November 5, 2015

Today’s corporate currency: digital trust

digital trust

What does the phrase ‘digital enterprise’ bring to mind for you? As the physical and digital worlds merge and combine together, where the IoT market of a connected world of devices and information flowing back and forth exists. And whether you are an app developer, a cloud computing provider, a video game designer, or an online payments firm the digital landscape is changing and fast.

All these are digital enterprises, certainly – but in today’s ultra-connected, internet-driven world, so too are traditional manufacturers and hospitality businesses, retailers, professional services organisations and almost any other business you can think of.

Digital tools and technologies are used to handle every corporate function from the obvious (email, instant messaging and social media) to the perhaps not quite so obvious (parking permits, time sheets and invoicing). Indeed, in many businesses today, digital technologies are what enable employees to walk through the front door in the morning. Your business is almost certainly, in some way, a digital enterprise.

This status brings innovation, creativity and enormous potential – but it also carries risk.

The ubiquitous digital enterprise is part of the wider Internet of Things (IoT) landscape, in which the rise and rise of mobile devices, social media, cloud computing, wearable technology and more has created a highly sophisticated, international and ever-growing network of interconnected devices. This complexity of this network exposes businesses to more potential points of interception, more potential cybercrime vulnerabilities, than ever before – and nobody is immune.

Sony Pictures is one organisation to have discovered this to its cost, suffering a catastrophic hack in 2014. Following the attack, customers’ levels of trust in Sony’s digital infrastructure was so low that the company was forced to remove its entire organisation from the internet. The hack exposed Sony’s dependencies on the digital in not just its products, but in the ways it conducted business day-to-day. Many of the elements outlined above, like time cards, parking and building entry, and phone systems no longer worked.

The Sony attack also highlighted the business-critical – and highly fragile – nature of customers’ belief in an organisation’s digital capabilities. This particular cyber attack was so insidious and so powerful that it caused shattering damage to Sony customers’ confidence in the company – damage that has arguably not yet regained its pre-attack levels.

This is the notion of ‘digital trust’, a measure of consumers’ – or other businesses’ – trust in an organisation’s ability to protect their data. High levels of digital trust mean that an organisation is perceived to operate in the digital landscape with intelligence, efficiency and integrity. It is seen as a ‘safe pair of hands’, a reliable guardian not just of individuals’ contact details, banking information or passwords, but also of sensitive corporate information.

Digital trust is today’s leading corporate currency, the most valuable asset that a business can communicate to its shareholders and employers, its customers and even its competitors. Without digital trust, it fast becomes impossible for a company to interact with any of these parties.

There are two major facets of digital trust for you to consider for your business. The first is about process, and technology. Do you have the necessary tools in place to fully secure your network? Are you able to protect sensitive data not just in storage, but in transit? Can you protect yourself against malicious attacks as well as basic human error?

The second facet of digital trust is your ability to demonstrate and communicate the measures you have taken to secure precious information. It is no longer enough to simply tell stakeholders that their information is secure – you have to show them how you have done so.

Both facets have helped shape the development of Device Authority’s Data Encryption Security Platform. We ensure that data is protected from the point of creation, operating across all devices and existing platforms to deliver a complete data protection, privacy and encryption solution. It gives not just our customers, but also their customers complete peace of mind – ensuring that digital trust remains our customers’ number one asset.

Darron Antill