Data breaches cost companies millions per year. As a matter of fact, in 2019, the average cost of a data breach was an astonishing $3.92 million. Traditionally, cybersecurity was an area that Chief Information Officers (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) handled. Still, as data became one of a company’s most significant assets, it became the duty for chief financial officers (CFO) to keep that data protected and understand the economic impact a data breach can potentially have. With that being said, this blog will aim to explain why cybersecurity should be a priority for a CFO.
As mentioned earlier, data is the biggest asset to a company these days. A CFO’s mission is to keep the company’s finances viable and protect its assets, with cybersecurity being at the top of most budgeting plans. A CFO should already have a superior understanding of how an organization handles its cybersecurity and should be able to ask the right questions to ensure its effectiveness. Having a CFO who understands both the finances and the cybersecurity aspect would create less room for error and optimize spending, creating more room for growth.
CFO’s know essential details regarding the business; it can be anything from structural changes to mergers and acquisitions. With that, CFO’s can make sound decisions to ensure that a company is operationally stable. With a CFO who understands security, expenditure can be balanced between cybersecurity and other business needs, without cybersecurity being an afterthought. Cybersecurity is a team effort and can be complicated and involves great detail. By having CFO’s and CISO’s along with other upper management security positions working together, a business can facilitate the creation of a detailed cybersecurity plan that is both financially in line with the budget and ensures that corporate governance is being achieved. With so many Rules and Acts dealing with data protection and privacy, businesses cannot afford to have an ill-suited cybersecurity plan, for they will be penalized with costly fines, sometimes in the millions.
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As seen, it is worth the efforts of a CFO to become familiar with and make cybersecurity a priority. With finances and data being so closely connected, the CFO’s field of duties has broadened. Cybersecurity, which was once thought to be the responsibility of solely the CIO and CISO, has turned into more of a team effort with CFO’s becoming forerunners when it comes to handling cybersecurity with their extensive knowledge on the budget. In the end, adding the expertise and experience of a CFO to the process of creating your cybersecurity strategy, will add a mostly positive change to a company by saving money, protecting assets, allowing growth to continue, and creating a more streamlined process.