Last year, no business conversation was complete without someone using the words "digital transformation." This year the essential phrase appears to be "digital trust." But what does digital trust actually mean and how does it affect the cybersecurity landscape?

In simple terms, digital trust can be defined as the confidence people have in an organization’s ability to keep their digital data secure and to handle it with integrity and accountability. Digital trust is seen as critical to the long-term success of enterprises in a connected world.

What does digital trust mean for cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity has evolved around the need to protect data, devices, networks and processes in the digital world. For the industry, digital trust essentially means two things: a need to build trust in a company’s digital operations, and the ability to ensure they can enable digital trust for you.

Building trust

In the beginning, it was all about computer security confined largely to the IT team. As organizations became more digital and began to understand the value of data, protection evolved into information security, with business-literate security teams and Chief Information Security Officers. Now that connectivity is pervasive and embedded, security is all about trust and integrity, and your role is to build and maintain digital trust across the business and to manage risk and mitigate the impact of cyberthreats.

In other words, in today’s ultra-connected world, cybersecurity is no longer simply about protecting hardware and software, but about safeguarding your digital organization and the vast volumes of data it creates.

As a result, the role and responsibility of cybersecurity has changed. Security now sits at the very heart of a customer’s business, and you should trust your vendor.

Building trust in cybersecurity vendors

The journey to being trustworthy is inevitable in an online world increasingly challenged by uncertainty, headline making cyber-attacks and criminal scams. Regardless of the security provider your company chooses, you deserve to know that your important information is in safe hands.

For individual security vendors this requires they be open about products and processes, and being able to provide evidence of their integrity. This means making source and update code, processes etc., accessible for review by others, despite the potential risks. This gives external sources clear visibility, and strengthens trust for the vendor. We see a continuous and growing interest from businesses to learn more about how our security products work and how our data is processed.

Building trust in an industry

The actions of individual companies are important, but they will not be enough on their own. We also need to come together as an industry to build a common framework for digital trust that works across all borders and boundaries. To establish, agree and abide by universal standards of performance, data handling and more. This will not happen overnight, but every step in the right direction will make a difference.

Last, we need to ensure people understand what we do, and why we do it. This includes the type of data that is or is not collected, why security solutions access the core systems, how data is processed and more.

Whether the term "digital trust" is a passing buzzword or an enduring business requirement, it is important because of what it represents: that the need to transparently prove security, reliability and integrity in a hyper-connected world, is real and important. We believe this idea sets the bar for what you should expect from our industry.