Professionals in Pakistan see cyber security as the most significant business risk: A new survey by ACCA reveals

Not a day goes by without a breaking news story about data breaches or
personal data theft from large organisations. Cyber crime is one of the
biggest risks to businesses to date and globally its estimated costs will reach
$6trillion by 2021.
ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has teamed up with
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Macquarie University
and Optus to launch the report Cyber and the CFO. The global survey,
which features views from 1500 ACCA and CA ANZ members, including
their members in Pakistan, finds cyber security is not managed as a risk to
businesses and is too often left to IT specialists to handle.
Highlights from the report show:
 Almost 60 percent of CFOs and finance leaders rank cyber security
as the most important or top five business risk
 However, a third of respondents did not know whether their
organisations had been the subject of a cyber attack. Few survey
responses showed a recovery plan that included much beyond the
 Over 20 percent of finance professionals admitted they had no
involvement whatsoever in cyber security within their company.
 And 10 percent of respondents did not know who in the business was
responsible day-to-day for cyber security.
 Larger businesses placed a higher priority on cyber risks (8 percent),
but small businesses were marginally (5 percent) less concerned or
aware of such security risks.
Cyber-risk is becoming ever more complex with the integrated nature of
supply chains. Only 19% of survey respondents said they regularly audited
their supply chains.
It is noteworthy that more respondents in Pakistan than in any other country
surveyed see cyber security as the most significant business risk, whereas
overall its significance as a ‘top five’ business risk was lower than in the
other major respondent countries.

Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan says:
‘Finance professionals in Pakistan need to understand and play their full role
in managing cyber risk in their organisations. Weakness in cyber security is
a significant business risk across all organisations. The ACCA Qualification
ensures that our students and members in the country are developed and
assessed in digital and technology competency to be in a position to lead
organisation into the digital future.’
ACCA’s head of business management, Clive Webb, says:
‘The increasing use of technology within businesses to create commercial
advantage comes at a price and that price is cyber risk. The finance
community cannot stand by and leave cyber security to others in the
business to manage. It is very complex, but it is essential for finance leaders
to familiarise themselves with the issue.’
The report highlights the changing nature of the cyber threat. It establishes
the financial and operational risks that arise and in that regard the finance
community needs to keep abreast of the evolving nature of the threat and
ensure it is managed appropriately.

The report can be accessed online: