Rise of the Chief Trust Officer Shows Value of Digital Trust

ISACA has launched a framework and portfolio of resources providing enterprises with tools to grow trustworthiness and reputation to tackle the trust gap

Salesforce is the latest of many companies to hire a Chief Trust Officer as organisations globally recognise the effect of trust on business goals. The company named Brad Arkin, previously Chief Security & Trust Officer at Cisco, to focus on working with customers, partners and the company’s extended ecosystem to prioritise trust and security in an AI-first world. 

Last year saw the explosive growth of AI-powered services aimed at helping companies supercharge productivity. But a trust gap remains, with a majority of businesses and customers expressing concern about the unethical use and security risks of the technology. 

This is backed by State of Digital Trust research from global IS/IT association ISACA which reveals IT professionals say the benefits of high levels of digital trust include enhancing positive reputation (67%), having more reliable data for decision-making (57%), and experiencing fewer privacy breaches and fewer cybersecurity incidents (56%). 

More than half of organisations (55%) believe it is extremely or very important to have a digital trust framework.

The rising importance of digital trust 

Digital trust is defined as the confidence in the integrity of the relationships, interactions and transactions within an associated digital ecosystem. An early look at ISACA’s research, which explores attitudes of digital trust, uncovers the benefits of digital trust including: an enhanced positive reputation (71%), more reliable data for decision-making (60%), and fewer privacy breaches (60%) and fewer cybersecurity incidents (59%), and stronger customer loyalty (56%).

ISACA is meeting these needs by launching a Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework (DTEF) designed to help businesses focus on trust by securely leveraging technology, increasing collaboration, reducing reaction times to unforeseen events, focusing on brand management and improving financial performance through enhanced trust.

“High levels of digital trust ultimately improve financial performance by lowering the risk of impact of data and cyber breaches and associated regulatory fines,” said Shannon Donahue, ISACA Chief Content and Publishing Officer. “Organisations can also see greater gains from responsible digital investments, and the Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework helps with both of these.”

The Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework (DTEF) and portfolio of resources helps organisations understand the practices they can undertake to increase their trustworthiness and reputation by addressing the key components of digital trust: integrity, security, privacy, resilience, quality, reliability and confidence.

“Strengthening digital trust is not just a one-time exercise, but a continuous practice of proactive relationship building between enterprises and stakeholders that is both responsible and profitable while also addressing underlying ethical questions,” says Rolf von Roessing, member of the ISACA Digital Trust Working Group and lead developer of the framework, and partner and CEO at FORFA Consulting AG. “Having a framework to guide organisations as they integrate trustworthiness into their technology and business operations ensures that they are covering all ground, minimising risk and maximising impact.” 

“In a tech and business landscape that is transforming quicker than ever, digital trust is a key differentiator in advancing resilience, reputation, and ultimately, organisational success,” says Erik Prusch, ISACA CEO. “Implementing digital trust practices must be intentional, and ISACA is equipping enterprises with transformational tools to build trust with their stakeholders and see a positive impact.”


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