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Manage IT Risk to Keep Your Business Secure and Operating Effectively

Despite knowing the importance of cybersecurity, many IT execs are skeptical of their organization’s ability to manage risk. Learn how to protect your business

IT Risk Management Reduces Threats, Drives Efficient Performance

Despite knowing the importance of cybersecurity, many IT execs are skeptical of their organization’s ability to manage risk. Learn how to protect your business.

A recent study notes that fewer than a third of security professionals are confident that their organizations can respond to new threats to their IT systems. The data reinforces the importance of having an organized approach to IT risk management that continuously identifies and evaluates risks, develops solutions and tests attack scenarios.

The State of Enterprise Risk Management 2020 report is based on responses from 4,500 risk specialists. Only 29 percent of respondents are highly confident that their organizations “can accurately predict the impact of threats and vulnerabilities associated with emerging technologies,” according to a press release announcing the report.

IT Risk Management For Charlotte Businesses

IT Risk Management Consulting In Charlotte

Among other data points raised in the report:

  • The top three risks reported were:
    • Cybersecurity (29 percent)
    • Reputation (15 percent)
    • Financial (13 percent)
  • Top cybersecurity risks include:
    • Changes and advances in technology
    • Changes in the types of threats
    • Too few security professionals
    • Lack of skills in existing cybersecurity staff
    • Threat frequency
  • While two-thirds of respondents have risk assessment processes in place, just 38 percent believe the processes are optimized
  • There’s a knowledge gap between the management of threats and governance, with boards, for example, receiving updates on risk on average only quarterly

The disconnects within organizations reinforce the need for a deliberate approach to IT risk management.

What Is IT Risk Management?

IT risk management is the collection of policies, procedures and technologies designed to reduce the threats of a cyberattack. It involves the processes used to identify vulnerabilities, assess those risks and apply solutions.

In many cases, third-party vendors such as managed services providers, deliver the assessments and solutions, including ongoing monitoring and automated software to detect and neutralize threats.

In general, your risk management program should address these four components:

  1. Strategy. Clearly define your high-level goals for risk management and how they align and support your mission
  2. Operations: Ensure your organization uses resources effectively and efficiently
  3. Finances: Develop reliable financial and operational reporting
  4. Compliance: Maintain compliance with applicable regulations and laws

What Are the Advantages of Information Risk Management?

In today’s world, risk management is a must. Your business is susceptible to multiple risks from multiple vectors every day. Having a risk management strategy has several benefits, including:

  • Reduced risk of disruptive IT security incidents such as ransomware attacks or data breaches
  • Competitive advantage via improved trust and reliability
  • Visibility and transparency to drive better business decisions
  • Cost reduction via more efficient controls, better architectures and appropriate protective measures
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery to get your business back to operational levels in the event of a natural or manmade disaster
  • Peace of mind due to more clarity about the risk potential and solutions
  • A corporate culture that is more risk-focused and aware
  • Standardized risk reporting and management
  • Improved coordination of regulatory and compliance issues

What Are the Components of IT Risk Management?

There are several models available for creating a risk management program. Most use the following basic approach:

  1. Identify Risks. Potential risks must be identified, defined and detailed, especially their potential impact
  2. Analyze RIsks. Each risk must be analyzed to determine the severity and how it could affect the business
  3. Evaluate and Rank Risks. Risks need to be ranked to prioritize mitigation strategies
  4. Develop and Deploy Solutions. Create and implement solutions to identified risks
  5. Test and Assess Solutions. Using simulations, mock attacks and penetration testing, evaluate how your solutions respond and adjust accordingly

How Can We Get Started with IT Risk Management?

Understanding the importance of IT risk management allows your organization to commit to a new approach. Here are some tips to launch effectively a new risk management module:

  • Lead from the top with C-level support
  • Evaluate solutions frequently
  • Communicate regularly about why IT risk management is important and employee roles
  • Develop strong policies that govern your approach to IT risk management
  • Involve key stakeholders, including senior leadership, board members, employees and partners

A final tip: Partner with an IT solutions company like William Ives Consulting. We help Charlotte-area businesses with managed IT and cybersecurity solutions that allow your company to thrive, with a focus on data storage, security and efficiency. Learn more by contacting us today.

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