Digital Trust creates widening gap between businesses

Photo by Sora Shimazaki

DigiCert, Inc. has released its 2024 State of Digital Trust Survey in APAC that checks in on how enterprises around the world are managing digital trust in their organizations.

While digital trust overwhelmingly remains a critical focus for all enterprises, the latest report shines a light on the growing divide between the ‘leaders’ –those who are getting it right, and the ‘laggards’ — those who are struggling.   

The difference between leaders and laggards revealed some clues and potential best practices when it comes to digital trust. The top 33% digital trust ‘leaders’ enjoyed higher revenue, better digital innovation and higher employee productivity.

They could respond more effectively to outages and incidents, were generally better prepared for Post Quantum Cryptography and were more readily taking advantage of the benefits of the IoT. Meanwhile, the bottom 33% ‘laggards’ performed comparatively poorly in all those categories and found it harder to reap the benefits of digital innovation.

In addition, the leaders were more likely to centrally manage their certificates, more likely to employ email authentication and encryption (S/MIME) technology, and generally employed more mature practices in digital trust management.

The 2024 survey included a series of questions to determine how well (or poorly) each respondent was doing across a wide range of digital trust metrics. After the scores were totaled, the respondents were split into three groups: leaders, laggards, and those in the middle. Comparing the results between leaders, laggards, and those in the middle, notable differences emerged:

Leaders exhibit far fewer issues on core enterprise systems (no system outages, few data breaches, and no compliance or legal issues) and experienced no IoT compliance issues, whereas half (50%) of the laggards did so.

Leaders also have significantly fewer issues due to software trust mishaps–for example, none of the leaders experienced compliance issues or software supply chain compromises, compared to 23% and 77% of the laggards, respectively.

Key highlights from APAC include:

In the Asia Pacific region specifically, 83% of the leaders did not have compliance issues versus 80% of the laggards. Similarly, 67% of leaders didn’t experience software supply chain compromises versus 20% of the laggards.

The survey unveiled that APAC organizations prioritizing digital trust are better poised to confront the imminent threat of quantum computing. 56% of leaders are prepared for Post Quantum Computing, a stark contrast to the 7% among laggards.

Furthermore, 88% of leaders anticipate being ready to tackle this threat within 1 to 3 years, compared to only 34% of laggards confident about achieving preparedness within the same timeframe.

The survey underscores a strong focus on digital trust among organizations in the APAC region. Key drivers include the surge in remote workers and increasing customer demand for digital trust. Other factors include the growing significance of data and the expanding threat landscape.

“In the Asia Pacific region, digital trust is not merely a trend but a fundamental requirement in today’s evolving landscape,” said Armando Dacal, Group Vice President APJ at DigiCert.

“Our survey findings underscore the crucial role of digital trust in driving organizational success, with leaders demonstrating superior performance across key metrics. To thrive in this dynamic environment, enterprises must prioritize digital trust as a strategic imperative.”

“As the threat landscape continues to expand, so does the gap between organizations who are leading the way in digital trust and those who are falling behind,” said Jason Sabin, CTO at DigiCert. 

“Those who fall within the ‘leaders’ group and those who are a ‘laggard’ are well aware of who they are. The danger, however, is those organizations who fall in the middle and are not taking action due to a false sense of security.”

“For organizations to be champions of digital trust, they must understand and actively implement the structure, processes, and activities that make it possible,” said Jennifer Glenn, Research Director, Security and Trust Group, IDC. 

“This includes keeping up with changes to industry standards, maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements in each geography, managing the life cycle of digital trust technologies, and extending trust into digital ecosystems.

“Companies that focus their efforts on digital trust — and make it a strategic imperative for the business — the benefits are notable, including reliable uptime, reduced risk of data compromise, and improved user trust.”