e-commerce security standard. When customers see the Security Scanned Seal displayed prominently on a website homepage and again on the checkout page, it reminds them that the website is protected and their data is safe.
Research shows that displaying the seal results in an average conversion rate increase of 15% or more, said Luke Brandley, Chief Marketing Officer at Trust Guard. When customers are confident that a brand can protect their sensitive information, they’re more likely to spend money there.
Luke told us that Trust Guard works continually behind the scenes to ensure that its scanning technology stays ahead of the curve. “Attackers are getting more and more creative,” he said. “Just a couple of years ago, we were searching for about 40,000 different vulnerabilities, and now we’re protecting against almost 80,000. That’s just us doing tons of research, getting better and better, sharper and sharper.”
That research is what gives the Trust Guard seal such broad acceptance in the marketplace. “About 40-45% of the time, customers who come to us from one of our competitors fail their first scan with us,” Luke said.“Even more amazing, a full 85% of new customers fail their first scan. We’re not only compliant with the PCI standard but with a variety of other industry-based security and privacy standards with stringent safeguards against data breaches.”
Automated Compliance Lets Companies Focus on Operations
Trust Guard pays careful attention to the look and feel of its seals to ensure they receive the visual attention they deserve. “The success of our product hinges on its visibility on the customer’s website,” Luke said. “Our most recent seals come in different colors and gives customers options to fit with their design approach.”
But that attention to detail wouldn’t mean much if the certification behind it didn’t work. Trust Guard ensures that it does — without placing an undue burden on its customers.
“Because brands can display the Security Scanned Seal only after they pass our scan, we devote a lot of time and resources to helping them fix the problems that appear on the first pass,” Luke said, “Then we rescan for free. After they make the required fixes and pass the scan, we allow them to have our seal.”
Trust Guard also makes PCI compliance easy by remotely scanning networks and applications for threats to the operating system, financial services and utilities, and other sensitive transactions. Trust Guard then generates a detailed report that addresses server and network vulnerabilities.
The PCI standard mandates the annual submission of a detailed self-assessment questionnaire, and Trust Guard automates that process as well.
“We make it easy for our customers,” Luke said. “Our Self-Assessment Questionnaire Wizard walks them through it, auto-fills items when it can, and then saves it so next year they don’t have to go back in and do it again.”
Privacy Verification Certifications Protect Customer Relationships
Trust Guard offers additional products to fit different budgets and use cases, and the company’s commitment to ease of use extends to those as well.
The Privacy Safe Seal demonstrates compliance with the standards of leading privacy organizations and state and federal laws, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
“Customers want to know that brands take their privacy seriously. If a brand doesn’t meet one or more of the standards, our automated service will present additional steps needed to comply,” Luke said. “After the policy is completed, we’ll even host it on our servers for free. And we can also work on a case-by-case basis to upgrade an existing policy to bring it into compliance.”
The same holds true for Trust Guard’s Business Verification Seal, which lets customers click on the seal to access the brand’s contact information and a detailed description of the verification process.
Both the Privacy Safe and Business Verification seals come with dispute resolution services provided by professional staff at Trust Guard. “Disputes happen,” Luke said. “When you work with us, the resolution process is kept private for a period of time.” That allows the brand to address the complaint before it’s made public, protecting both the brand and the customer.
Brands That Inspire Consumer Trust Earn More Sales
Trust Guard brings its concern for brand integrity into its own customer relationships. For example, even though the number of web security vulnerabilities has drastically Increased over the past few years, and the resources required to stay ahead of the security curve are increasing, the company maintains a commitment to cost-competitiveness.
“We haven’t increased our prices to compensate for the additional security burdens we face,” Luke said. “The lifeblood of the company is that our customers always come first. We concentrate on building product value and positioning ourselves competitively.”
Trust Guard also eschews long-term contracts, opting instead to charge a monthly fee that lets customers easily leave the relationship if they so choose. “Customers can get a lower price if they pay a year in advance, but it’s not contractual,” Luke said.
“The coolest thing about Trust Guard is that we’re living proof that, if you put integrity ahead of everything else, you’ll succeed. And we don’t just preach it, we practice it.” — Luke Brandley, Chief Marketing Officer at Trust Guard
The company offers a guarantee to customers who demonstrate through Google Analytics or independent verification that displaying the seals has not increased conversions. “We give our customers 60 days to assess the effectiveness of the seals, with double their money back on the line,” Luke said. “In the 11 years we’ve been operating, we’ve given the money back once. Our products work.”
Brands that demonstrate that they are reliable in the security and privacy arena gain a competitive advantage. When consumers trust a brand, they will buy from it.
Trust Guard has quantified the benefits of earning its certifications and displaying its seals — and demonstrated its commitment in its own customer relationships.
“The coolest thing about Trust Guard is that we’re living proof that, if you put integrity ahead of everything else, you’ll succeed. And we don’t just preach it, we practice it,” Luke said.