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What is Digital Trust And Why its Impact is Greater Than Businesses May Think

We know that trust between consumer and business, and buyer and supplier, is a key factor in customer loyalty, but the impact of digital trust is unprecedented. Digitalisation introduces issues of trust that have a far greater impact on commercial relationships.

What makes digital trust so important

In the past, trust issues extended as far as the product or service that was being purchased: will a product last, or will the service deliver on expectations? However, with the digital economy in full swing, customers are concerned about a growing range of topics, including the safety of private data and the risk of loss due to digital fraud.

Salesforce survey found that 60% of those surveyed are concerned that the increasing use of AI will compromise their personal information. IDC argues that trust has become so important that it affects economic growth, with some economies benefiting from established trust and others suffering from the lack of it.

Digital trust is about delivering on the promise to keep personal and company data safe, and to be effective in preventing malicious actors from getting unauthorised access to applications and customer’s and client’s assets.

The broad effects of growing trust in your business

With even the biggest, most powerful companies suffering from disruptive cybercrimes, the overall business environment is arguably low on trust. Therefore, those businesses that can establish a reputation for trustworthiness in the digital business environment stand to gain competitive advantage.

Customers will invest more. Grow a reputation of trust as a differentiator and customers will buy more frequently, rely more on your services and be willing to tie their fortunes more closely to your business.

Your company will be more resilient. Even in the face of the inevitable reputation and security challenges produced by a breach, your customers will stick around if your company has a long-standing reputation for trust.

You'l gain a competitive advantage. A trusted company with a market-leading service offering will be difficult to unseat as clients are hesitant to risk confidential data and operational continuity in a shift to a different vendor.

Of course, companies large and small who focus on establishing digital trust will also reap the associated cost benefits as trust can only be attained by reducing the risk of costly data breaches.

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What can businesses do to build digital trust?

Establishing trust is not an impossible objective, but it requires both capital and human investment, and a long-term commitment. That said, an established base of digital trust can substantially differentiate your business.

  • Focus on compliance and privacy. Breach-related fines may seem unlikely, but a compliance-first approach will reassure your customers. This includes getting up to speed with laws such as GDPR while also examining the privacy priorities of technology partners.
  • Adopt technology innovation. Software and hardware tools that enable proactive security methods can go a long way to stopping breaches in their tracks, in turn reducing the likelihood of the adverse events that lead to a breakdown in trust. Consider the capabilities of artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics and blockchain, to bring your security to the next level.
  • Engage security experts from start to end. Particularly where companies embark on digital transformation programmes, security expertise should be part of the exercise from the start, ensuring new technology platforms are implemented with a security-first view.
  • Find advocates at all organisational levels. Trust should be seen as a business priority at board level, just as important as share price, profitability or stakeholder management. Companies should take a top-down approach, incorporating the goal of establishing digital trust at the board level.
  • Understand the risks. Only by knowing what can go wrong can companies make an effort to put in place countermeasures. Consider performing a security assessment of your organisation, its products, services, processes and business units. This will allow you to identify and address the security risks and compliance requirements in a way that supports your organisation’s business goals.

Apart from all these measures, make sure also to take the customer’s point of view. It's critical to understand what it is, that instils a feeling of trust in customers, beyond merely ensuring that data is safe and secure and that privacy is respected.

Building digital trust is a tough journey. Don’t go alone.

We’ve highlighted a few of the points companies should focus on when building trust, but adopting the holistic approach required and getting the necessary skills in place can be very challenging even for the largest operations.

Consider getting in touch with the security experts at ELEKS who can perform a thorough assessment of your organisation, identifying the root of your risks and developing robust remediation plans. Our team can help your company identify the key compliance requirements, all to support your company’s goals – building trust with your customers. Let's talk security! Contact us. 

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