The Challenges of Trust Management
July 10, 2011
Distributed Trust Management
What is distributed trust management? Why do business-to-business (B2B) companies like EBay and PayPal have such profitable success with online transactions? Do people trust business-to-consumer (B2C) methods? Have intra-enterprise applications matured to the level of satisfaction that company executives come to expect? These questions are at the forefront of consumers and business minds alike. This paper will focus on the ideas and cornerstones that inter-organizational companies rely upon; namely, trust. All of these questions boil down to trust ...view middle of the document...
All of these companies operate on a business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationship. To answer one of the questions above, do people really trust B2C methods? I believe most people and small businesses do. For the most part, the smaller mom and pops type shops really have no choice. In order for these small companies to stay in business they rely upon online storefronts and online companies like PayPal and Amazon to handle the flow of money and merchandise. B2B methodologies rely on technology to keep things honest between companies.
Technology plays a major role when it comes B2B transactions. When speaking of technology one immediately thinks of security. The only way for a business to make secure transactions is to have the latest and greatest security software and hardware at their disposal. Without the proper control methods and encryption techniques in place like digital signatures, and encrypting algorithms such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), how can any business expect to gain the trust of its customers or business partners? Companies that employ properly implemented PKI technology and digital certificates have less chance of becoming the victim of fraudulent activities (Ratnasingam & Phan, 2003).
PKI allows several technologies to be used when creating online transactions. One can think of PKI as a placeholder allowing a tree of trust to be created through the methods listed below:
3. Strong Authentication
4. Digital Signatures
6. Code Signing
Corporations must also have routine audits and implement and enforce ethics within the business model. This can only be accomplished if upper management is intimately involved from the beginning of the relationship. Organizations must also maintain a robust business continuity plan (BCP). Having a well thought out BCP in place is essential if disasters strike like acts of terrorism or acts of God. The way for long-term E-commerce relationships to keep lasting trust is to have and maintain several notable E-commerce methodologies, these are: authentication, confidentiality, nonrepudiation, availability, and data integrity. Other expected results of trusted business relationships are that the quality of merchandise and services increase as the level of trustworthiness increases. These are the cornerstones to the success and longevity of any lasting business relationship.
Once trust is established one can expect that level of trust to grow. Ratnasingam & Phan mention three levels of trust that B2B models follow. These levels of trust are competence, predictability, and goodwill trust. Each level grows from the previous stage. Competence trust flows to predictability and then to goodwill trust. Once the echelon of goodwill trust is reached one can say that both parties have reached the highest level of expectations when it comes to business transactions and dealings (Ratnasingam & Phan,...