What Is Digital Trust, Why Is It Important?

Jessica Agorye

Written by Full-Stack Developer

October 3, 2022
What Is Digital Trust, Why Is It Important?

We now exist in an age where numerous interactions and transactions occur online daily and we have become very comfortable with sharing personal information to be able to access products and services as far as the business/Company we are looking to patronize has an online presence. To ensure that everyone operates with privacy, there's a need for investment in Digital Trust. What then is Digital Trust?

The internet has played an emancipatory role as it has enabled opportunities that constantly transcend imagination however, it has also come with unusual challenges and at the top of the list is the need for the internet to be open but also reliable and secure. Therefore, a clearer simplified understanding of what digital trust is about and why guaranteeing trust is important in the digital world is what we aim for with this article:

What Does Trust Mean in The Digital World?


The quality of interactions between two people depends on their level of trust, this is the same with technology. With increasing connectivity and global reliance on the internet, the level of confidence in people, processes, and technological activities must remain safe and secure.

The concept of digital trust is the ability of users of technology to carry out activities in an ethical, secure, safe and reliable fashion.

It is also a measure of confidence and competence in an organization’s ability to protect its stakeholders by securing and storing their data. Service providers and organizations must ensure that this foundation of trust is kept solid and that individuals and businesses who engage with their technology know that their digital footprint is secure.

Digital trust covers every aspect of technology from block chain technology to e-commerce, finance, media, health care and other industries, consequently, information must be kept confidential and data must be protected, yet data breaches occur more frequently than we would assume, notwithstanding the scrutiny that many users give companies or organization online which includes:

  1. Engaging with only well-known brands or organizations.
  2. Using strong passwords.
  3. Checking the organization’s certificate information in the browser.
  4. Engaging with sites recommended by independent organizations.
  5. Ensuring that a security overview is provided by the organization.
  6. Engaging with sites recommended by friends, family and forums.

Data Breach Cases


While considering these factors, what’s the certainty that these practices ensure that data is secure? Let’s take a look at examples of a breach in digital trust, and the consequences of a breach of digital trust.

Facebook - In 2018, Facebook experienced a flaw in its software which led to the loss of 29 million users’ personal data, this included CEO Mark Zuckerberg whose account was also compromised.

Avast - In 2019 Avast experienced a security breach when an employee’s VPN credentials were compromised to insert malware into Avast products. Although this breach didn’t jeopardize the customer's details, imagine if it was otherwise.

Equifax - In 2017, 145 million Americans' personal details were lost due to a vulnerability in the company’s website application.

The results of the data breach for the above companies and some others who have suffered the same fate have been a loss of customers, loss of revenue, damage to the organization’s reputation, damage to assets and financial penalties.

Key Areas of Digital Trust


How can we trust sharing vital information like bank account details, addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers to companies or organizations we do not know, having faith that the information we are providing will not be misused or tampered with? Let’s take a look at some key areas relevant to digital trust:

Data Privacy: must be managed by controlling who has access to data, and encryption is necessary to protect data from anyone without the appropriate password.

Security: It’s imperative for a company to be able to guarantee customers that there’s no threat to the information provided for various interactions and transactions, risk management must be put in place, and corporations must do the right things and not pinch pennies in providing security for their customers.

Identity: Customers must be able to trust that their identity is anonymous unless they state otherwise.

Risk mitigation: Identifying threats and vulnerability to assets must be performed constantly to discover if there are loopholes in the security system so that they can be fixed to hinder cyber security attacks or vulnerabilities.

Data integrity: Organizations must put in the necessary measures to ensure that information or data is uncorrupted, and can only be accessed or modified by authorized personnel.

The Principal Pillars of Digital Trust


Responsibility and Ethics

Let's take a look at IoT (Internet of things); technology is moving at a fast pace and devices are interconnected to exchange information.

We have smart cars, smart houses and biometric systems etc. The realization of how data is interlinked and the need for digital trust cannot be expressed enough. To be able to connect to this kind of advanced technology, organizations must be inclined to generate higher levels of credibility and trust to put their customers at ease regarding their safety.

Transparency and Accessibility

There must be a substantial level of transparency in digital business practices, this is necessary to build trust in an organization’s ability to deliver promises and intentions in providing quality products and services.

Ensuring that terms of service and privacy policies are accessible and easy to understand, a lot of individuals are guilty of not going through terms of services or policies because of how bulky they can be, it’s also important as individuals to go through these policies to make sure that we are in agreement before proceeding with engagement.

Also, allowing customers to access help to support channels gives them a level of trust in the services that are being provided knowing that they have access to help when they are in need.

Security and Reliability

Organizations or digital businesses must be accountable for the security of online users and the personal information they provide. Different verifications or authentications must be put in place to minimize cases like identity theft, fraud etc. Also, alerting customers and flagging suspicious account activities using Automation and AI to reduce errors and fraud is a necessary approach.

Privacy and Control

Data sharing can be concerning to a lot of users, typically engaging with websites is usually a trade battery situation, this means in other words you will not be able to have access to certain services unless you’re willing to provide vital information, and customers may be uneasy about the kind of information they are letting out.

In recent times, companies are moving towards a zero-trust model which enables customers to share data they prefer in exchange for personalized benefits, making them feel more in control of the situation.

Top 4 Cyber Security Solutions


These pillars mentioned are necessary for growth, and businesses/companies/organizations must strive to follow them to build a strong lasting relationship with customers. Digital trust is a necessary part of the internet and there are a lot of security technology companies that offer digital trust and cyber security solutions, let’s take a look at a few:

1. Data Guard

data guard banner

Data Guard offers solutions to help customers remain in line with privacy regulations. Offering customer data flows, document data breaches and third-party audits. They also provide necessary processes in place to attain important certifications such as ISO 27001 (International organization for standardization) which is an international standard responsible for managing information security.

2. Concentric AI

Concentric AI banner

Concentric AI is a cyber-security company that delivers risk management assessment by data access governance, privacy data protection and data classification applicable to on premise and in-cloud environments.

3. Xtendr

Xtendr banner

Xtendr offers advanced privacy-enhancing data collaboration technology, solving the challenge of data sharing between two parties who are uncertain of credibility. With Xtendr enterprise-grade data protection, organizations are able to form partnerships while protecting important data.

4. WiseKey

WiseKey banner

Wisekey is an integrated security platform that provides secure authentication and identification in physical and virtual environments, block chain, IoT(Internet of things), and artificial intelligence. Wisekey uses standard-based technology to protect organizations against dangers, solving complex issues that threaten the digital security of users, networks, devices and transactions in the digital world.

Conclusion


Is the information we provide secure, and is digital trust 100%? Certainly not, however, companies must continue to put in a lot of effort in implementing security for their users or partners.

The examples of data breaches show that large corporations with strong security have been attacked or hacked in the recent past, and digital breaches of an individual's privacy occur more frequently than we would like, a general example would be receiving spam messages and emails.

Companies provide privacy policies, however, we ourselves have to be cautious of the information we share online, protect your information by using strong passwords, and connect to credible sites among other precautions. This may not be the ultimate solution but it does help to provide some sort of security.

Frequently Asked Questions


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Jessica Agorye
About the Author
Jessica Agorye

Jessica Agorye is a witty creative in love with life. She is based in Lagos Nigeria and is currently working on being a full-stack developer. She has worked as a content developer for over 5 years and believes that content is king.

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