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CSPs, the Most Trusted Vendor for Business Communication Services

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes
Two years ago, when home office and web meetings were starting to be the norm, Orange Cyberdefense, the cybersecurity business unit of the French telecoms company, analyzed popular videoconferencing solutions and their security features. One of the key criteria used to evaluate those solutions was whether there was "a full on-prem version… available for users who don’t want to trust the vendor." That’s because trust was a key unique selling proposition (USP) for cybersecurity back in 2020. Now, two years later, “trust” is an even more important USP in a post-pandemic world.

Why is digital trust so important?

Digital trust issues have been around for quite some time now. The Snowden revelations in 2013 exposed how tech companies were systematically sharing information from their users with the U.S. government because that data was stored physically within the U.S. Three years later, the Cambridge Analytica scandal changed everyone's perspective about how our data, digital profiles, habits, and preferences can be used (and abused) to influence our decisions. Also in 2016, it was revealed that more than 1 billion Yahoo! user accounts were affected by the largest data breach to date. In 2021, data breaches reached an all-time high, with a year-to-year growth rate of 68% and a total of 1,862 incidents, an average of more than five breaches every day. Just last year, a number of private companies—including Accenture, Acer, Kia Motors, the National Basketball Association (NBA), Fujifilm, and Zegna—along with government institutions such as Ecuador's Ministry of Finance and Ireland's Department of Health, were hit with ransomware attacks. And there were many others. The world’s concerns about security issues are well-founded, to say the least.
Of course, legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been created to safeguard the digital information of individuals and companies (at least in the European Union) from cyber threats. Data sovereignty—the idea that digital information is subject to the laws and regulations of the nation where it is stored—has been widely discussed since. Companies are now aware of the legal implications of using clouds that store their data (and their customers' data) in servers outside the boundaries of their national territory. Trusting a vendor’s technology is no longer enough; it's now about trusting a vendor to keep data within specific national borders.

How can telecoms gain an advantage?

Now that the public sector and businesses large and small are demanding that their data to be stored locally, requests for such services are constantly reaching communications service providers (CSPs). After all, the CSP network is a sensible option: Telco clouds house data within the CSP’s national borders, and CSPs have always been strictly regulated and monitored by local authorities.
What's more, individual consumers trust telcos now more than ever before. According to a recent Telco Survey from the global management consultancy Oliver Wyman, CSPs "have garnered the most trust among consumers on issues to do with data protection and privacy". In fact, the survey—which had respondents from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom—found that telcos are now the second most trusted sector in the eyes of consumers when it comes to protecting their privacy, behind only banks. From 2019 to 2021, it was the telecoms industry that gained the most ground in terms of trust, leaving large tech companies—those now not-so-trusted vendors—in a relatively distant third place.
In short, the time has come for CSPs to increase their efforts to offer services with secure and regulated data storage within national borders. Doing so can not only help them to increase revenue, but also to differentiate their products and reduce customer churn. After all, CSPs are not typical providers—they are now the most trusted vendors in the field—at a time when trust is a vital competitive asset.
Diego Vivas
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