Today’s world is connected by the internet and networks. It is all around us. The boundaries between work and personal connectivity are blurring. Digital transformation is moving at a rapid pace, expanding the possibilities of connecting people, businesses and other things.

Digital trust is crucial against this background. Digital trust is essential for us to create, participate in, and grow the connected world we live in. It’s what allows us to feel secure online, whether we are conducting transactions or business transactions. The global cyber security landscape is becoming more complex due to the rapid growth of connectivity. India was the victim of over 18 million cyber-attacks in 2022. This included an average of almost 200,000 threats per day in the first three months. It is imperative that digital trust be built into complex IT architectures.

Cloud services, hybrid workloads, and IT/OT convergence are changing the way we think about what is connected. DevOps, CI/CD pipelines, and hybrid workloads have blurred boundaries between development and traditional IT operations. The pandemic has accelerated remote work and increased access to corporate facilities. Zero trust networks have significantly increased the number of items that must be authenticated or secured.

According to PwC’s 2022 Digital Trust insights Survey , 82% of Indian respondents predict a double-digit increase in cyber security budgets in 2022. This is compared with 26% globally.

Three key elements are the foundation of digital trust. The first is authentication of identity. This can be used for individuals, businesses, machines, workloads, containers, services, and more. Integrity is the assurance that an object was not altered. The last is encryption, which is basically securing data during transit.

These three elements allow us to verify that a website’s security is good, that an email has been authenticated, that a document signature is valid, and that the software is not compromised. They also confirm that a cloud-based software image is valid. This allows us to determine if an individual is truly who they claim to be. These elements are provided by digital certificates, which bind cryptographic private-public key pairs to identity. This public key infrastructure (PKI), helps organizations establish trust between people, systems, and things.

PKI is only the foundation. The four building blocks of digital trust are standards, compliance, operations, trust management, and connected trust.

Standards: These are the standards that define trust in a technology or industry.

Operations and compliance: These are the activities that build trust. Compliance refers to the collection of policies and audits that ensure that operations are conducted in accordance with the standards established by a governing body. Operation with datacenters at the core verify certificate status via OCSP and other protocols.

Trust management: More companies are relying on certificate management software and other software to manage their trust.

Trust in connected systems: Companies need to be able to trust more complex supply chains and ecosystems. For example, trust can be maintained throughout the device’s lifecycle, through a software supply chain, or by establishing digital rights provenance within a content community.

These building blocks with PKI as their foundation provide the trust fabric that allows us to work in the digital world.

Digital trust is therefore more than just the creation and management of digital certificates. It is an integral component of the security and risks function that protects the company against cybersecurity threats. It is an essential component of digital transformation. Companies can transfer important processes online and establish new forms of inter-organizational connection. It is vital for our connected future.

By Manali