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It seems we hear new stories about cybercrime every day. The stories range from huge ransomware attacks on hospitals to city infrastructure being compromised. It might seem like this isn’t something that you and your business need to worry about, but it matters more each day.
Customers need to know that your business (and by extension, their data) is safe and secure when they’re doing business with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small ecommerce or a large sports organization. Trust matters.
What is digital trust?
Digital trust is creating confidence among customers, users, and employees that their data and information are protected. This means that you’ve got systems in place to ensure that nothing goes wrong (as much as possible) and that you have processes to manage anything that does go wrong.
Typically, this breaks down into four parts that sort of build off each other:
- Industry standards – Regulations and government rules that are in place for any given industry that ensure data is protected (think HIPAA).
- Compliance – These are the internal structures that exist to ensure that regulations are followed.
- Management – Tools and processes that help you stay compliant.
- Ecosystem management – This ensures that everything is covered, from networks and cloud storage to any personal devices staff may use to do their jobs.
How does digital trust impact your business?
The big thing with digital trust is that it tells your customers that you’re doing everything in your power to keep their data and personal information safe. People hesitate to use a service or pay a business if they’ve been the victim of a cybercrime because it seems like you weren’t doing everything you can to keep things safe, even if you were.
At the end of the day, you can think of digital trust as proactive reputation management. Rather than waiting until something happens to repair the damage, you get ahead of the problem and try to prevent it from happening.
People will not buy from you (or use your services) if they don’t feel like they can trust your business.
Along with costing your current customers, a loss of digital trust can impact future sales, as well. It’s a long, hard, expensive process to undo the damage of even a single cybercrime.
On the flip side of that, you can use digital trust to set yourself apart from competitors who aren’t doing as much or who have had a recent data breach.
What can you do to build digital trust with your customers?
The good news is that it’s never too late to start building digital trust (unless you’ve already had a breach). The sooner you start, the better. Ideally, you’ll already have some pieces of this in place, things like regulatory compliance can’t be ignored for example. In some instances, it can be more of a matter of building on that and creating greater trust.
AI is just about everywhere these days, and for good reason. The technology behind it is getting better all the time. AI has always played at least some role in data protection and digital trust. That role has gotten bigger over the last few years, though, as the tech has improved.
These days AI can monitor your systems for just about everything, both good and bad. It can be used to detect actual users from bots, identify images that have been doctored, and even unusual behavior from authorized users. On top of that, it can be used to validate information at scale and in real time. You know immediately if something isn’t right.
You still need to have humans involved, but AI can be everywhere in a way that people just can’t. We’re limited to the information that’s being provided to us, whereas AI theoretically sees everything at once.
The easiest way to think of data trusts is to think of them like a bank, only they manage data instead of money. With data trusts, you’re using another entity, a third party, to manage and make decisions about how data is handled.
Similar to the way that a bank handles your money, digital trusts are tasked with ensuring that everything is safe, secure, compliant, and governed using best practices. What makes data trusts particularly nice is that they take care of everything for you. Rather than having a team getting bogged down in the finer details of data management, you have an outside source who specializes in keeping data safe and building digital trust.
This doesn’t necessarily help protect your on-site systems, but it does keep your data safe.
Managed service providers (MSPs)
MSPs are similar to data trusts, in that they’ll manage things for you, but the big difference is that an MSP will take care of everything, not just your data.
With an MSP, you get a full team of security and compliance experts who come in, look at your business, and do what’s needed to ensure everything is safe. Once the basic protections are in place, MSPs can also take care of monitoring, coming up with crisis response plans, and helping you look to the future, to help you keep your data protected in a way that reflects the trends of both regulatory bodies and cybercriminals.
Want to learn more about building digital trust?
If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to not only create systems that can be trusted but also to let your customers (and potential customers) know how safe their data is, let’s talk. Our security experts have more than two decades’ worth of experience and know what it takes to protect businesses across a wide range of industries. And, because of their experience, they can spot trends and get ahead of new issues before they become huge problems.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build strong digital trust with your customers.