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How The Digital Experience Affects Brand Reputation: The PwC 2022 Global Digital Trust Insights Report

As the online world becomes more all-encompassing, the opportunities for cybercriminals only increase, along with the risks to brand reputation. Consumers implicitly trust that the companies they do business with are secure. The PwC 2022 Global Digital Trust Insights Report¹ suggests this trust is misplaced.


With 2021 “shaping up to be one of the worst on record for cybersecurity”, the damage to some brands’ reputations will be catastrophic. Particularly given, as PwC notes, “many of the breaches we’re seeing are still preventable with sound cyber practices and strong controls”. A 2021 report found that “in 93% of cases², an external attacker can breach an organization's network perimeter and gain access to local network resources”.

Organisations need to act now or suffer the consequences later.

Why cyber awareness is so important for a brand’s digital experience

Any data breach or cyber attack can have extensive legal, reputational, and financial repercussions. According to a Ponemon report³, the average financial cost of a data breach in 2022 will be USD 4.35m. Reputational cost can be far greater.

A brand’s digital experience is only as good as its cyber readiness. Fall foul of a data breach or cyber attack and customers can lose more than just their confidence. We take a look at this latest report and what companies can do via their employee and customer digital experience to protect themselves and their reputations.

The importance of getting the CEO on board with cyber security and privacy

The chief executive of a company will define company culture so if they are not adequately focussed on the digital experience and security the brand can suffer.

The report found a gap between how many CEOs perceive they treat security as a priority and how those beneath them perceive their engagement, finding that often it’s only after an event they become actively involved.

“Executives in most regions and industries say the most important act for a more secure digital society by 2030 is educating CEOs and boards so they can better fulfill their cyber duties and responsibilities”.

Encouraging the CEO to lead with a view to security as a cornerstone of company values and implementing the right systems and procedures should serve to improve a brand’s digital experience.

CISOs must engage with the business to protect brand reputation

Chief Information Security Officers can often find themselves on the outside of the business. Engaging with and understanding both the business itself and the needs and expectations of the CEO, but also the workforce must be a top priority.

If your organization provides digital services to customers, bringing the product manager and the CISO together is key. This will help build a solution that is not only secure, but which delivers a seamless experience to customers.

Why organisational complexity increases cyber risks and threatens brand reputation

As companies grow they naturally tend to become more complex. Complex, interdependent systems create greater risks.

Legacy systems can be difficult to integrate, manage, and defend. Siloed business divisions can use different products and services.

PwC notes that less-established companies and those that work online-only tend to use newer, more integrated technology. Simplify your business to address security issues.

1. Complex systems cause problems

Organisations with excessively complex systems and processes will find it almost impossible to protect themselves effectively. Taking a top-down approach will pay dividends, starting, as the report suggests, with the CEO.

Finding ways to simplify company structure and processes from a cyber-security perspective, rather than just for the sake of it, should be encouraged. However, only 35% of the PwC survey’s respondents had done anything about streamlining their operations.

2. The right digital experiences enhance brand reputation

With digital experiences brands can save money and boost productivity while improving customer experience and consequently brand loyalty. They also provide useful data that can inform future opportunities. But more automation and more data collected exposes companies to more risk.

How cyber-security solutions can enhance customer and employee experiences

Greater security for logging into apps, and so on, used to significantly diminish user experience. Remember logging on to a bank account with a card-reading device that you needed to hand along with your card? Maybe your bank still requires this…

These days, there are much better ways to offer greater security along with an enhanced user experience:

Implementing Multifactor (MFA) and passwordless authentication

These can both provide a simple, fast, and secure way for users to log in, offering a positive brand experience with a greater sense of security. Speaking of which, here are 6 rules to follow to provide a simple and secure login experience: read the blog post.

Providing a positive and secure digital employee experience

Don’t underestimate the importance of digital employee experience. According to McKinsey, “research shows that people who report having a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of employees with a negative experience, and that they are eight times more likely to want to stay at a company”.

Giving employees a positive experience in a company, which also includes easy and quick access to their digital work tools, will reap dividends. On top of that, disgruntled employees do not make good brand ambassadors.

Giving employees a better experience when connecting and logging into their systems, tools, and applications will enable them to do their jobs more efficiently and safely. This in turn allows them to provide a better customer experience, enhancing brand reputation.

Using a Customer Identity Access Management system

A CIAM system “protects digital identities while controlling customers' access to applications and web portals' resources and data”. CIAM brings together the different technological components of users’ login journeys through workflows and simplifies them - from identity verification to authentication and authorization. This offers greater protection against data breaches and makes it more convenient to improve users' digital experiences.

Is your digital experience enhancing your brand’s reputation?

With the emphasis on security and providing an exceptional digital experience for employees and customers alike, it is vital that brands who want to survive and prosper use the two in tandem. Security must be front and centre, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of a brand’s digital experience: it can be used to improve it.

Using the right provider with the right technology will safeguard your business. At inWebo we can help you use your company’s digital experience to enhance your brand reputation, not destroy it.

To go further, read our article “Security by Design means UX by Design”.

The Global Digital Trust Insights 2022 is a survey conducted by PwC, one of the Big Four accounting firms along with Deloitte, EY and KPMG. The survey was carried out in July and August 2021 across more than 60 territories and among 3602 business, technology, and security executives. PwC’s aim with this survey was “to offer the C-suite a guide to simplifying cyber with intention.”

The digital experience is a set of interactions between a person and an organization. These interactions allow users to form an opinion about the brand. To ensure the best possible customer experience, it is important for the company to make sure it has the right tools and technologies in place.

Customers, employees and partners are impacted by the different digital experiences they have with brands. These experiences can for example influence the conversion, satisfaction and loyalty of customers. As for the staff and partners, it is rather their productivity and job contentment that is at stake.

The digital customer experience is becoming increasingly important and plays a key role in customer relations, the purchasing process, satisfaction and loyalty. More than ever, customers need to feel understood and valued. Every interaction must be fluid and intuitive. But we need to keep in mind that today, the digital experience of a brand or a company also has an important impact on the work force and partners.