Let’s Talk About Trust - Digital Trust

Digital Trust is a term used more and more in discussion on online security and data protection. Join us in exploring what it means, who we can use as a point of reference and if there is a real need for it in our current environment.

Reading time: 4 minutes
By Eliatra
Digital Trust is a term used more and more in discussion on online security and data protection. Join us in exploring what it means, who we can use as a point of reference and if there is a real need for it in our current environment.

Security Before Trust

In order for technology to be trusted, it must first be secure. And where handling data is concerned, it must be used responsibly. In our day to day lives, Digital Trust is the level of trust customers have in service providers, employees have in the companies they work for and business partners place in each other. Are the networks we use secure enough? Are the systems and infrastructure of my bank safe? Who’s responsibility is it to make sure everything is protected and secure?

What is Digital Trust Exactly?

Digital Trust at its core is the level of confidence users place in companies, institutions and organisations to provide safe and secure digital environments.The guiding principle being that all transactions done through digital technology should be protected. Digital trust applies to everything in the sense of technology, both new and old, and the use of data itself. Unsurprisingly, the firms with the higher levels of Digital trust, will be the go-to choice for consumers.

The User Comes First

Customer attitudes about privacy policies, data security and the level of threat to their personal information are shifting. And compliance requirements as well as data privacy threats are far more common than anyone would assume or like. We can all agree that it is in everyones interest to improve trustworthiness in digital technologies that we heavily rely on in todays world.
From a user or customer perspective, the general concerns are clear and concise; Personal information should be protected against theft and should not be used for activities not clearly consented to, legally or otherwise. If data is misused, there should be clear accountability. Responsibility should be taken and corrective actions implemented if data is lost or mishandled. The number of incidences reported is rising, promoting distrust and so companies must do their part in reassuring their users that data is safe and secure.

Global Digital Trust?

As of yet, there is no global definition or guidelines for Digital Trust. However we do have a set of quasi golden rules:
    Security has to be implemented where the data lives.
    Any data that moves across the wire has to be encrypted.
    A user should not be responsible for implementing access control and data encryption.
    The code of any security software has to be open by definition so security audits can be run.
If these were adopted worldwide, levels of Digital Trust would increase promptly. After all there is a difference between trust that has to be earned and simply faith that everything will be good.

Who to Trust?

As with everything, some organisations do it better than others. Three great examples of institutions we trust in are:
IT Security Association Germany teletrust.de, a widespread competence network for IT security with a broad range of members and partner organisations TeleTrusT embodies the largest competence network for IT security in Germany and Europe.
Nouvelle-Aquitaine Open Source (NAOS) is a regional skills cluster for free and open source software and technologies. Its objective is to promote the development of an economic sector for free and open source technologies in the New Aquitaine region.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organisation defending civil liberties in the digital world. EFF’s mission is to ensure that technology supports freedom, justice, and innovation for all people of the world.

All About People

As with many things, trust at it’s core is about people. Great customer experience comes from real people, just as teamwork comes from real people. For us Digital Trust starts with our team, and continues to offering security for safe and secure products we believe in. There are many more trustworthy organisations out there, and many on going discussions concerning Digital Trust itself. We are here for open discussions and interested to watch the development of online security this year.
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