As organizations place advanced data and sophisticated analytics at the heart of their operations and reshape customer experiences with innovative digital services, new cybersecurity and privacy challenges are emerging that are requiring corporate leaders to take digital trust seriously.
Building and protecting trust is now integral to how businesses operate and interact with stakeholders. KPMG’s 2022 ‘Cyber Trust Insights’report has surveyed 1,881 executives to outline five key steps to building trust through cybersecurity and privacy:
- Weaving cybersecurity and privacy into the fabric of the organization
- Building internal alliances
- Evolving the role of the CISO
- Securing the support of leadership
- Collaborating with other partners in the corporate ecosystem are key to increased trust.
And with that trust comes improved profitability – according to more than a third of respondents – along with better customer retention and stronger commercial relationships. Innovation, talent retention and an increased market share are also possible if organizations recognize that digital trust matters.
Akhilesh Tuteja, Global Cyber Security Practice Leader, KPMG International, commented,“Each new data activity that an organization embarks on exposes them to potential vulnerabilities and risks that should be guarded against to maintain trust. Executives are starting to acknowledge these risks – many of the respondents (78 percent) agree that new technologies [such as AI and machine learning] come with unique, and often ill-understood, cybersecurity and trust challenges. If these challenges aren’t adequately addressed, the risk to an organization can be extreme.”
Digital transformation is well underway across every industry, with businesses overhauling their technology. Data from KPMG’s Global Tech Report, launched earlier this year, revealed 61 percent of businesses expect to embrace disruptive new tech platforms within two years and, over the next three years, say they will increasingly ramp up their digital investments. KPMG’s research and perspective outlines that for these new emerging technologies to be adopted successfully, businesses must be able to instill trust.
Atul Gupta, Partner and Head, Digital Trust and Cyber Security Services, KPMG in India said, “Emerging technologies such as distributed ledger technology (DLT), quantum computing, 5G networks, AI/ML, and augmented and virtual reality are developing rapidly, and promise to transform the way businesses operate. Yet the successful rollout of future applications (connected economy, smart systems, NFT, metaverse, etc.) that rely on these technologies will likely be governed by an organization’s ability to instill trust across multiple dimensions. This means embedding security and privacy controls with transparency, reliability, and integrity.”
The Cyber Trust Insight report found over 80 percent of executives understand the importance of improving cybersecurity and data protection to securing stakeholder trust. They are also looking to their CISOs to be a champion of digital trust.
CISOs themselves know what is at stake and although many have the confidence of their employers, others do not have a mandate to fulfill their objectives in building stakeholder trust. Almost two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) say that information security is seen by their organizations as a risk-reduction activity, rather than a business enabler. And 57 percent say that senior leaders do not understand the competitive benefits that are possible due to enhanced trust that is enabled by better information security. CISOs understand their responsibilities but the research shows that many are struggling to fulfill them. This could be because the organization they are in lacks a clear vision of what digital trust really means and the difference it can make.
Akhilesh Tuteja added, “Businesses of all shapes and sizes are ramping up data collection, expanding the use of new technologies and embracing ESG. This is happening while increasingly stringent regulatory standards are being put in place.
“CISOs are optimally placed to help their organization navigate these challenging waters but the role of the CISO needs to evolve. CISOs need stronger support from senior leaders. They should be empowered to deliver change, collaborate with the wider ecosystem, and build internal alliances – the CISO is key to building digital trust.”
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