CFOs Must Treat Cybersecurity as a Business Decision: Insights from Gartner’s CFO & Finance Executive Conference

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In today’s increasingly digital world, cybersecurity is no longer just a technical issue; it has become a critical business decision. This perspective was emphasized at the recent Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference, where Paul Proctor, Distinguished Vice President Analyst at Gartner, addressed the evolving role of CFOs in managing cybersecurity investments.

Balancing Protection with Business Operations

Proctor highlighted the need for CFOs to adopt a defensible cybersecurity posture, which involves balancing protection measures with business operations. He emphasized that no system can guarantee perfect protection, and organizations must be prepared to defend their cybersecurity choices to stakeholders, including shareholders, regulators, employees, customers, and partners.

Key Takeaway: CFOs must understand and communicate the business value of cybersecurity investments using outcome-driven metrics and business value benchmarks. This approach ensures that cybersecurity decisions are aligned with overall business objectives and can be justified to key stakeholders.

The Importance of Protection-Level Agreements (PLAs)

One of the critical concepts discussed was the implementation of Protection-Level Agreements (PLAs). These agreements reconcile measurable levels of protection with business needs, creating a defensible cybersecurity strategy. For instance, instead of merely counting the number of attacks, organizations should track metrics such as the number of days to patch critical systems, directly linking cybersecurity efforts to business risk reduction.

Example: If an organization’s PLA mandates a 30-day patching period for critical systems, and a system is compromised due to an unpatched vulnerability after 35 days, it signifies a control failure. Conversely, if the vulnerability is exploited within 25 days, it reflects a business risk decision, indicating a measurable and enforceable risk appetite.

Measuring Cybersecurity Value

Proctor identified two essential measures of cybersecurity value:

  1. Operational Value Delivery: Ensuring IT and security teams meet their protection targets.
  2. Target Level of Protection: Establishing defensible targets that align with business risk tolerance.

These measures help CFOs and other executives make informed cybersecurity investment decisions, ensuring that resources are allocated effectively to protect the organization while supporting business growth.

Insight: Organizations must consciously decide what they will and will not do to protect themselves, continuously reassessing their risk appetite as the business evolves. This ongoing evaluation is crucial for maintaining an effective and defensible cybersecurity posture.

How Fusion Computing Can Help

At Fusion Computing, we understand the challenges CFOs face in balancing cybersecurity investments with business needs. Our Managed Security Services (MSSP) are designed to provide comprehensive protection while supporting your business goals. Here’s how we align with the insights from the Gartner conference:

  1. Outcome-Driven Metrics: We use industry-leading frameworks such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and CyberSecure Canada to develop outcome-driven metrics tailored to your organization. These benchmarks help you understand and communicate the value of cybersecurity investments to stakeholders.
  2. Protection-Level Agreements (PLAs): Our services include setting and managing PLAs, ensuring that your cybersecurity posture is both measurable and defensible. We help you track critical metrics like patching timelines and vulnerability management, providing a clear line of sight to the business value of your cybersecurity efforts.
  3. Comprehensive Cybersecurity Solutions: Fusion’s MSSP offerings include antivirus and endpoint detection, configuration and compliance management, security awareness training, and vulnerability and patch management. Our dedicated security operations team works closely with your organization to detect and respond to threats, ensuring continuous protection and compliance.
  4. Strategic IT Partnership: Our vCIO strategy provides you with a dedicated account manager and access to our senior management team. We assist with IT budget planning, process analysis, and technology changes, ensuring your cybersecurity investments align with your overall business strategy.

Get Started Today: To learn more about how Fusion Computing can help you develop a defensible and effective cybersecurity posture, contact us for a consultation. Our team is ready to support your cybersecurity needs, enabling you to focus on what matters most—growing your business.

For more information on our Managed Security Services and how we can help you secure your organization, visit our website or reach out to our sales team.