Only 10% of CFOs feel prepared for cyber-attack

The Chief Financial Officer is the latest voice from the boardroom professing serious concern about their level of cyber-attack preparedness. Deloitte recently released a report that surveyed over 100 CFOs. The survey asked top financial executives to highlight their priorities and major concerns for the year. 97% of respondents named cybersecurity as a significant threat to their companies. The path forward is unclear for many of these financial executives. In fact, while the majority of CFOs see the risks, almost one-fourth say they are insufficiently prepared for a cyberattack and only 10% believed their firms to be well-prepared. “Malicious attacks are another area of broad concern, with 85% of CFO respondents saying malicious attacks, such as terrorism and tampering, are a major threat,” says Rhoda Woo, a Deloitte Advisory managing director. Only 4% of CFOs say they are well-prepared for such attacks, and 23% cite insufficient preparedness. At least 40% of CFOs from the Technology, Telecomm/Media/Entertainment and Healthcare/Parma sectors cite insufficient preparedness, while 30% of CFOs from the financial services sector indicate the same sentiment, reports Deloitte. Another compelling insight captured is that “CFOs report less time spent in their ‘strategist’ role, more in their ‘operator’ role. Where previous surveys indicated a progressive shift toward the strategist role, this quarter’s findings indicate a resurgence in time allocated to the operator role.” It should be interesting to see how will this impact their efforts to collaborate with other executives to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Steve Durbin, director of the Information Security Forum, provides his new world priorities for the financial chief. “Given the risks that cybersecurity threats pose in a technology-driven, global economy, today's CFO must focus on cybersecurity and ensure that adequate steps are taken to preserve and protect the company's reputation, stock price and most valuable information.”

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