New ISACA research shows significant gaps between what enterprises are doing now and what they should do to establish digital trust in the future digital ecosystem. While nearly most cybersecurity professionals (98%) say that digital trust is important and 63% say it is relevant to their jobs, only 12% of their organizations have a dedicated staff role for digital trust.
The State of Digital Trust 2022 survey report from ISACA features insights from 2,755 business and information technology professionals worldwide. ISACA defines digital trust as the confidence in the integrity of relationships, interactions and transactions among providers and consumers within an associated digital ecosystem. It is a driving factor in consumer decisions and enterprise resilience in a digital-dominated environment.
“Digital trust is the bedrock of business relationships and is critical for strategic digital transformation,” said David Samuelson, chief executive officer of ISACA. “Innovation, market leadership and financial performance rely heavily on trust that must be earned every day.”
One breach of digital trust can cause devastating reputational, regulatory and financial repercussions. Yet only 66% say their organization currently prioritizes digital trust at a sufficient level.
Survey respondents are aware of the consequences and say that organizations with low levels of digital trust experience: reputation decline (62%), more privacy breaches (60%), more cybersecurity incidents (59%), lost customers (56%), less reliable data for decision-making (53%) a negative impact on revenue (43%) and a slower ability to innovate (36%).
Moving past obstacles
According to the ISACA survey, the most significant obstacles to digital trust are: lack of skills and training (53%), lack of alignment with enterprise goals (44%), lack of leadership buy-in (42%), lack of budget (41%) and lack of technological resources (40%).
Benefits of digital trust
Enterprises experience various key benefits when prioritizing digital trust in their strategic planning. According to respondents, high levels of digital trust lead to:
- Positive reputation (66%)
- Fewer privacy breaches (58%)
- Fewer cybersecurity incidents (57%)
- Stronger customer loyalty (55%)
- Faster innovation (44%)
- Higher revenue (25%)
An emphasis on digital trust also presents major opportunities for career growth, as 82% say digital trust will be much more important in their organization, and 28% say their organization will likely have a senior staff role dedicated to digital trust in five years.
Respondents said the top three components of digital trust are security, data integrity and privacy, but only half of the respondents agree that there is a sufficient collaboration among professionals in these and other digital trust fields.
The top three roles for strengthening digital trust are IT strategy/governance (84%), security (80%) and information technology (74%). Many organizations are still in the early stages of digital transformation, so this is an excellent opportunity for professionals to step up, gain knowledge and lead a multi-disciplinary team.
According to 76% of respondents, digital trust is very important to digital transformation. Respondents also want tools to help with transformation — 55% say that having a digital trust framework would be extremely or very important to their organization.
To help businesses prioritize digital trust, ISACA will be releasing the Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework (DTEF) in the fourth quarter of 2022. DTEF is a business framework designed for the entire enterprise and focuses on providing critical factors for organizational success by fostering trusted, meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships, interactions and transactions.
The State of Digital Trust report is available to download at www.isaca.org/state-of-digital-trust.