What is Digital Trust?

Digital Trust is a concept that enables users to carry out business transactions in a safe, secure, ethical and reliable manner.

In a digital world, everything is ultra-fast and instantaneous. Agility, and speed are perhaps the two key benefits of living in an all-digital world and are probably the most desirable qualities of a digital interaction. However, the digital nature of today’s businesses has brought about significant changes in business models, technology enablers and customer expectations. Amidst all these rapid changes, if there is one thing that has remained constant, it is the need for trust. However, the concept of trust was different in a physical world, and it is more fluid and continues to evolve in a digital world.

Trust underpins the success of every business, traditional or new age. Each transaction and interaction on a personal, societal and business level requires the establishment of trust. With the advent of digital disruption, the lines between digital and physical worlds begin to blur, and the contextual definition of trust also evolves accordingly. Unlike in the physical world, trust in the digital world must be established spontaneously between entities that often are unrelated to each other, and this trust must be constantly examined and re-established during the course of the interaction.

Conventional models of trust are not flexible enough to meet the demanding requirements of digital interactions due to the high number of different relationships — often sporadic and short-lived — between different people, businesses, things, AI programs, machine learning algorithms and other entities.  Digital Trust is an evolution of traditional models of trust to cover a larger set of requirements of digital businesses by arriving at levels of measurable confidence to make risk-based decisions.

For enterprises, Digital Trust needs to be an all-encompassing concept, being multi-directional, and multi-dimensional. This means for a business to establish great levels of Digital Trust, it needs to demonstrate trust between consumers, shareholders, partners, vendors and governing bodies. More importantly, this trust needs to be multi-directional, meaning it is as important for enterprises to be able to trust their consumers as it is for consumers to trust the enterprise.

Currently, Digital Trust covers six key areas, namely, privacy, security, identity, predictability, risk mitigation and data integrity.

Privacy: The ability to carry out a transaction while not dipping into personal information that is not necessary for the transaction.

Security: The ability to carry out a transaction in a manner that protects the infrastructure and data of the transacting parties from malicious threats.

Identity: The ability to protect the true identity of the stakeholders of a transaction unless it is exposed with the full consent of the entity.

Predictability: The ability to be able to extract meaningful insights and make scientific forecasts, to foresee business risks and support planning.

Risk Mitigation: The ability to identify, evaluate, and prioritize risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities.

Data Integrity: The maintenance of, and the assurance of the accuracy and consistency of data over its entire lifecycle.

Given the market dynamics where trust is at an all time low, businesses can truly unlock their potential by focusing on the above mentioned tenets of Digital Trust.

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