Trust Assurance: The Movement that’s Making GRC Believable Again


24 Mar 2023

In business, we measure everything. Like the saying goes, “What gets measured gets done,” and most companies pay close attention to KPIs like qualified leads, new pipeline, net customer retention and fraction of roadmap completed on time. 

But if you were asked, “Are you meeting all your trust obligations with your employees, customers, board members, and the government?”, how would you answer? 

The best answer most people can give is, “I think so, let me get back to you.” 

The reason for that is because there hasn’t been a system or record for trust that makes answering that question simple, accountable, and measurable – until now.

We at TrustCloud have pioneered a revolutionary approach that makes it easy to earn and build trust, and we call it Trust Assurance. 

For us, Trust has a few key components:

  • Tell someone what you’re going to do
  • Prove to them that you’re doing it on a regular basis
  • Be transparent throughout the entire process 
  • Hold yourself accountable, especially when things go wrong (which is inevitable!)

Let’s start at the beginning so you can understand why we’re passionate, and how you and your company can join the movement.

Trust is the Foundation for Every Business Relationship

… but unfortunately, it’s at an all-time-low across the board. Gallup ran a study and found that two-thirds of employees believed that their companies would lie to customers and conceal relevant information to them. When they surveyed worldwide, three-quarters of people shared that corruption was widespread in their industry. In the United States, more than three-quarters of employees felt like they couldn’t trust their leaders. The Harvard Business Review noted that the introduction of remote work had also created an evident decline in trust inside organizations. 

What’s even more frightening is that we skimmed over internal mistrust, which is only one piece of a much larger pie. Sprinkle in the bad guys from the outside that are contributing to the 48% increase in phishing attacks, it’s no wonder why 65% of board members feel that their organization is at risk of a cyberattack. Smarter social engineering attacks; the growing number of data breaches; vendor-buyer relations shifting; the lack of proper resources for companies to defend themselves … yeah. It’s not a hopeful picture! 

Increasing Trust is the Strategic Choice

It hasn’t been all doom and gloom, though. In fact, it’s been shown that these hurdles have made agile companies even stronger than before.

On the internal side, Gallup found a few trends that highly-trusted workplaces shared:

  • 50% higher employee productivity
  • 106% more energy 
  • 13% fewer sick days 

These same companies with high levels of trust were able to outperform companies with low trust levels by a whopping 186%. 

Cybersecurity company DigiCert shared in their 2022 State of Digital Trust Report that 47% of customers stopped doing business with a company because they didn’t trust them and their digital security procedures. Additionally, it was revealed that 84% of customers would consider switching to a different company due to lack of trust, with 57% saying they would cut ties, no hesitation.  

So how have companies been successful in growing their trust both internally and externally? It came down to a couple things:

  • It starts with company culture – if an organization is able to create an environment that fosters clear communication (yes, this includes leadership), makes collaboration easier, and provides the necessary resources to empower employees to do their best, you’ll find the uniformity will trickle through and strengthen all work facets
  • Company culture can be felt externally, which is huge for vendor-buyer relations – say you’re in the midst of closing a deal, and you have to submit a security review to prove your company is trustworthy. Would your sales team have the most accurate documents and know how to securely share them in a timely manner? Has the marketing team provided enough evidence (e.g. security certifications) on your company website to show that you’re credible? How is the compliance team leading these efforts? Synergy between different departments is crucial when the SLA says you have 2 weeks to do something that could take months. If collaboration has been implemented properly, this shouldn’t be a problem.

As you can see, prioritizing trust is possible, and for many businesses, GRC is the foundation. 

Trust Issues: Your Trusted Source for GRC & Security News. Subscribe Now!

Trust Assurance is the Final Frontier

Trust has gone through several iterations. Trust obligations first started with manual GRC processes. Next came compliance automation, which helped make the process more efficient, but turned compliance into a check-the-box exercise. Now Trust Assurance – the method that programmatically evaluates, verifies and proves trust obligations –  has entered, and it’s already made waves. 

We made it easy for you to assure trust by targeting and solidifying three areas: 

  • Continuous Compliance – continuously tested & verified controls and automated evidence collection
  • Transparency – to prove your trust obligations to the outside world via a trust portal and security questionnaire automation
  • Risk management – a real-time, accurate evaluation of your risk at any given point, with proactive and predictive risk assessments and a roadmap on how to remediate them

Trust Assurance aims to revive both an organization’s GRC process and the relationships tied to it. It provides a proactive approach to establishing trust obligations that can be continuously tested and verified while simultaneously ensuring transparency to the outside world. With the implementation of Trust Assurance, businesses can restore faith in their relationships and foster greater collaboration, ultimately driving innovation and growth. 

Join the movement of Trust Assurance today.