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Forty-seven percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after losing trust in that company’s digital security, according to new research from certificate authority and cybersecurity vendor DigiCert.

The findings, which have been compiled in the company’s 2022 State of Digital Trust Survey, also revealed that 84% of customers would consider switching if they were to lose trust in a company, with 57% saying switching would be likely. The survey was administered as a phone and email survey to 400 enterprises and 400 consumers around the world.

As the IT attack surface continues to expand, digital trust is required by organizations for a number of use cases, including connected devices; user identity and access; data integrity; software security; email protection; and web and digital content integrity.

Furthermore, as customers become increasingly aware of the need for digital trust, and more than willing to switch vendors if they lose trust in an organization, companies that fail to strategically invest in digital trust will start to feel the impact on their bottom line, the survey points out.

The importance of digital trust

The survey’s findings clearly illustrate that the need for digital trust is more important than ever, with 100% of enterprises saying digital trust is important and 90% saying it is extremely important. Top reasons include the growing importance of data, an expanding threat surface, an increase in bad actors and pressure from customers.

Furthermore, two-thirds of enterprise respondents said they have switched vendors after losing trust in them, a scenario further illustrated by the fact 99% of enterprises believe it is possible that their customers would switch to a competitor if they lost their trust.

However, there’s a clear difference between how customers and enterprises perceive the digital trust of an organization. While 99% of enterprises said their customers have more confidence in the enterprise’s digital trust today than in the past, and 73% claim the level of customer trust to be significantly more, 54% of customers believe there is still room for enterprises to improve their digital trust.

This is likely due to the fact that 57% of consumer respondents had experienced a cybersecurity attack, including account hacks, password exposure, and bank or credit account theft. Consequently, 47% have stopped doing business with a company that lost their trust in the past .

How enterprises create digital trust

In addition to questions about the importance of digital trust, the survey also sought to determine how well respondents were implementing security practice to create digital trust. The research found that on average, organizations began working on digital trust two to three years ago and have implemented at least 75% of their planned digital trust security measures so far. The average organization expects to complete its digital trust journey in the next one to two years, with 100% of respondents acknowledging that digital trust was important for customer loyalty.

However, the road to digital trust is not always smooth sailing. The number one IT challenge cited was managing digital certificates, rated as important by 100% of enterprises, while regulatory compliance and handling the massive scope of what they are protecting was deemed important by 99% of respondents. Other challenges cited in the research included the difficulty of securing a complex dynamic, multivendor network, and a lack of staff expertise.

The report also p oint sout that many common security practices have yet to be implemented. While 74% of respondents said they have implemented device identity and operations security, just 58% have deployed zero trust policies; 55% have enacted certificate lifecycle management; 46% use PKI automation; and 42% devsecops.

For companies still looking for ways to improve digital trust, DigiCert recommends making it a strategic imperative securand recognizing the impact it has on business outcomes such as customer loyalty and revenue.

DigiCert said it’s also important to remember that digital trust awareness is rising among users and customers, meaning that your business success and reputation are directly tied an organization’s ability to ensure digital trust at a high level.

In comments posted alongside the report, Jason Sabin, CTO at DigiCert, said that digital trust isn’t just a buzzword, it provides organizations the freedom to fully participate in the digital world.

“It has become crucial to maintaining customer loyalty and the loss of it has a direct impact to the brand. If customers lose confidence in the digital trust competency of a vendor, they’ll eventually leave,” he said.

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