Mobile customers are increasingly worried about the security of their devices, and operators which cater to them with a network-based mobile security solution have higher customer satisfaction, according to a new report from Allot Communications. But the strategy on how security is positioned — as an app versus a service — makes a big different in adoption and impact, Allot said.
Allot’s Mobile Security Trends survey found that more than 60% of respondents expressed interest in purchasing a security service for their mobile devices from their carriers. However, Allot noted, security services for mobile have typically been offered as a device-based feature and that strategy has resulted in very low penetration: just three to five percent adoption. Those apps are typically a revenue-share model with an antivirus company and customers have to be cajoled into making a download and paying.
“Operators have tried to overcome the download and install issue by preloading security apps into operator-provided devices,” Allot said in the report. “Many mobile customers see this intrusion as bloatware. In addition, and more importantly, there is still considerable friction in motivating customers to activate and pay for pre-installed apps and to overcome the perception that a security app will impair phone performance and battery life. … Marketing an app is significantly different from marketing a service.”
Comparatively, Allot said, a “try and buy” model of security delivered via the mobile network as part of a customer’s service subscription, or turned on automatically for certain tiers of customers for a trial period, with reminders about the option to subscribe, typically achieves adoption rates of 12 to 15%. The company sees the highest rate of adoption in the “promotional opt-out model,” where the service is offered for free for a certain period for all customers or a subset, such as new customers; and then at the end of that period, customers are prompted to opt out if they wish to. This can result in penetration rates of between 40 to 60%, Allot said, although the strategy “has a ‘bad reputation’ in some countries, as it may have been abused in the past by CSPs for selling value added services.” (Allot says that its own mobile security offering has reached as much as 50% penetration among the customer bases of the carriers with which it works.)
However, Allot found that under either model, customers subscribed to a security service reported that they were more satisfied with their wireless carrier. “Customers subscribed to security services demonstrate much higher levels of satisfaction with a 2-3 fold increase in customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) when compared to regular customers,” Allot said.
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