Digital Trust

Trust has become essential in tomorrow’s digital world. Our people combine digital, risk and technology expertise to help organisations build and maintain that trust.

We’re in the decade of digital change and only the fit will survive and thrive. And to be digitally fit, you need to be digitally trusted – by customers, suppliers and all of your business stakeholders. More than ever before, the growth of your organisation depends on your ability to embrace the new trust dynamic.

Watch our short video on digital trust to see why.


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The new digital trust ecosystem is no longer constrained to the Enterprise. You're more connected than ever, with multiple stakeholders to manage and multiple risks to be prepared for.


We can help you develop the confidence to be a leading player in tomorrow’s digital world. We believe you need to focus on three key priorities:

Get the right attention in the boardroom

With digital opportunities and risks becoming so central to business strategy, boards and audit committees must have the digital expertise to set the level of risk that they are willing to accept. They must be able to ask the right questions and hold management to account.

Rethink your approach to technology risk

In the digital age building trust will provide the context for managing technology risk. Managing the risk in this ever changing world needs new and more dynamic approaches based on up-to-date understanding of the situation.

Develop a business strategy for the digital age

What’s certain is that you will need a business strategy for the digital age – not a digital strategy. Your organisation will need to foster more collaboration, greater innovation and faster decision-making than you’ve experienced before. As part of this you will need to master building digital trust to have the confidence to embrace your digital future.

Digital Trust Challenges

Ensure the success of digital and technology projects

For too many companies, digital and technology projects provoke a mix of urgency and paralysis. Leaders know they need to move quickly to transform their business around the cloud, big data analytics, mobile, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT), but dread the upheaval it requires. And they’re right to approach with extreme caution. According to some studies as many as two-thirds of digital transformation projects fail — an alarming figure for a practice that affects almost every type of business operating today.

The bottom line is that there are many interrelated factors that drive the success of a project underpinned by technology. The primary challenge is being able to cut through the complexity and make good, timely decisions. As a result, organisations are increasingly looking for independent advice to guide them through projects and provide assurances on their outcomes/return on investment.

Contact: Oliver Sykes | Director, Digital and Technology Risk |

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Balance data privacy and usage

To what extent should data be gathered, analysed and used? The digital revolution has given companies the technologies to collect enormous amounts of data about consumers and employees. It’s also provided the analytical capabilities to create new knowledge and insights, affecting how this data is used. The public has been slow to realise just how much personal information companies are collecting and using. However, as they become more informed, managing and protecting privacy and data use will become an important barometer of how much companies are trusted by their wider stakeholders. Regulators in the Middle East and internationally are taking action to protect individuals.

As the privacy debate is reframed by digital disruption, organisations must look at which direction and to what extent they evolve their information governance strategies and capabilities, and ensure that the mechanisms chosen to balance competing interests are ones that generate trust and confidence amongst your stakeholders and in the general public.

Learn more about data privacy in the Middle East

Contact: Phil Mennie | Partner, Digital and Technology Risk |

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Manage social media risk

Social media has revolutionised the way people communicate and interact with each other. Businesses have the opportunity to harness the power of social media to grow and increase revenues by targeting and embracing these new channels. There is growing interest from organisations to leverage data and to integrate internal and external social media as part of their strategy. The benefits can provide an organisation with a key strategic advantage or if not executed appropriately it can fast become an expensive project that simply exposes the firm to additional risk.

Social media blunders are becoming increasingly more commonplace in the news and getting social media wrong can have a serious impact on a company's reputation and even its share price. Many regulators have already published guidance specifically for social media.

Social media brings its own challenges but having a sound and practical strategy which is easy to understand will help you ensure risks are managed and benefits realised.

Contact: Phil Mennie | Director, Digital and Technology Risk |

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Secure information and assets

Cyber security is growing in importance as we shift more core societal functions online and we connect more of our physical life to the Internet. On a micro level the risk could come from hackers taking control of our connected cars, to give just one recent example. On the macro level there’s the potential of global cyber warfare targeting energy or security infrastructure, commercial assets or transport – with businesses caught in the crossfire. With the lack of international conventions around this type of warfare, what happens if you deploy a cyber weapon?

As cyber security threats increase it’s likely that governments will seek to access, monitor and control even more of our personal data. The same will no doubt be true of companies as they look to protect their vast databases of consumer and employee information along with their digital operations from hackers. What do governments and companies need to do in order to regain the trust of an increasingly sceptical public that’s demanding more control over their data?

Contact: Simone Vernacchia | Director, Cyber Security |

Gracie Pereira | Director, Cyber Security |

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Ensure resilience in the face of digital disruption

Our reliance on technology to enable day-to-day activities has skyrocketed: we check into flights online, access hotel rooms with our mobiles, do online banking. We don’t really think about until something goes wrong. In the past, companies could be forgiven for occasional system interruptions. Not anymore. With so much of our lives dependent on technology, the ability to “keep the lights on” is becoming a business priority.

But organisations are challenged by the complexity of their IT services, with layers of infrastructure and multiple service and process interdependencies. And they face the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks. How can you gain a holistic view of the IT landscape and all your risks, and design the right governance and risk management processes to better manage the risk.

Preparedness for threats and disruptions is one aspect of digital resilience. But your ability to effectively respond to a crisis will greatly influence the level of trust and ultimately your resilience in an ever-changing world.

Contact: David Warham | Director, Digital and Technology Risk |

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Understand and safeguard the use of Artificial Intelligence

The increasing use of data and algorithms to automate processes and drive decision-making in business has led to greater efficiency and accuracy across a range of business functions and sectors.

And with the creation of algorithms that can learn and make predictions from data, independent of any human input, machines are becoming smarter. But how can you ensure that your algorithms don’t go ‘rogue’ and take over? To what extent do you need to understand these algorithms and – ultimately - have ‘controls’ or ‘emergency’ buttons to wrestle control back from machines?

One thing is clear: the ethical and trust implications of AI must be explored. One crucial aspect will involve better integration of human and machine collaborations in the workplace, to oversee and maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of algorithmic processes. Governance frameworks will also need to be assessed to ensure a robust system of checks and balances. While many societies are increasingly comfortable with the growing role of machines as an essential tool to improve everyday life, such measures will be vital in building a greater degree of trust.

Contact: Clement Chan | Director, Digital Trust |

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Manage the dark side of workplace automation

There’s no doubt that automation in the workplace has increased productivity, improved product quality and reduced workplace accidents. It’s also creating jobs – both directly, in the provision of such technologies and through redeployment of workers, and indirectly, through the non-tech roles required to support and service this growing trend. At the same time however, increased automation will continue to eliminate certain jobs. If not managed effectively, the negative impacts of automation on employment levels and disposable incomes could affect economic growth, as well as the very fabric of society.

As our digital society continues to evolve, business and government will have to win back the trust of sections of society that feel marginalised by a new type of digital divide. The key difference between the previous agricultural and industrial revolutions and the coming artificial intelligence revolution is that jobs will be displaced at a much faster pace than what it will take for humans to reskill. But what can we learn from history about shaping new laws, charters and movements to adapt to the social chaos wrought by innovation, as we consider an age where work (as we have known it) may no longer be the norm?

Contact: Phil Mennie | Director, Digital and Technology Risk |

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Better manage technology risk in the digital age

The concept of digital and technology risk is rapidly changing. Digital risk and the need to build digital trust should be treated as an enterprise risk for which boards need to develop a clear risk appetite (to suit their specific business circumstances), associated action plan and need to seek frequent assurance that risks are appropriately managed.

That assurance needs to take a different form in tomorrow’s digital world. Traditional IT risk and controls assessments are no longer appropriate. Assurance needs to take into account the connected and unproven nature of new technologies and the agile ways of working that are being used to deliver services.

Contact: Oliver Sykes | Director, Digital and Technology Risk |

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Mitigate the risk of transition to the Cloud

Cloud computing offers businesses new strategic options to spur innovation, time-to-market, and organisational flexibility. And whether you want to consume or offer cloud services, the cloud helps to achieve new levels of the “Connected Experience” across customer, supplier, partner and employee relationships. The cloud impacts the entire enterprise spanning corporate strategy, finance, operations, governance, culture and technology.

Adopting cloud technology is a paradigm shift and requires a new mindset, and new tools, to help ensure that risks are adequately managed. Without careful planning, the anticipated gains can easily be overshadowed by the perceived or actual risk exposures and prevent benefits from being realised.

Contact: Oliver Sykes | Director, Digital and Technology Risk |

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Explore our capabilities

Business Systems / Cloud Risk

Confidence in your systems: You need an integrated and holistic approach to designing, deploying, operating and optimising your control environment. As the business system landscape changes with users moving seamlessly between in-house systems and cloud based web services and mobile applications, a comprehensive approach to business systems control becomes even more important.

You’ll benefit from our deep technical expertise of the business systems landscape, including a range of ERP, Cloud, EPM and GRC technologies, and extensive experience in defining and deploying risk and control frameworks. This is how we’ve been able to help address financial and operational risk for clients across a whole spectrum of processes and industries. Working across the entire control life-cycle, we’ll apply a “risk and controls” lens to your processes and system design, strengthen your overall design, and help you increase the reliability and maturity of your existing control environment in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.

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Data Assurance and Analytics

Confidence in your data, the foundation of trust: Data has become fundamental to successful business. When you exploit your data and implement good governance, it provides the basis for others to trust you and want to do business with you.

We can help you to know what data you need, how good it needs to be and can help you ensure that you get your data right, focussing on what’s important. We can also help you embed good governance (including data privacy controls), and independently test your systems and processes to ensure that your data is accurately processed and properly reported.

For completeness we cover where data is stored, how long it is kept and who should have access. The result is a transparent – enabling your employees and customers to make the right decisions.

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Technology Risk and Digital Resilience

Confidence to take risks: The banking and other sectors have recently been shaken by the impact of several high profile IT outages and glitches, eroding digital trust. IT services are increasingly intertwined with a complex combination of layers of infrastructure, service and process interdependencies (including legacy systems, mobile technology and 3rd party vendors). Combined with fragmented understanding of the IT landscape, pressure to implement digital changes faster at lower cost and an increasing need for real time data transfers means that approaches to managing risk and resilience must adapt fast.

We’ll help you identify a complete set of technology risks and to design the governance, risk management and resilience processes to better manage them. Being good at this will give you the con dence to embrace the next digital opportunity.

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Cyber Security

Confidence in your security: While cyber security risks have dramatically evolved, the approach businesses use to manage them has not kept pace. The traditional information security model – one that is technology focused, compliance-based, perimeter-oriented, and aimed at securing the back-office – does not address the realities of today.

Cyber security isn’t just about technology and computers. It’s about people, information, systems, processes, culture and physical surroundings. We will give you that confidence by helping you manage risks, while staying connected. We’ll help you in shaping a broader strategic response to cyber risk by helping to understand current capability and putting in place a focused plan to target cyber security investment in the right places. Our specialists will help also you respond to actual cyber incidents. And they’ll advise on the legal issues surrounding breaches, data privacy and protection.

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Contact us

Matthew White

Matthew White

Partner, Digital Trust Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 (0) 56 113 4205

Wael Fattouh

Wael Fattouh

Partner, Cyber Security, PwC Middle East

Tel: +966 (0) 50 086 8660

Oliver Sykes

Oliver Sykes

Partner, Digital Trust, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 (0) 56 480 2447

Phil Mennie

Phil Mennie

Partner, Digital Trust, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 (0) 56 369 7736

Simone Vernacchia

Simone Vernacchia

Partner, Digital, CyberSecurity, Resilience and Infrastructure, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 52 4166879

Clement Chan

Clement Chan

Director, Digital Trust, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 501 523 619

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