CISCO is one of the leading multinational digital communications technology corporations, and Webex Suite is one of the most used collaboration and remote-working solutions CISCO offers. As one of the first companies with a big presence worldwide to receive the Label, CISCO's leadership is undoubtedly setting a benchmark of credibility and contributing to building and promoting Digital Trust in the increasingly digitalised world we humans are immersing in.
In January 2022, the Swiss Digital Initiative introduced the world's first-of-its-kind label assessing the trustworthiness of digital services, the Digital Trust Label. According to the dimensions of security, reliability, data protection and fair user interaction, the Digital Trust Label indicates the trustworthiness of a digital service in a clear, visual and non-technical language everyone can understand. Hence, after undergoing a detailed audit process, Cisco’s Webex Suite received the Digital Trust Label. To get a deep dive into Cisco’s commitment to trustworthy digital services and leading global role in digital communications, we asked Christoph Koch, Chief Technology Officer at CISCO Switzerland, some questions.
Before we begin, let me congratulate you and the Cisco team for successfully completing the audit and being awarded the Digital Trust Label. Definitely, this sets a new standard as Webex is the first videoconferencing and hybrid working platform to obtain the Label. So please tell us, why was it important for you to give that extra guarantee of the trustworthiness of this service with the Digital Trust Label?
Based on new modern hybrid work requirements, collaboration and communication needs are demanding cloud-delivered services everywhere. Webex is the most powerful platform for voice/video calling, online meetings, messaging, and events in the cloud for teams of all sizes.
As the new Swiss data protection law discussions picked up speed over a year ago, it was clear to us we wanted to prove the trustworthiness of our Cisco solutions to anyone. The Swiss Digital Trust label is the perfect initiative to help us achieve this goal, and we are now proud to have been awarded this Digital Trust Label for the whole Cisco Webex suite.
And, from your perspective, what does it mean to be trustworthy?
For me being trustworthy means being transparent and accountable as to what you do. Cisco is strongly committed to building trustworthy solutions and one clear example is our Webex Suite hybrid work platform.
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the game for online conference platforms, as much as it has for digital trust. How did Webex manage to stay at the forefront in terms of security and reliability?
Webex used to be and still is the most trusted and secure conferencing and messaging platform. The pandemic did not change that at all. What the pandemic did was push innovation with respect to usability, comfort and inclusiveness with features like noise cancelling, own voice selection, real-time translation or covid relevant use cases.
As you know, the Digital Trust Label base its criteria on four categories, one of these being fair user interaction which in part looks into the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms by digital services. As you integrate industry-leading AI, in your opinion, what is key to guaranteeing the robustness, resilience, and accuracy of such algorithms?
Webex devices and the Webex App employ collaboration AI software that makes them easier to use and provides value-added functions by using the device’s microphone, speaker and camera. At Cisco, we are committed to managing AI development in a way that augments our focus on security, privacy, and human rights. The Cisco Responsible AI initiative and framework governs the application of responsible AI controls in our product development lifecycle, how we manage incidents that arise, engage externally, and its use across Cisco’s solutions, services, and enterprise operations. We base our Responsible AI initiative on principles consistent with Cisco’s operating practices and directly applicable to the governance of AI innovation. These principles—Transparency, Fairness, Accountability, Privacy, Security, and Reliability—are used to upskill our development teams to map to controls in the Cisco Secure Development Lifecycle and embed Security by Design, Privacy by Design, and Human Rights by Design in our solutions. And our principle-based approach empowers customers to take part in a continuous feedback cycle that informs our development process.
Creativity and Innovation are clearly at the heart of the digital world and technology. When developing new digital solutions, What should businesses/organisations keep in mind to guarantee that these are trustworthy?
IT solutions are often designed for solving a specific problem or task, but don’t consider all other constraints like user experience or data privacy that come along with them. If software incorporates data privacy and security by design and by default, you have multiple benefits: First, you are automatically following the EU GDPR guidelines and are aligned with the law, secondly, you don’t need to re-design your application afterwards and invest a lot of money and thirdly, you have an advantage over your competition who may not have done that. Obviously, certifications such as the EU Cloud Code of Conduct or the Swiss Digital Trust label help proving that your solutions are following these standards.
And finally, in your perception, what is needed to improve digital trust?
One of the key elements is education and knowledge – only if people have a good understanding of the solutions and applications they are using, they can start trusting them. This is particularly important when society is confronted with new phenomena like ChatGPT which are considered the “Holy Grail” or the “end of humanity” depending on who you ask. That being said, there is also a certain responsibility of the media to inform the population objectively about these new trends without creating anxiety and uncertainty.
To learn more about the Digital Trust Label, visit: https://digitaltrust-label.swiss/ **
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