Ultimate Access Podcast

Cyber Security - CFO role

May 17, 2020 Anju De Alwis Season 3 Episode 2
Ultimate Access Podcast
Cyber Security - CFO role
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Ultimate Access Podcast
Cyber Security - CFO role
May 17, 2020 Season 3 Episode 2
Anju De Alwis

In this episode I discuss Cyber Security and the role of CFO. As a finance professional it is important topic to consider and be an active business partners.

 Some of the links that you might find useful are;

Article from the security magazine

World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019 


Worldwide spending on cybersecurity is forecasted to reach $133.7 billion in 2022. (Gartner)


62% of businesses experienced phishing and social engineering attacks in 2018. (Cybint Solutions)

68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. (Accenture)- Study done in March 2018

Only 5% of companies’ folders are properly protected, on average. (Varonis)

Data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records in the first half of 2019. (RiskBased)

71% of breaches were financially motivated and 25% were motivated by espionage.  (Verizon)

52% of breaches featured hacking, 28% involved malware and 32–33% included phishing or social engineering, respectively. (Verizon 2019 Investigation Report)


We deliver  online courses related to finance, accounting, business, strategy and technology please visit our website www.ultimateaccess.net discover courses we have on offer.

If you would like to contact me directly email [email protected] 


Show Notes Transcript

In this episode I discuss Cyber Security and the role of CFO. As a finance professional it is important topic to consider and be an active business partners.

 Some of the links that you might find useful are;

Article from the security magazine

World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019 


Worldwide spending on cybersecurity is forecasted to reach $133.7 billion in 2022. (Gartner)


62% of businesses experienced phishing and social engineering attacks in 2018. (Cybint Solutions)

68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. (Accenture)- Study done in March 2018

Only 5% of companies’ folders are properly protected, on average. (Varonis)

Data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records in the first half of 2019. (RiskBased)

71% of breaches were financially motivated and 25% were motivated by espionage.  (Verizon)

52% of breaches featured hacking, 28% involved malware and 32–33% included phishing or social engineering, respectively. (Verizon 2019 Investigation Report)


We deliver  online courses related to finance, accounting, business, strategy and technology please visit our website www.ultimateaccess.net discover courses we have on offer.

If you would like to contact me directly email [email protected] 



In today's session, I like to talk about the importance of  finance leader to be in the heart of planning of cybersecurity in his or her company. This is certainly part of the digital strategy.

World Economic Forum's global Risk Report. 2019 has ranked financially motivated cyber attacks amongst the top five global risks in the world today.

Security magazine article revealed and estimated 2 million cyber attacks in 2018 resulted in more than $45 billion in losses worldwide, as local governments struggled to cope with ransomware and other malicious incidents CFOs traditionally have not played a significant role in enterprise cyber security operations. 

Cybersecurity has generally been approached as a technology issue, rather than a business one. And finance leaders have not always understood why they are funding particularly security initiatives. The CFO's have certainly taken a backseat when it comes to these initiatives in the past. And if you are to be a strategic finance business partner, and have a seat at the table, you certainly need to understand the business ecosystem and the risks associated with it.

Let us review some of the highlights from research carried out by several professional bodies related to cyber risks, as that will set the scene as to why this area is so important for us.

Number 1 - , worldwide spending on cybersecurity is forecasted to reach higher $133 billion in 2022. (Gartner)
Number 2 - 62% of businesses experience phishing and social engineering attacks in 2018. (Cybint Solutions)
Number 3 - 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. (Accenture)
Number 4 - only 5% of companies  folders are properly protected. (Varonis)
Number 5-  data breaches exposed 4.5 billion records in the first half of 2019. (RiskBased)
Number 6 - 71% of breaches were financially motivated and 25% were motivated by espionage.  (Verizon)
Number 7 - 52% of breaches featured hacking 28% involve malware, and 33% included phishing or social engineering.  (Verizon)

Today, technology is integrated into all areas of the business and increases company's exposures to digital security disruptions,

 The CFOs need to understand what are the changes impacting cybersecurity, some of the changes that are there are expansion, that  is the business expansion and acquisition or merger, restructuring of an organization and hardware update and regulations. These are some of the changes that impact cyber security.

Cyber is all about protecting the entire asset base of the company and managing risks appropriately. Therefore, it is not just a technology issue. We need to consider what affects shareholder value. Does data loss and breaches affect shareholder value? It certainly does. As it impacts the ability of the business to deliver on its strategic goals to the shareholders. cyber risks has reached the point of such material impact on the company's bottom line and financial stability, that CFOs must bring some of the rigor of running a firm's finances to cyber security initiatives.

There is an interesting report by Accenture and in this data, there are three steps to unlocking the value in cybersecurity. 

Step number one prioritizing protecting people based attacks internal threats is still one of the biggest challenges with the rise in phishing and ransomware attacks as well as malicious insiders. 

Step number two, an expensive consequence of cyber attack is the growing concern with new privacy regulations, such as GDPR. 

Step number three target technologies that reduce rising cost. What does this mean? Well, that is by using automation, advanced analytics and security intelligence to manage the rising cost of discovering attacks, which is the largest component of spending.

I like to take you now to the place where we started. And that is, the importance of finance leader in the planning of cybersecurity. With the increasing cost of cybersecurity, as well as the increase in cyber risks. It is certainly important that the CFO is at the heart of this planning phase of cyber security takes a leading role in the planning of cyber security and has a good understanding of the importance of it.