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Tuesday, December 6, 2022 | 09:16 am

As Expectations for Privacy and Cybersecurity Rise, Digital Trust Is Important

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As Expectations for Privacy and Cybersecurity Rise, Digital Trust Is Important

As organizations place advanced data and sophisticated analytics at the heart of their operations and reshape customer experiences with innovative digital services, new cybersecurity, and privacy challenges are emerging that are requiring corporate leaders to take digital trust seriously.

Building and protecting trust is now integral to how businesses operate and interact with stakeholders. KPMG’s 2022 ‘Cyber Trust Insights report has surveyed 1,881 executives to outline five key steps to building trust through cybersecurity and privacy.

In terms of the trust, brands across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are witnessing firsthand, cybersecurity plays a key role in helping to ensure businesses are respected as trustworthy entities, survey resulted in 83% believing that protecting IT assets from attack is the most important strategy for creating trust inside and outside the business.

Weaving cybersecurity and privacy into the fabric of the organization, building internal alliances, evolving the role of the CISO, securing the support of leadership, and collaborating with other partners in the corporate ecosystem is key to increased trust. And with that trust comes improved profitability – according to more than a third of respondents – along with better customer retention and stronger commercial relationships. Innovation, talent retention, and an increased market share are also possible if organizations recognize that digital trust matters.

Akhilesh Tuteja, KPMG’s Cyber Security Practice Leader, commented:  “Each new data activity that an organization embarks on exposes them to potential vulnerabilities and risks that should be guarded against to maintain trust.

“Executives are starting to acknowledge these risks – many of our respondents (78 percent) agree that new technologies [such as AI and machine learning] come with unique, and often ill-understood, cybersecurity and trust challenges. If these challenges aren’t adequately addressed, the risk to an organization can be extreme.”

Digital transformation is well underway across every industry, with businesses overhauling their technology. According to KPMG’s Global Tech Report, 61 percent of businesses expect to embrace disruptive new tech platforms within two years and, over the next three years, say they will increasingly ramp up their digital investments. KPMG’s research and perspective outline that for these new emerging technologies to be adopted successfully, businesses must be able to instill trust.

Over 80% of executives understand the importance of improving cybersecurity and data protection to secure stakeholder trust. They are also looking to their CISOs to be a champion of digital trust.

Nizar Hneini, KPMG in Qatar, Partner and Head of Digital and Innovation added:  “Although Digital Transformation provides benefits to our societies, it simultaneously sheds an increased risk from the various cyber threats we face. Protecting ourselves, our families, businesses, and communities against the looming cyber-attacks requires awareness. At KPMG, we help our clients and communities develop cyber capabilities to enhance their Digital Trust through significant awareness.”

CISOs themselves know what is at stake and although many have the confidence of their employers, others do not have the mandate to fulfill their objectives in building stakeholder trust. Almost two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) say that information security is seen by their organizations as a risk-reduction activity, rather than a business enabler. And 57 percent of global say that senior leaders do not understand the competitive benefits that are possible due to enhanced trust that is enabled by better information security. Whereas, according to the data collected from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, 77% of respondents have claimed that increasing trust across the stakeholder spectrum is riving their cyber-risk programs.

Rami Hasan, KPMG in Qatar, Director of Advisory commented:  “We live in unprecedented times, barely taking our breath from COVID to be faced with global polarization and geopolitics carrying a potentially catastrophic impact. Cyber has been and will continue to be a critical domain that can be used to either save or severely harm us.”

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