Survey shows: European companies see cyber security and data protection as the trending issues of the future

  • Financial executives across Europe see cyber security and data protection as major trends in the next two years
  • Just 28 percent are already working on issues of cyber security in receivables management
  • Western Europeans more active in dealing with data protection than Eastern Europeans

Hamburg, September 24, 2019 – If you ask major European companies about the trends in receivables management in the next two years, most will cite security issues, regardless of their country. 52 percent attach great importance to data protection, and 49 percent to cyber security. This was one of the insights from the survey “European Payment Practices” 2019, which polled 3,400 companies in 17 European countries on behalf of financial services provider EOS. Astonishingly, although cyber security is seen as a trending issue in receivables management, just 28 percent of the European companies taking part in the survey have taken any action in this area. In Western Europe, every third company is actively addressing this issue (33 percent), while in Eastern Europe it’s only one in four (25 percent). Companies are doing a little better at improving data protection. Nevertheless, despite the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which entered into force in 2018, only 67 percent of Western European and 55 percent of Eastern European companies are actively addressing this issue.

Risk of loss of revenue due to cyber attacks

“The survey shows that the question of cyber security is still being neglected by many financial executives,” says Gunnar Woitack, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at EOS Group. “This is negligent and can lead to significant economic losses. There is a massive need for investment in this area.” A study by management consultancy Accenture revealed that USD 5.2 trillion in revenue could be lost to companies worldwide in the next five years as a result of cyber attacks.

Planned hacker attacks boost cyber security

To ensure the greatest possible level of data security at the more than 60 EOS companies in 26 countries, Woitack regularly engages the services of specialized hackers from outside the company who scan the virtual defenses of EOS for breaches. “Naturally it is painful in that first moment when the outside professionals manage to overcome our defenses in what are known as penetration tests,” he admits. “But this is the only way to reveal our potential vulnerabilities and close them before an actual data theft can occur.”

The major trends in receivables management in the next 2 years are …

  Western Europe Eastern Europe Total

Measures to improve data protection

51% 52% 52%

... Cyber security

52% 47% 49%

Trending measures already being implemented …

  Western Europe Eastern Europe Total

Measures to improve data protection

67% 55% 60%

... Cyber security

33% 25% 28%

Please find further information in our EOS newsroom.

About the EOS Survey “European Payment Practices” 2019

In partnership with independent market research institute Kantar, EOS conducted phone interviews with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries to ask them about the prevailing payment practices in their respective locations. In the spring of 2019, 200 companies with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million in each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK answered questions about their own payment experiences and current issues relating to risk and receivables management. The annual survey has now been conducted by EOS no less than 12 times.

About EOS Group

EOS Group is a leading international provider of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables, EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company’s core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, EOS Group has a workforce of more than 7,500 and over 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS is part of Otto Group.

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