Stop what you’re doing. It’s time to fix the digital trust gap

Consumer digital trust is flagging, so it’s time for businesses to take proactive steps to restore trust and increase their revenue potential.

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee, or rather smell the dust as your customers run for the exit…

Why? Because, as a recent survey commissioned by CA Technologies shows, consumer digital trust is lower than businesses think.

Put simply, digital trust is the confidence placed in an organisation to collect, store and use digital information in an appropriate way. The survey unearthed a massive 19-point perception gap between actual levels of consumer digital trust and what businesses perceived it to be. That means businesses currently think consumers trust them much more than they actually do.

This matters because the revenue potential for businesses that have high levels of consumer digital trust is much higher than the potential for those that have lower levels of trust. Case in point, a staggering 43 percent of consumers say they stopped using the services of at least one organisation because of a data breach.

So, what’s the solution? How can businesses go about building higher levels of consumer trust? Here are three steps to get you started:

 

  1. Make security a priority – and communicate this to your customers

 

Clear, well communicated security policies must be at the core of your business. That means ditching many commonly held assumptions about what customers want, including prioritising security over convenience during the authentication process.

Interestingly, consumers, cybersecurity professionals and business executives have differing opinions here. While 85 percent of consumers want the companies they use to put security before convenience, only 57 percent of cybersecurity professionals and 56 percent of business executives think this is what their customers want.

Once the right security policies are in place, it pays to communicate them effectively. Sixty eight percent of consumers said being provided with easily accessible and understandable information increases trust in an organisation. However, many businesses are not taking advantage of this, as less than 50 percent of consumers felt they were receiving this information.

 

  1. Tell your customers what you’re doing with PII

 

The Cambridge Analytica scandal – among others – brought home the importance of personally identifiable information (PII) – this includes your name, address and financial information. Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on 25th May 2018, imposes rules on storing and processing PII.

While GDPR only spans EU and EEA countries, businesses in other parts of the world should take note. Even if your company isn’t based in an EU or EEA country, if you do business with or engage with these countries covered by GDPR, you are also subject to these rules. Our survey results reflect consumer attitudes globally, suggesting that implementing strict data privacy regulations and improved communication with customers on how their data is being collected, stored and used is a winner wherever you operate.

 

  1. Attacks happen, so make sure you’re prepared

 

Unfortunately, the bottom line is that cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are not likely to stop anytime soon.

That is why organisations should still prepare for the worst and ensure that they have the technical capacity to deal with potential security breaches.

This includes investing in secure technologies and having a team that can deal with cyberattacks to ensure minimal damage. Consumers want to see that attacks are dealt with efficiently and that their PII is safe.

Time to throw out your assumptions

It’s time for businesses to listen up and ditch the stereotype-ridden rulebook when it comes to consumer attitudes to data protection. Today’s end users are informed operators who have shown a willingness to look elsewhere when the security of their data is compromised. So be prepared to act now, or else keep one eye on your rear-view mirror as your competitors speed past… and don’t be surprised if many of your customers are on board with them.


Danilo Labovic
Danilo Labovic is Vice President, Security, EMEA, and is responsible for helping CA Technologies customers…

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