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The Accenture Blog on Insurance delivers leading insights about opportunities and challenges in the insurance industry.


Cybersecurity is the bedrock of tomorrow’s intelligent business. If companies are to succeed by using digital capabilities to develop superior customer knowledge, unique insights and proprietary intellectual property—the hallmarks of an intelligent business—they will need a robust cybersecurity strategy to underpin it all.

Finding Answers

CEOs need to find answers to the following four questions to drive the capabilities that will realize cyber resilience:

CEOs and boards are ramping up their engagement in cybersecurity—to a point where they are assuming accountability for the cyber risks facing the company. But, with security programs only covering 67 percent of the organization on average, most have much more to do—and their relationship with the CISO is a critical component of the right kind of engagement.

Many companies believe that their cultures already “get it” when it comes to cybersecurity. For example, 83 percent of respondents we surveyed said they have “completely embedded cybersecurity into their cultures.” And yet, 71 percent report that cyberattacks remain “a bit of a black box.” They do not know how or when they will affect the organization. Business leaders need to decide if they are paying lip service to cybersecurity or whether it really is at the front and center of their strategy.

Companies need to be “brilliant at the basics”—that is, investing properly to resolve challenges of any magnitude, whether from intruders who want to target a particular customer, use the infrastructure, or even trumpet a cause, to attackers after the organization’s “crown jewels,” the data that is most critical to their operations and its differentiation in the market. Funding means not only getting the basics right, but also using innovation to improve cybersecurity and data protection.

The metrics used in the past will not help in the future. Being “low, medium, or high” on compliance scores does not say enough about the risk to business resilience. A senior security executive for a bank told us what is needed instead: “We do not present the board project plans on encryption. We present the board with metrics on data protection for our customers. And we don’t have metrics around patching. We have metrics around maintaining the integrity of our production environments.”


Insurance chief financial officers (CFOs) face unique challenges, as noted in our report, CFO Reimagined. For one, they should be more dynamic in leveraging data they’ve possessed for some time. But the technology that can help them is only beginning to yield the promised return.

Can insurance CFOs harness data and lead their businesses to greater profitability?

Moving Forward

Insurance CFOs can begin now to adopt a more dynamic, forward-thinking approach. They can take four steps to drive business forward.

Create a powerful case for emerging technologies
If CFOs can tap the potential of new technology and articulate its benefits, that potential should rapidly translate into momentum and scale.

Leap-frog, don’t dabble
For new tech such as AI and machine learning to fulfil their promise, the CFO should be willing to experiment and adapt quickly to change.

Collaborate for data
Finance can derive insights from more complex data, but it requires clear connection with business leads and alignment with strategic direction.

Rethink the skills challenge
To compete with other industries for key skills, insurance CFOs should consider how they can inspire a wider range of talent to work with insurers.