Chicago In an annual study performed by BDO Seidman, Chicago, and released on Tuesday, 44% of retail CFOs stated they have increased investment in cyber security, down from 61% in last year’s survey. Similarly, only 25% of the CFOs, compared to 32% in 2007, said their company had increased the level of human and financial resources allocated to risk management associated with vendors or suppliers.
“When considering cyber security, many have invested heavily in deterring data breaches over the past two years and, consequently, most retailers are more confident in their protective measures this year,” BDO partner Ted Vaughan, stated.
In other study findings, a majority (90%) indicated they had not made any changes to supply chain relationships as a result of product recalls or food-safety concerns.
“Two major issues plaguing retailers last year were product safety and cyber security,” Vaughan said. “After the spate of product recalls in 2007, there was a flurry of demand to move product sourcing away from China. Realistically, however, retailers would have been pressed to change their sourcing overnight, as supply chains are complex and expensive to establish. Instead, retailers have been more focused on enforcing safety standards and working with regulators to ensure that consumers are protected.”
Although spending was down relative to risk management and security, 76% of those surveyed said their company is actively involved in green practices, which represents a 9% increase over green initiatives in 2007.
The study, which was conducted in August and September, surveyed 100 CFOs at retail companies with revenues of more than $100 million.