Chief financial officers and corporate finance teams are taking on a larger role in protecting companies from cyber-risks, according to a new survey.

The survey by the American Institute of CPAs of holders of the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation found that 72% said that their companies have asked the finance function to take on more responsibility to handle risks like database breaches, phishing scams, and other cyber-attacks.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • 30% of respondents said their business has fallen victim to a cyber- attack in the past two years – up from 22% in 2014.
  • Over 20% of respondents said cyber-threats are worse than what has been reported in the media.
  • About 68% of respondents said that their company is moderately or significantly concerned with the threat of cyber attacks, compared to 62% in 2014.

“With today’s businesses facing a heightened risk of cyber-attacks, they are in need of strong risk identification and mitigation strategies driven by collaboration between business units across the company,” said Ash Noah, CPA, CGMA, vice president of CGMA external relations for the AICPA. “The finance function has a unique view into the complexities of the business as well as an in-depth understanding of the industry, markets and risk climate, yielding important insights for a company’s strategic direction. As the finance function continues to evolve to become more business-centric, it’s critical for finance executives from the CFO down to play a driving role in preparing for and addressing potential cyber risks for the long-term growth of the company.”

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