An implosion of trust and confidence?

Yesterday, at the annual Get Safe On-line conference, it was good to see the commercial sponsors talking of the direct business benefit they were getting from being seen to take the security of their customers seriously. This also came through in the annual GSOL survey which showed buyers increasingly focussing their purchases on trusted websites.  

This set me to looking at the current debates on “trust” from a different direction.  

I wondered how many of today’s market leaders are crying crocodile tears as advice that, “if it looks too good to be true – it is”, causes consumers to ignore genuine innovators who can legitimately undercut mainstream business models by 80% and more.

I then had similar thoughts about to those lamenting the heartless scams on the newly unemployed or those seeking to improve themselves – as they fall foul of mule recruitment exercises or enter their details in a fake recruitment website.

The current implosion of trust and confidence benefits market leaders and crucifies ambitious small firms seeking to use the Internet to grow.

All the more credit, therefore to those who put their money where their mouth is and help support Get Safe On-line with money and links – not just fine words.

On this note I would like to give an unaccustomed note of praise to HMRC – for the “On-Line Security” guidance on their website. You might miss it – the link is bottom right – under the picture of Moira Stewart but it is well worth a read.

Then click on HMRC Scam Examples” and enjoy reading about the tax credit e-mails that you have not yet received as well as those you have. The “How to protect yourself on-line” page is succinct and clear. Then look at their list of useful external links. My personal view is that some-one enjoyed themselves doing a really good job, filtering the wheat from the chaff, listing only those most relevant and useful to the likely readership.

One of the early tasks of the new Office of Cybersecurity should be to ensure that all Government Departments and Agencies who wish their customers to transact with them on-line provide a security guidance link on their home page that is at least as good. 

And if the tribes of Whitehall and Townhall, as is their wont, resist “guidance” coming from Cabinet Office, then the Public Accounts Committee (National Audit Office), the Departmental Select Committees and the Audit Commission (for Local Government) should ask why they have not done so, of their own initiative.    



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