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 organisation, 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 organisations recognise that digital trust matters.

Philip Whitmore, KPMG New Zealand Cyber Security Partner, commented:

“Each digital initiative an organisation embarks on presents new risks as well as new opportunities. If organisations don’t manage those risks well, the trust that has taken years to build can be destroyed in a nano-second.

“It is pleasing to see that New Zealand executives acknowledge these risks, and furthermore, that 77% of New Zealand Executives see cyber security as a strategic function. But we still need to mature our cyber security practices. Too often the immature cyber security practices of New Zealand organisations are undermining all the good things we do.”

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 organisations 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.

Philip Whitmore added:

“CISOs understand their responsibilities, but outside of the large public sector agencies and large banks, rarely do New Zealand organisations have a CISO, even on a part time basis. Where there is a CISO, our research shows that many are struggling to fulfil the responsibilities. This could be because the organisation they are in lacks a clear vision of what digital trust really means and the difference it can make.

“CISOs are optimally placed to help their organisations navigate these challenging waters but the role of the CISO needs to evolve. CISOs need stronger support from senior leaders. They need to be empowered to deliver change, collaborate with the wider ecosystem, and build internal alliances – the CISO is key to building digital trust.”

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

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