Technology Telesign Trust Index is a call to action for...

Telesign Trust Index is a call to action for any company that leaves cybersecurity aside


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The 2023 Telesign Trust Table of contents report shows how the alarming rise of digital fraud is jeopardizing customer confidence that brands are protecting their privacy. Digital trust is becoming increasingly fragile. The report highlights consumer concerns about digital fraud, their expectations of businesses, and the dire consequences for brands that fail to maintain consumer trust with a strong cybersecurity stance.

Maintaining trust is the cornerstone of business success in today’s digital economy. The insights provided by the Index should alarm any company that discounted or de-emphasized the value of a solid cybersecurity strategy to protect customer data. With the Trust Index predicting digital payment transactions to reach $2 billion by 2023 and $3.5 billion by 2027, businesses must face the growing threat of cybercrime, including digital fraud.

VentureBeat recently interviewed Telesign CEO Joe Burton about the report’s findings. “Ninety-four percent of consumers said cyberfraud is the problem of the brand, the company,” said Burton. “Not only do you have to protect them, but you have to take them on a journey and make them feel good. It is an opportunity to actually deepen the brand relationship instead of losing it.”

He added: “A third of everyone we spoke to admitted to being a victim. More than half of the victims said they lost money, and a third of the victims said they lost more than $1,000.”


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Closing the trust gap should be a high priority

PwC’s 2023 trust Questionnaire reinforces Burton’s insights. Nine in 10 executives say building and maintaining trust improves business results, and 92% agree that companies are responsible for building trust. Yet PwC discovered a significant gap between how trustworthy executives think their company is and what customers believe. Eighty-four percent of business leaders think customers have a high level of trust in their company, but only 27% of customers say the same.

Closing that gap must start by prioritizing the security and privacy of customer data while delivering an intuitive experience across every app and platform.

To close the trust gap between executives' perceptions of trust in their companies and the actual trust of customers, brands need to scale cybersecurity, zero-trust, and authentication strategies.  Source: PWC
To close the trust gap between executives’ perceptions of trust in their companies and the actual trust of customers, brands need to scale cybersecurity, zero-trust, and authentication strategies. Source: PWC

Digital fraud widens the gap PwC discovered. And the Telesign Trust Index 2023 shows what happens when companies do nothing to protect their customers.

Here are the main highlights of the Index, followed by a practical roadmap any company can follow to maintain and grow confidence:

Consumers are massively of the opinion that companies, not individuals, should protect their digital privacy. Ninety-four percent of consumers surveyed agreed that companies have a responsibility to protect consumers’ digital privacy. Consumers are seeing the scope and complexity of digital fraud increase rapidly. Half of the consumers surveyed were concerned about toll fraud and other forms of digital fraud, which they say has increased significantly over the past two years. Nearly a quarter of consumers say they would rather be audited by the IRS, or never eat chocolate again, than fall victim to digital fraud.

Consumers pay a high price for digital fraud, both financially and psychologically. Thirty percent of consumers surveyed reported being victims of fraud in the past three years, and 61% reported financial losses, with a third of victims reporting a loss of more than $1,000. Even more troubling is the emotional and psychological toll digital fraud takes on victims. Four in ten mention mental health problems and 44% characterize the incident as hurting them.

Breaches and data breaches quickly erode consumer loyalty and trust. A hefty 43% of data breach victims personally stopped using the brand altogether. Forty-four percent of consumers who were victims of a trademark infringement told friends and family not to associate with the trademark. One in three victims shared the incident on social media, reinforcing negative brand perception.

Drawing up a practical step-by-step plan

Telesign’s Trust Index suggests that a practical roadmap is needed to prevent fraud, protect user data and privacy, and maintain consumer trust. Maintaining trust requires company-wide cybersecurity and digital fraud prevention. Organizing strategies according to the threats they address is the first step, shown in the following table:

Source: VentureBeat analysis

Fighting digital fraud: a perfect use case for machine learning

Burton told VentureBeat, “Customers are fine with friction if they understand it’s there to keep them safe. So the idea that you should never be asked for a password, never for two-factor authentication, should never be asked for more information – it’s how you do it that matters.”

Balancing heightened cybersecurity with a more intuitive user experience is key to building consumer trust. Rather than brutally forcing consumers to authenticate themselves with a series of questions that many forget after first filling out the security parameters of a particular application, Burton believes machine learning can help deliver a more intuitive, trust-inspiring experience. Many authentication approaches assume a breach first, creating roadblocks for consumers who simply want to log in and conduct business, get support, or ask questions.

Burton said these experiences can be made more intuitive and brands can make the login experience more secure and faster by leveraging a deep, rich, machine learning-powered digital identity system like Telesign’s. He said he sees machine learning-driven digital identity systems helping to stop fake accounts, reduce onboarding issues, reduce account takeovers and reduce promotion abuse. He cites his company’s use of machine learning as key to running real-time risk scoring that can identify malicious activity and alert threat analysts immediately so they can reduce attacks in the future.

Cybersecurity is a business decision

Telesign’s Trust Index quantifies the downside of disrespecting trust as a revenue and growth accelerator. The cautionary findings show why having a practical roadmap to improve cybersecurity is essential to generating revenue now and in the future.

More CISOs are quantifying the impact of cybersecurity and zero-trust investments on revenue and profit growth – and see their contributions as a greater opportunity for promotion to board positions. CISOs who have been careful about quantifying the revenue impact of their many initiatives and projects should take Telesign’s report as a call to action. Reducing e-crime and fraud is a great place to start because it goes to the heart of their ability to deliver consistent, trusted experiences to consumers, the foundation of any business growth.

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.


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