Who are the new compliance and risk leaders in the digital-first world?

A recent whitepaper by identity verification company Trulioo has sought to define the traits of the new leaders in compliance, risk and IT security in the world of today.

The company labelled these leaders as ‘Champions of Trust’. According to Trulioo CEO Steve Munford, this group ‘possess the skills, vision and commitment to use digital identity as a tool for positive change over the coming years’. In addition, he believes that organisations will increasingly rely on these leaders to navigate the practicalities of accelerating risk, fraud and cybercrime.

The whitepaper – titled Champions of Trust: A new generation of leadership for a digital-first world – was built from research conducted across 16 countries among over 400 compliance, risk and IT security professionals across business functions in a vast range of industries.

Trulioo found that currently, only 15% of all compliance, risk and IT security professionals are operating as Champions of Trust, while 73% of them believe it is extremely important that organisations develop more of this group in the next two years in order to develop online trust against the growing spectre of cybercrime and fraud risks.

According to the research, digital identity has emerged over the last couple of years as a ‘key strategic imperative for businesses’ with up to 87% of compliance, risk and IT security professionals reporting this area has become more vital to their organisation as a result of the pandemic.

Digital identity was recognised by a large majority of the professionals surveyed as an important way to counter-act bad actors, drive positive change in the world and improve financial inclusion. Up to 70% of those surveyed believed that digital identity is the foundation of trust – not just for their organisation and customers – but to build a sustainable digital ecosystem.

The company also detailed that Champions of Trust commonly adopt a global-first perspective on digital identity and are constantly seeking to bolster their understanding of the requirements for commerce across borders to aid their organisations’ growth and expansion plans. They also regularly operate in organisations with the right culture, leadership and technologies to optimise the use of digital identity to protect customers and heighten trust and transparency.

Trulioo commented, “Operating at the highest levels of their professions, Champions of Trust are taking tactical, meaningful steps forward to improve financial inclusion and access to critical services. They are adept at collaborating with stakeholders across business units and advocating for the importance of digital identity as a key strategic imperative for enhancing customer experience, managing risk and driving compliance.”

What are the consequences if companies don’t create the fertile ground for Champions of Trust to succeed? According to the research, 52% of respondents believe this could make them more vulnerable to fraud threats and security incidents, 43% think this could fracture customer experience and 42% see reputational damage or erosion of customer trust on the horizon.

Munford added, “The pandemic has highlighted to businesses the importance of online trust in an increasingly digital-first economy. With usage and reliance on digital services set to grow further over the coming years, the need for organisations to manage an increasingly complex and sophisticated risk landscape is critical.

“Fortunately, this research suggests that compliance, risk and IT security professionals around the world are ready to step up to meet this challenge, using digital identity to protect customers and build an inclusive and trust-based digital world. Champions of Trust have a critical role to play, not just within their own organisations, but across the wider digital ecosystem.

“It’s hard to overstate the role Champions of Trust will play in the coming years. Their contribution will be vital in shaping an inclusive and safe digital ecosystem for the future. As an industry, we owe it to these individuals to do all we can to help them on their journey, ensuring they have the training, support, leadership and tools they need to fulfil their potential and make a positive difference.”

Earlier this year, Trulioo entered the unicorn club after its $394m Series D round puts its valuation at $1.75bn.

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