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What I’ve Learned From My SMB Customers

I’ve been at Duo Security, now part of Cisco, for close to 3 1/2 years. Coming in I had very little knowledge of cybersecurity and what drove the industry, so I treated my first year at Duo like a student would his freshman year at University. But with such open and honest prospects and customers alike, my first 12 months didn’t feel like a trial by fire. Thankfully, lol.

In that first year, I learned a wealth of knowledge, which in many cases came straight from our customers. I quickly began to understand what Duo’s mission of democratizing security truly meant. Each time I was introduced to a new company, I noticed a common trend: generally, within the SMB space, we were speaking with small teams with low resources and limited time. And yet, in front of those same teams were a plethora of objectives with challenging timelines. 

When it came to providing secure access and multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions to their respective organizations, each SMB team mentioned four common needs: speed, simplicity, coverage, and value, typically driven by compliance, industry standards, requests from consumers, and sometimes, unfortunately, preventing another breach. 

Let’s look at these needs one by one:

Speed

We always want to know from our customers what timelines they’re working towards so we can provide them with useful resources on time. What stood out to me is the reality that within a business, if a project isn’t moving at a respectable pace stakeholders can lose interest or suggest other options they believe will achieve the same outcome quicker. Fortunately, Duo offers a solution that can be set up in hours, not days or weeks. Anyone with a laptop or desktop can create an account, grab a guide from our documentation library and integrate Duo with numerous applications – all before breaking for lunch.

Simplicity

It was apparent that traditional security solutions were complicated, cumbersome, and required a tremendous amount of user training to get them off the ground. This also impacts speed. Duo customers find that verifying your identity as an end user is no more challenging than answering a text or liking a picture on Instagram. We all know how to give someone a thumbs up or thumbs down. Duo’s authentication flow works in a similar way: a green check to verify that it’s you and a red X to alert your IT team that your credentials may have been compromised.

Coverage

By far the biggest misconception our customers make upfront is thinking there is no way one solution is going to cover all of their use cases. I’ve spoken to businesses whose applications are completely on-premises or are transitioning to the cloud, and even some who are a hybrid mixture of both who have really obscure and niche applications. Something which always sets Duo apart from the crowd is its ability to cover almost any use case an organization can throw at it. Duo is broad in its coverage and flexible in its deployment. You can’t really find an industry for which Duo doesn’t offer out-of-the-box solutions to solve key challenges.

Value

Last but definitely not least. I’m sure we can all agree that no one is interested in talking to any provider who tries to sneak in hidden fees or is overpriced. At Duo, we’re all about transparency. You don’t even need to pick up the phone; our pricing is clearly listed on our website for the whole world to see.

For resource-strapped SMBs with small teams and limited time, Duo’s MFA delivers the speed, simplicity, coverage, and value they need to secure access to all of their applications.

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