As organisations 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.

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 are 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.

Ilyaaz Hoosain, Advisory Associate Director at KPMG in Bahrain, commented:

“In an uncertain constantly shifting marketplace, building, and protecting a sense of trust requires every part of the organization to work together to deliver a consistent vision. Now that we live in a digitized world, systems should be resilient, dependable, and able to respond quickly in the face of disruption. Whether you are a customer or client who wants to feel safe when transacting with the organization, cybersecurity and privacy have a key role to play in building and maintaining that trust. I am glad to see many of the businesses I work with in Bahrain are prioritizing digitalization and cybersecurity on their boards’ agenda.”

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 outlines 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 securing stakeholder trust. They are also looking to their CISOs to be a champion of digital trust.

CISOs themselves know what is at stake and although many have the confidence of their employers, others do not have a mandate to fulfil 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 say that senior leaders do not understand the competitive benefits that are possible due to enhanced trust that is enabled by better information security.

To read KPMG’s 2022 ‘Cyber Trust Insights’ report and important perspectives from industry experts, please visit the website.