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EY Study: Managing Data Security, Privacy Are Top Challenges for UK CFOs

Most UK chief financial officers (CFOs) understand data security and privacy challenges but lack the necessary resources to address such issues, according to a survey conducted by professional services firm EY.

Key findings from the EY survey of more than 1,000 UK CFOs included:

  • 85 percent of UK CFOs said assessing the different security standards for data centers versus cloud computing is a key challenge relative to data protection, privacy and compliance.
  • 68 percent indicated uncertain­ty about the risk of using cloud computing and other new technologies affects their corporate reporting effectiveness.
  • 64 percent said a lack of clarity over data ownership has a "significant" or "very significant" effect on their corporate reporting.
  • 56 percent said managing data security and privacy is the primary data challenge in their corporate reporting environment.
  • 53 percent stated lack of integration between IT systems is the main technology challenge in their corporate reporting environment.
  • 42 percent said implementing a data governance model to actively manage data flows based on assorted privacy laws in the jurisdictions where their organization operates is a key challenge.
  • Concern over data security and compliance risks with cloud computing ranked first among barriers to implementing new finance technologies.

Ultimately, addressing the risks and challenges of the changing corporate reporting environment is essential, according to the survey. If UK CFOs adapt to rapidly evolving compliance, legal, regulatory and technology risks, they may be better equipped than ever before to minimize data security and privacy dangers.

Data Security Tips for Finance Leaders

Protecting sensitive data can be difficult, particularly for finance leaders. Fortunately, enterprise IP and data loss prevention (DLP) software company Digital Guardian offers several recommendations to secure financial data, including:

  • Encrypt your data. Deploy data encryption technology; many publicly available tools are available to help finance leaders take the guesswork out of data encryption.
  • Back up your data. Create duplicate copies of critical data to guarantee quick recovery of critical information if a device is compromised.
  • Leverage the cloud. Utilize cloud storage to remotely back up sensitive information and ensure access to this data from any location, at any time.
  • Deploy anti-malware protection. Use anti-malware software to identify malware and perform periodic security scans across networks and systems.
  • Keep your software and systems up to date. Install software and system updates regularly to ensure maximum protection against emerging cyber threats.

Finance leaders also can work with MSSPs to secure critical information. With MSSP support, finance leaders can leverage a wide range of managed security services to safeguard sensitive data against cyber threats and maintain compliance with various data security and privacy regulations.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.