EOS survey: Only a third of financial executives in Germany are tackling the issue of cyber security

  • Almost half of the European companies polled consider cyber security to be a key issue in receivables management in the next few years – but in Germany the figure is only 35 percent
  • Despite the GDPR, 27 percent of the companies are not working to improve data protection

Hamburg, September 24, 2019 – Given the proliferation of news reports about hacked accounts and stolen passwords, this result is all the more astonishing: In the sensitive financial sector of all places, the issue of cyber security is not a top priority at German companies. This is one of the findings of the representative survey “European Payment Practices” 2019, which was conducted by financial services provider EOS in 17 European countries. It showed that only 35 percent of German financial executives expect cyber security to be a trending issue in receivables management in the next two years. The European average, on the other hand, is 49 percent. One alarming finding is that just 31 percent of financial executives in Germany are tackling this issue at all. The results for data protection are somewhat more encouraging, as 73 percent of respondents say that their company has taken appropriate action. But that still leaves 27 percent that are not doing so.

Cyber security is more than just data protection

In respect of data protection, only Denmark, where 81 percent of companies are actively addressing the issue, is ahead of Germany. This is gratifying, because protecting personal data is an important part of safeguarding payment details. “However, cyber security is a far larger field than data protection,” says Gunnar Woitack, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of the EOS Group. “It’s also about making employees aware of the risks associated with malware, for example, and establishing clear-cut security processes within the company. To ignore this issue is negligent and can lead to significant economic losses. In my view there is still a need for massive investment in this area at many companies.” To ensure the greatest possible degree of data security, companies should for example regularly engage specialized hackers to carry out what are known as ‘penetration tests’. This involves scanning the systems for breaches that can then be closed. We do this regularly for the more than 60 EOS companies in 26 countries,” says Woitack.

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

  Germany Europe

... “Cyber security”

35% 49%

… “Measures to improve data protection”

56% 52%


… and who is actively addressing this issue…

  Germany Europe

... Cyber security

31% 28%

… Measures to improve data protection

73% 60%


About the representative 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 (each 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.

Downloads / further information

Please find more information on our study website.

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.

More about EOS Group: www.eos-solutions.com