CFOs role in the Enterprises Cyber Security Boardroom

CFOs role in the Enterprises Cyber Security Boardroom
CFOs role in the Enterprises Cyber Security Boardroom

Operational Technology (OT) includes all the digital assets that manage industrial operations. Cyber-attacks on OT systems might have more impact on the business’s finances than a corresponding attack on IT because it directly impacts the cash flow. 

As cyber-criminals become more sophisticated, enterprises globally are witnessing a surge in the number of attacks on businesses OT. With easy access to cyber criminals as a service, these malicious actors are able to intensify the attack to increase its severity. 

A recent report released by Claroty in 20222 titled “Biannual ICS Risk & Vulnerability Report” witnessed approximately 110% growth in industrial control systems vulnerability disclosures in the last four years. The report also highlights a surge in vulnerability disclosures increased by nearly 25% in the second half of 2021 compared to the first half. 

Cyber-security infrastructure costs are also inflating as cybercrime evolves. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) should consider making strategic investments in the organization’s IT security infrastructure to protect the business from any financial turmoil caused by security incidents. The SecOps team and CFO should consider working closely to develop a resilient cyber security infrastructure to minimize the impact of cyber-threats on organizations’ financial health. Here are a few ways to develop better cyber-security practices considering finance as a crucial asset:

Understand the impact of cyber threats in terms of finances

CFOs should consider evaluating the impact of cyber threats and their implications on workforce productivity to analyze their influence on business continuity. In the enterprise’s board room, the C-suite need to get a better understanding of the cost of a data breach, do they have enough budget allocated for cyber insurance, and whether there are robust tools integrated to reduce risks. According to a recent report by IBM titled “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021,” data breach costs increased from USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million in 2021. CFOs Should consider quantifying the risk in terms of business productivity. A cyber risk model to evaluate risk through financial projections and probabilities will help to develop a resilient plan to mitigate threats. 

Also Read: Increased Cyber-Attacks Against MSPs – the Need to Reassess Strategies in 2022

Optimize cyber-security expenses

Enterprises globally are investing a hefty amount of money to secure their businesses from increasing cyber threats. As cyber criminals also evolve, organizations might have to increase their budget allocation as well to upgrade their IT security tech stack to develop cyber resiliency. Moreover, evaluating factors like whether the cyber security budget is optimized or calculating ROI on cyber-security expenditures will assist the stakeholders in making better data-driven decisions. It is essential for businesses to optimize their cyber-security spending on the tools that provide comprehensive security.

The same report by IBM suggests that enterprises that embraced a robust zero trust approach helped them to reduce the average cost of data breaches by nearly USD 1.76 million compared to businesses without a zero trust model. Once the stakeholders allocate funds to secure the network, CFOs should closely collaborate with CIOs and CISOs to draft a stringent plan to allocate funds based on the severity of the risk. Every essential aspect such as data governance, identity and access management, threat detection and response, and cyber insurance needs to be thoroughly analyzed to ensure accurate budget allocation. CFOs should consider analyzing the ROI generated through every cyber-security investment to understand which strategy works best for their organization. It shouldn’t be the case that because of higher investment in protection and detection results in less investment in response and recovery, which creates friction in the workflow.

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