CFOs take over cybersecurity decision as data breaches grow

July 23, 2015 Arctic Wolf Networks

A new study recently released by financial consulting firm Deloitte revealed that a growing number of chief financial officers are expressing concern over the risks cyberthreats are causing to their companies' bottom lines.

According to the CFO Signals 2015 Q2 survey report, a majority of CFOs consider cyberattacks as one of the biggest threats to the financial health of their enterprises. The survey included responses from 100 CFOs at firms in North America and found that 97 percent of respondents believed cyberattacks to be a major threat. Of those who were deeply concerned about cybercrime, only 10 percent said their firm was well prepared for an attack.

A separate report released by accounting firm Grant Thornton found that CFOs are held accountable for security decisions in 38 percent of companies, the same number of CIOs who reported being responsible for enterprise security. Surprisingly, only 7 percent of CISOs reported having ultimate responsibility for their firm's cybersecurity operations.

"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," said Steve Durbin, director of the Information Security Forum.

According to the Grant Thornton report, 46 percent of executives believe a lack of understanding regarding cyberthreats and the impact they have on a business is the biggest barrier to implementing an enterprise-wide security strategy. In order to create a reliable defense solution, CFOs and other top executives need to gain a better understanding of their industry's threat environment.

Staying ahead of cybercriminals with SIEM
While it's always beneficial for a company's executives to be knowledgeable about the cyberthreats facing their industry, it is impossible to keep up with every single piece of malware or new virus making its way onto enterprise devices. Instead, recent research conducted by the Ponemon Institute suggests that the best way for businesses to stay alert in regards to new threats is by implementing a security information and event management solution. According to the report, companies that put good security governance policies in place saved an average nearly $2 million a year. Organizations that used security solutions like SIEM services had an average cost savings of more than $5 million when compared to companies without such tools.

"Specifically, the data tells us that organizations experience the most return when focusing incremental spending on security intelligence systems (including SIEM), extensive deployment of encryption technology and advanced perimeter controls," said Frank Mong, vice president and general manager of Enterprise Security Products at HP. "The study is clear that these areas deliver significant ROI, and can have a direct impact on minimizing the cost of cybercrime."

SIEM services like FireBreak from ArcticWolf offer businesses the ability to continuously monitor network activity and identify suspicious behavior that may indicate an intrusion in almost real time.
Around-the-clock monitoring of enterprise networks and systems allows service providers to gain comprehensive, actionable information regarding the cyberthreats facing a business at any given time by first gathering a baseline of what is considered normal network activity and then flagging any anomalous behavior. The threat data gathered through these services  is invaluable in the creation of a more robust enterprise defense strategy and ensures that security incidents are detected quickly and mitigated in an efficient and effective manner.

Cybersecurity news and analysis brought to you by ArcticWolf, inventors of firebreak detection and response security services. FireBreak, when your firewall fails.


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