Being the top finance professional has become a lot more technical in the past decades. With technology reporting up to CFOs in many instances, people who may not have the strongest technical background find themselves wrestling with decisions that can have a serious and lasting impact on the business. These decisions are often made without the deep knowledge or understanding of the core and related issues that would help make the decisions more comfortable. From cybersecurity to data privacy laws, here’s what Nashville CFOs need to know before selecting an information systems company.
While the European Union got together and decided on consumer data privacy standards (GDPR), it looks like the laws governing Americans will not be quite so cut and dried. California is the first state to publish a consumer-specific standard, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). While it shares many similarities with its European sister, CCPA is the first to directly affect organizations doing business domestically. Other states are quickly following and keeping track of the various data privacy and consumer access laws will become increasingly complex.
The risk factor is spread throughout the organization, as CFOs scramble to bring together disparate data sources and retroactively apply strict privacy and access standards — or they risk expensive non-compliance with these new laws. The reality that many executives are being faced with is having to retool data sources and delivery mechanisms such as websites, automated marketing tools and mobile apps to ensure that they will all meet the aggressive new standards. This not only takes attention away from the primary goals of the business, but it can also siphon funds that were earmarked for innovation.
In a world of documented, measurable results being the litmus test for whether technology projects are approved, CFOs find themselves mired in a world where extensive investments are recommended — but the only ROI is the hope that the measures will prevent an attack in the future. This may be a tough sell, but it is crucial to understand the scope of the potential risk from a cyberattack: many organizations are never able to recover from a significant data breach or malware attack. By 2023, hackers are expected to steal 33 billion records from American businesses. With the average cost of a data breach reaching a staggering $7.91 million per event, the conversation can take a completely different turn for CFOs.
Are you able to fund a team of cybersecurity analysts and data scientists? Proactive team members, who are continually watching your infrastructure systems and reports to ensure you aren’t experiencing a breach — and the technicians who can immediately begin remediation when something does occur? If not, it may be time to seek support from an information systems company. While a single organization may not be able to afford a full staff of technical and security professionals, this partnership provides access to the critical talents and abilities that will help protect your business both now and in the future.
A thorough audit can help determine if there are areas of your business where an information systems company may add unique value. Email and web-based security solutions are often the first steps to adding a blanket of security to your business operations, with onsite and cloud-based backups and recovery solutions becoming an ever-increasing part of your infrastructure requirements. Your IT solutions partner should listen closely to the needs of the business before making a recommendation, allowing them to provide a comprehensive solution that protects your business while balancing your financial requirements at the same time.
Securing your building is a given, and securing the various network endpoints and mobile access for your staff members should also be a key consideration. Today’s mobile staff members are increasingly creative about gaining access to confidential information. If unprotected, this practice can inadvertently cause significant deficits or weaknesses in your security posture. Each mobile unit that is accessing your network must be tightly controlled in order to ensure that your data privacy and cybersecurity standards are not being compromised. IoT (Internet of Things) attacks increased by over 600% in 2017 alone, and that trend is likely to continue to expand in the future.
Protecting your sensitive business data and infrastructure begins with proactive reviews of your current standards and practices and leads to a comprehensive strategy that considers all aspects of your business. When you are ready to get started with your risk review and gain recommendations from a local expert, contact SunRiver IT at 615-646-2121 or visit them online to learn more.