Cyber strategy

What role does human support play between software editors and users?

4 min

As a Customer Success Manager for a software editor, my experience has shown me that the relationship between an editor and end-users plays an essential role, yet one that is sometimes underestimated. I’m convinced that a close relationship between software editors and users, both operational and relational, is fundamental to a successful cybersecurity strategy. And this goes beyond the pure use of the product itself. So how do we build this solid relationship, and what are the benefits? In my opinion, customer success management should be provided on three levels.


3 levels of customer success management


Level 1 : speed and precision of support service responses

The software editor knows his product best. He will be the one to provide the most adequate response when a customer is facing a technical difficulty. But for this to happen, it’s essential to know who to turn to. The software editor should have people who are dedicated to technical help, who are available, technically sharp, and who know how to cooperate with product teams. The more developed the relationship between the editor and users is, the better the editor knows the context, the more precise his response will be.

Level 2 : day-to-day guidance from customer success managers

The idea of regular follow-ups with users is not yet a well-established practice in our ecosystem, and yet it ensures that users benefit 100% from the product capabilities and evolutions. Thanks to regular interactions, both parties are in a constant process of improvement. New features are aligned with users needs, and the UX is constantly being perfected. It’s also a good way to work on reducing the number of false positives. Based on user feedback and use cases, the editor becomes more refined and relevant in writing its detection rules. This regular follow-up not only provides relevant support from an operational point of view, but it also helps building a lasting human bond between customer success managers and analysts.

Level 3 : creation of interpersonal relationships

It’s about taking the relationship to a higher level, leaving room for freer, occasional exchanges between cyber experts, analysts, developers and researchers. The aim here is to benefit from each other’s knowledge, sometimes going beyond the product itself. For instance, during a meeting with our users, an analyst presented to other attending guests – analysts, SOC managers or CISOs – his use of the Harfanglab EDR for investigation only, with the data visualization enabled by the Kibana tool. In short, not exactly a classic use of the product, but the sharing of an experience that enabled everyone to broaden their field of knowledge, and even gain new skills.

Objective : a two-way relationship between software editors and users

These three levels of customer success management thus create a two-way relationship: the software editor draws on the user’s thoughts to develop his product, and the user draws on the research and knowledge produced by the editor, well beyond the scope of the product.

The work of Threat Intel research teams is a good example of how users can benefit from this relationship. Recently, our CTI team developed a DSE protection module. This module protects a Windows kernel componant from advanced type attacks. Only very mature users are aware of this type of attacks, however, the fact of having created a close relationship makes it easy to relay this information to the user, who is thus always informed about latest advances in threat hunting.

This focus on interpersonal relationships, and less on purely operational matters, is a key element in the progress of user safety. I’m convinced the quality of customer success management will become an increasingly important criterion when choosing security tools. While technical criteria such as good detection capabilities are becoming the minimum to offer to users, customer success management is a key variable that plays a crucial role in the overall quality of IT security.