ISACA’s Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework


ISACA has launched its new Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework (DTEF) following a four-year development period.

Upcoming ISACA research indicates more than half of organisations (55 percent) believe it is extremely/very important for an organisation to have a digital trust framework.

Jo Stewart-Rattray, ISACA’s Oceania Ambassador said the new framework is progressive, and will provide organisations of all sizes with a roadmap to achieving optimal trust.

“We know the importance of digital trust ranks high among business leaders in Australia,” said Stewart-Rattray. “Over two years of gruelling cyber-attacks in this region has taken its toll and the importance of digital trust and digital reputation has been escalated significantly in the eyes of company leaders.

“Most organisations in Australia have the intention to be trustworthy, but sometimes there is a disconnect between intent and action, largely driven by uncertainty around how to achieve trust across all areas of the business.  ISACA’s new DTEF outlines the practices and steps to achieve trust and the enormous benefits that come with this, including customer loyalty, investor confidence and increased inovation.”

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

According to ISACA’s upcoming State of Digital Trust research, the benefits of high levels of digital trust include enhancing positive reputation (67 percent), having more reliable data for decision-making (57 percent), and experiencing fewer privacy breaches and fewer cybersecurity incidents (56 percent each). Digital trust, defined as confidence in the integrity of the relationships, interactions and transactions within an associated digital ecosystem, can also strengthen an organisation’s bottom line.

“High levels of digital trust ultimately improve financial performance by lowering the risk of impact of data and cyber breaches,” 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.” 

Following an earlier beta release in 2022 that enabled ISACA to include expert input from around the globe into the final version, the newly released Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework focuses on the elements of people, process, technology and organisation, drilling down into the domains of culture, human factors, emergence, enabling and support, direct and monitor, and architecture to provide organisations with trust factors, practices, activities and outcomes as part of their digital trust journey.

The framework is designed to be compatible with many existing frameworks and best practices, including COBIT, ITIL, GDPR, and numerous ISO and NIST standards. 

“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.”   

ISACA is also publishing an interactive guide to help organisations effectively use the framework in a format that is innovative and new to the organisation.

The DTEF Interactive Guide allows users to explore the content of the framework with 3D modeling, use cases, and a visual experience.

“In a tech and business landscape that is transforming more quickly 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 positive impact.” 

Later in the year, ISACA will also be releasing the Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework Foundation Course and Digital Trust Ecosystem Framework Foundation Certificate.  


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