NJ CFO Leadership Council on Cyber Security In a world dominated by computer networks and online data, today’s companies are at risk more than ever for cyber attacks and, as result, CFOs are feeling very threatened and vulnerable by this harsh reality. Many financial professionals agree that cyber security is now one of their top priorities, as the detrimental aftermath of a breach could negatively impact corporate profits, stocks, and economic sectors. To ensure data safety, a CFO must be in touch with and prepared to implement incident response plans. 
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On November 10, The New Jersey CFO Leadership Council presented one of our most popular programs, Cyber Security: Practical Protection For The Modern Age, a panel discussion focusing on the best and most effective ways to keep your company protected and alert to threats.

Our expert speakers included:

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Here’s some of the advice that they offered:

Constantly Beware Of Hacking Attempts

Over time, hackers have evolved from amateurs to professionals and, now, regardless of your company size and industry, your organization will always have something of value to target, which automatically puts you at high risk. The most common hacking scams can be found in e-mails. Whether it’s ransomware that restricts use of your computer system until you pay a fee, hacktivists attempting to spread their messages, or criminals using spearfishing techniques by creating luring messages, these e-mails are all fabricated with the common goal of obtaining confidential information. And, as our panelists agreed, employee negligence is the number one cause of security breaches.  

Keep Your Employees Educated About Security Issues

It is important to take a holistic approach and think about how to best educate your employees, as well as evaluate your company’s security stance, manage third parties, and implement an incident response plan. As one of our panelists stated, security should be taken very seriously. It is not a trend and it is not going away, so you must fully understand your risk profile. It was agreed that every company’s employee manual should include security guidelines, simply stated so that they can be easily understood and followed by everyone. If policies are not being strictly adhered to, then they are useless.

Develop An Incident Response Plan

Although cyber insurance is an option, our panelists agreed that many policies are denied and there is rarely a successful claim. And, despite many executives feeling skeptical to communicate information about company breaches, it is crucial that all major incidents are reported to the FBI, with the goal of raising general awareness of potential risks.  But, even more important, every organization must have a strong security plan in place to ensure that, in the event of a cyber attack, daily business is not disrupted.

When considering your incident response plan and maximizing its effectiveness, the following guidelines are crucial:

  • Understand when breaches need to be reported to higher authority and when outside counsel should be utilized.
  • Develop an effective crisis communication plan and appoint a core team to take immediate action. 
  • Adhere to consistency, making sure that the plan protocol is followed in all cases.

Enforce Strict Security Guidelines For Employees, Contractors, And Vendors

One important rule: Never lose sight of the whereabouts of your sensitive data and always know exactly who has access to it. To ensure optimally safe network use, our panelists recommended offering frequent training and testing, enforcing restrictions on mobile phones, being overly cautious with outsourcing, implementing strict security measures for those who work remotely, and keeping track of all of your computers and network devices. And, ultimately, be sure that you understand your risk profile since, in the long term, you will be held responsible for your data breaches, not your third party vendors.

For more expert advice on cyber security issues, take a look at The Future of Finance Blog, written by John O’Rourke, Vice President of Product Marketing at Host Analytics, one of our renowned sponsors. 

take a look at The Future of Finance Blog, written by one of our members, John O’Rourke, Vice President of Product Marketing at Host Analytics. – See more at: http://www.cfoleadershipcouncil.com/news/navigating-through-challenging-times-advice-from-our-new-york-panel#sthash.xHzleAY1.dpuf
take a look at The Future of Finance Blog, written by one of our members, John O’Rourke, Vice President of Product Marketing at Host Analytics. – See more at: http://www.cfoleadershipcouncil.com/news/navigating-through-challenging-times-advice-from-our-new-york-panel#sthash.xHzleAY1.dpuf

For further information, we also encourage you to review some of our past related blogs:

And, looking ahead, we invite you to join us on Tuesday, December 8 for our next chapter event, Post M & A Integration StrategiesSpace is filling fast, so register today

Law School For The CFO: Employment Law, Commercial Contracts, and Data Security – See more at: http://www.cfoleadershipcouncil.com/news/cyber-security-practical-protection-for-the-modern-age#sthash.TtoFm0ra.dpuf

Law School For The CFO: Employment Law, Commercial Contracts, and Data Security

Cyber Security: Where Are We Now?

Cyber Security and Fixed Income Market Surveys for CFOs

– See more at: http://www.cfoleadershipcouncil.com/news/cyber-security-practical-protection-for-the-modern-age#sthash.iurG2KvG.dpuf

Law School For The CFO: Employment Law, Commercial Contracts, and Data Security

Cyber Security: Where Are We Now?

Cyber Security and Fixed Income Market Surveys for CFOs

– See more at: http://www.cfoleadershipcouncil.com/news/cyber-security-practical-protection-for-the-modern-age#sthash.iurG2KvG.dpuf

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