Why Do You Need IT Risk Management?
Risk management is the policies, procedures, processes, and technology put in place to reduce threats and vulnerabilities. In today’s digital world, IT risk management is among the most important aspects of business operations.
What Is an IT Risk Assessment?
The first step in IT risk management is an IT risk assessment. An IT risk assessment is a review of the people, processes, and technologies that make up an IT organization. Regularly assessing risk helps businesses focus risk management efforts on the right areas to prevent future security and compliance issues.
Conducting a risk assessment can be daunting, even for mature organizations— particularly if the technology environment is large and complex. For this reason, many companies engage third-party experts, like Securance Consulting, to identify risks and develop prioritized mitigation strategies.
If you choose to work with an outside vendor, it’s best to gather the following information before the team comes on site:
- Inventory of all IT assets and their corresponding values
- Documentation of all processes that support and rely on IT assets
- Policies and procedures
- IT organization charts
- Prior assessment reports
The Risk Assessment Equation
IT risk management can be boiled down to three components:
- Threats— Every business faces digital threats. Threats target vulnerabilities and weaknesses in IT systems and can lead to unauthorized access, denial of service, or the destruction, modification, or disclosure of sensitive data.
- Vulnerabilities— The key to successful risk management is identifying and remediating vulnerabilities before incidents occur. A team of experts can help assess the risks that result from threats and vulnerabilities in your environment.
- Risks— Risks are the product of threats, vulnerabilities, and countermeasures. To calculate risk, experts assess the likelihood that a threat will occur and its potential impact, taking mitigating factors, such as effective security controls, into account.
The risk equation allows us to identify gaps, technologies and processes that threat actors might target, and effective and ineffective controls. Security guidance, policies, and mitigation activities should follow the results of the risk assessment.
Why You Need IT Risk Management
More than just a way to identify risks and solutions within IT, IT risk management is pivotal to the entire company’s longevity and bottom line. Regular risk analysis can provide a range of key benefits, including:
- Define Your Risk Profile— You can’t prepare for future threats without understanding the risks you face today. Using a team like Securance to perform a risk assessment can help you determine current threats in your environment, their sources, and how likely they are to cause harm.
- Address Vulnerabilities— While a risk assessment doesn’t typically include technical security testing, identifying high-level risks can help you focus future vulnerability assessments on the right technologies— so you can close security loopholes before the potential for damage is realized.
- Avoid Unnecessary Spending— An ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of repairs. Forward-thinking business owners can avoid unnecessary spending by implementing controls and other security measures before risks affect business operations.
- Meet Compliance Standards— Compliance and risk are intertwined, and your enterprise IT risk management strategy should cover both. A standard IT risk assessment will uncover gaps in processes and controls that could hinder compliance efforts. You can also align your risk assessment with your compliance framework to conserve costs and ensure that risk reduction measures clear the regulatory bar.
Ignoring IT risks is a surefire way to put your company’s longevity on the line. Securance has two decades of experience helping businesses conduct IT risk assessments and implement effective risk management programs. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.