CMS Hasche Sigle and Finance Magazine Survey CFO Panel on the Importance of Data Security


In the wake of the scandal surrounding the US-UK surveillance programmes, a large number of German Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are concerned about IT and data security. According to the latest survey of the CFO panel polled regularly by CMS Hasche Sigle and Finance magazine, general business prospects have much improved, though, while international finance options are increasingly being considered. Around 100 CFOs of German companies provide anonymous assessments of the market at regular intervals for the survey.

In this fifth survey, more than a third of respondents indicated that it is no longer as easy to ensure protection of corporate data. However, only 12% of CFOs regard the situation as really insecure or very insecure. Almost three quarters of those polled also bear ultimate responsibility for IT. Nearly 40% have already taken action and are examining steps such as encryption, switching service provider or turning away from cloud solutions. Although most are aware of the risks, they do not intend to step up investment in security for the moment.

The general topic of IT has moved up one place to fifth in the list of CFO priorities since last spring. Otherwise often neglected, IT now has the highest level of urgency at an unprecedented 8%. "Demand for legal advice on IT and data protection matters is greater than ever," confirms CMS Hasche Sigle partner Christian Runte. "The regulatory authorities in particular are now pursuing data protection violations much more aggressively. Alongside the risk of negative media coverage, companies increasingly face the threat of severe penalties if they breach data protection legislation. The new EU Data Protection Regulation will also require a response," added Runte.

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