Digital trust in a hyperconnected and fragmented world | HCLTech

Digital trust in a hyperconnected and fragmented world

In an increasingly uncertain world, organizations must drive digital trust and inclusion for a more secure future
4 minutes read
Nicholas Ismail
Nicholas Ismail
Global Head of Brand Journalism, HCLTech
4 minutes read
Digital trust in a hyperconnected and fragmented world

“Continuing geopolitical conflicts and economic inequality are casting a long shadow over digital trust,” said Jagadeshwar (Jags) Gattu, President, Digital Foundation Services at HCLTech, during a video podcast at the World Economic Forum’s 2024 Annual Meeting.

These factors, combined with increasing cyberattacks, create a complex risk environment in the digital ecosystem.

Today, cyberattacks are at unprecedented levels, with the global cost of cybercrime expected to rise to $23.84 trillion by 2027, according to data from Statista, the FBI and IMF.

This increase in attacks against the individual, organizations and critical infrastructure is causing an erosion of digital trust, which is further amplified by geopolitical conflicts, economic inequality and lack of digital inclusion.

Digital trust is the confidence people have in technology and processes, while digital inclusion refers to providing access to technology for all demographics. Both are fundamental in shaping a secure and equitable society.

Digital trust in a hyperconnected world

Defining digital trust in the context of a hyperconnected world, Gattu said: “Digital trust is an assurance that digital transactions and interactions are handled in a secure, reliable, private and ethical manner.”

“For enterprises, they want to make sure that there is integrity in terms of their data operations, while also following cybersecurity best practices.”

“In a hyperconnected world, digital trust is important, not just from a security perspective, but also from sustaining the relationships, avoiding reputational damage and driving business success,” he added.

The importance of digital inclusion

A report from Berkley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity found that “‘underserved residents generally suffer from low levels of confidence in their ability to protect themselves online and have low trust in technology companies to secure their data. As a result, they are deterred from using online services, such as banking or social services, that can bring important economic and social benefits.”’

In addition, this group that lacks digital skills is most likely to be an easy target for online scams.

“Digital inclusion plays a very important role in terms of [bringing people into the digital ecosystem] and then giving assurance to these individuals who are consuming digital services,” said Gattu.

He added: “It’s about how we provide access and bring everyone to the same table. It’s important to get everyone onto the same table, so they have access to digital education and are involved in the development of digital policies. This fosters digital trust.”

Collaboration is key

The erosion of digital trust through a lack of digital inclusion or an increase in cyberattacks on critical infrastructure can be addressed through collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Gattu pointed to the recent Working Arrangement signed by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the US, to enhance the exchange of best practices, improve capacity-building and boost situational awareness.

Such collaborations are fundamental in improving cybersecurity resilience and driving digital trust.

However, as a closing thought, Gattu emphasized that more needs to be done. “There needs to be more partnerships and collaborations across the public and private sectors to avoid some of these cyberattacks. We’ve taken the first steps and I’m looking forward to seeing where international collaboration can increase in the near future.”

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