The State of European Digital Trust

Quantifying the Business Impacts of Consumer Trust in the Age of Normalized Data Breaches
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Published: 4 Apr 2019

In a time when major data breaches have become a routine feature of the news cycle, digital consumer trust is an intangible and highly consequential metric for any organization conducting business online. Much of an organization’s reputation rests on the extent to which customers in the marketplace trust an organization, and a data breach represents not just a security failure, but a breach of trust. The European market presents unique challenges for businesses that possess sensitive personal information. A strict regulatory environment, notably the in the form of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), coupled with inherently mistrustful consumers, makes digital trust arguably more important in Europe than in any other market. In an effort to quantify the ways that reputation and trust impact businesses, Frost & Sullivan and CA Technologies has launched the State of Online Digital Trust study. The survey conducted for the study examines the trust issue from the perspective of European consumers, and also from the perspective of businesses. For this study, Frost & Sullivan has developed a series of metrics for different facets of consumer digital trust to create the Digital Trust Index. Some metrics include consumer perceptions about organizations taking appropriate precautions to protect sensitive personal information, as well as consumer willingness to share information online. By aggregating multiple variables, the study has segmented consumers into 3 discrete categories: those with high digital trust, those with moderate levels of digital trust, and those with low digital trust. Additionally, the Digital Trust Index assigned a score between 1 and 100 to quantify the average level of digital trust among consumers. The average digital trust score in Europe is 56 out of a possible score of 100. With a focus on major European markets, this report shows the results of ground-breaking research that quantifies this difficult-to-measure concept and outlines the business implications of building or losing trust. In addition, the report gives practical advice to executives and decision-makers in order to build, maintain, and grow consumer trust in their brands. Included is a special section with specific advice for CISOs, a new addition to Frost & Sullivan’s European market insights. Key Questions Answered: • Do perceptions about customers in the business community align with consumer reality? • What makes (or breaks) consumer digital confidence in organizations? • What are the regional variations in the degree of trust consumers have in online services—and what are the impacts on consumer behavior? • What can businesses do to build trust among their customers? Author: Jason Reed



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