According to a new report by Deloitte, CFOs regard cyberattacks as one of the most worrying disasters that threaten to affect an enterprise’s financial well-being. In response to the Deloitte survey, 97 percent of CFOs of large firms in North America said that cyberattacks are the biggest threat they face.
The Significance of Cybersecurity
In light of the concern over cyberattacks, CFOs need to take a proactive approach to IT security measures. This must involve the establishment of a formal task force to identify weak points in the organization’s security systems and perform routine vulnerability assessments. It’s also important to have a third-party organization perform penetration tests to find out whether the security systems are vulnerable to outside hackers. Without this kind of testing, CFOs may remain blissfully unaware of weaknesses in their organization’s security, which could remain undetected up until they are exploited with devastating consequences.
The Holistic Approach to Cybersecurity
Rather than fixating on individual cyber risks, CFOs need to recognize that their organizations actually face an entire “risk universe” of cyberthreats. Unfortunately, few CFOs currently demonstrate this level of understanding. According to the Deloitte report, 46 percent of executives think that a lack of understanding of risks and their potential impacts is the biggest obstacle to the development of an enterprise-wide cybersecurity strategy.
Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Cybersecurity Defense
Cybersecurity can be a major cost for a business but it also brings important financial benefits. Expanding your organization's IT budget doesn’t generate extra revenue, but it could save future costs as long as the money is spent wisely. Two security protocols that are almost certainly worth the investment are identity access management and authentication security.
Identity Access Management
Identity access management is an essential security technology for large and small businesses. It allows employees to securely access their data and devices by logging into a single centralized platform. Unfortunately, this kind of technology is only as secure as the password used to log in. The best identity access management systems require employees to use strong passwords, which include a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols. Some solutions even have secure systems for remembering the passwords on behalf of its users, which makes them easy to use.
CFOs who recognize the need to go beyond using simple passwords to protect their organization’s data may consider using multi-factor authentication security technology. This uses not only a password, but also a second means of authentication to verify the identity of a user.