Risk management is the process of controlling, assessing, and identifying threats to your organization. It is mostly used by the financial department. However, these threats can also arise from IT. Thus, IT managers can’t ignore the threat of risk management. Risk management shouldn’t be confined to the accounting or finance department of your company.
IT managers are responsible for managing their entire IT infrastructure. Thus, they should think about how they can protect their organization from an IT standpoint. IT is the most important pillar for digitized companies. Thus, risk management strategies now include identifying and controlling threats of its digital assets. In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of Risk management for your business.
Importance of Risk Management Plan
The risk management plan will ensure that you are considering the potential events or risks before they even occur. This will help your organization in saving a lot of money. A good risk management plan will help you in establishing procedures that can help you in minimizing the impact of threats.
A risk management strategy will help you in creating a secure and safe work environment for your customers. It will help you in increasing the stability of your business operations. At the same time, it will help you in decreasing your business’s legal liability. You can protect your business from events that can be detrimental to your business. It will help you in protecting assets and people that are involved with your business.
Risk Management and IT
Risks can come from anywhere. Thus, it can be overwhelming to think about all the possible risks. You should first narrow the scope. If you are an IT manager, then you should first focus on IT only. You should understand all the IT risks. Also, you should evaluate the impact of these IT risks on your company.
You might think about security breaches, malware, and viruses. However, IT risk management starts from a very basic level. You should start by looking at the risks that are associated with your IT applications. We are going to share some tips which will help you in creating a perfect IT risk management strategy.
You should first focus on your business continuity. Make sure that you can maintain business continuity in every situation.
You should check the backup services that you are using. Use Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for evaluating your backup strategy. You should first determine the RTO and RPO for your business. Also, you should discuss these metrics with your IT and executive team.
Your executive team might have more ambitious RPO and RTO goals in their model. However, you still explain their goals in dollars. This will help you in finding the right RTO and RPO for your business. If you are operating in the healthcare or finance industry, then your RTO will be less. You can’t tolerate downtime. Thus, you should invest more money in your disaster recovery strategy. However, normal businesses can sustain some downtime.
You should only look for IT risks. Think about the things that you can control from your desk. This can be a very difficult task as you might be supporting 100s of users. However, you have to start this conversation. Your executive team will think that you are already doing all this. They think that you are already working on keeping the technology secure and working on a business continuity plan. Make sure that your leadership team knows about the weaknesses of your IT infrastructure.
Move Beyond Security compliance
Most businesses are only trying to follow security compliance. They are taking data backups to follow their security compliance. If you are only taking backups to remove an item from your compliance checklist, then you are not doing favors for your organization. You should give top priority to your IT security and data backups.
Make sure that you have a strong backup strategy. You should store your backups in both offline and online storage. Offline storage can help you in recovering your data if the internet is down. If your offline storage is wiped, then the online backup will help you in recovering your data. You should also regularly check your data backups. Make sure that your data backups are actually working.
You should also work on your disaster recovery strategy. Your disaster recovery strategy will help you in recovering your business from disaster. A business continuity plan will help you in ensuring that you can maintain business continuity during a disaster.
Redundant IT systems
You should assess your daily business operations. Make sure that you have enough redundant IT systems in place. This will help you in preventing downtime. If you don’t have redundant systems, then you should inform your executive team. Make sure that they are working on increasing your IT budget.
For example, consider that your business only has access to one domain controller. Your executive team should understand the ramifications of your domain controller failure. If your domain controller is not working, then you need to replace it with a new one. Your company server will be unavailable during this time period. It might take hours to install a new domain controller.
Some law firms only have access to one print server. If their print server goes down, then they can’t take printouts for 12-24 hours. Thus, their entire business is down during this time.
You should explain these scenarios to your management team. if these scenarios are not acceptable to your executive team, then they will invest in new redundant systems. This is the best way to convince your executive team of redundant systems. Try to explain to them the disadvantages of not having redundant systems.
Quantify current IT risks
There are some inherent risks in the operation and design of your IT infrastructure. You can’t remove all risks. Your executive team should know about these risks. IT managers should find these risks. If you don’t find these risks, then your reputation will be affected.
Your CFO might think that you can restore your server in few hours if it stops working. However, after assessing your IT infrastructure you might find out that it will take few days to recover your IT server. Thus, it is important to quantify current IT risks.
You might be backing up your data regularly. Thus, your executive team will think that you can recover data quickly in case of an outage. However, the reality can be different. You should test your data backups every day. Check how much time it will take to restore your entire server. Make sure that resiliency is built into your systems.
Your business RTO and RPO will help you in this conversation. You should ensure that your backup strategy is following your RTO and RPO.
Do not make assumptions
If you are making assumptions, then you are hurting your business revenue. Don’t try to take random decisions on your own. You should give some recommendations to your business leadership. Try to explain to them the reasonable amount of risk that you can incur. This will help you in creating an investment plan for IT.
Your leadership team will easily increase their investment once they understand the impact of IT risks. For example, you might think that your management doesn’t want to invest in a live IT environment. This live standby IT environment can help you in recovering your entire IT infrastructure. However, it is very costly to set up. Thus, many IT managers assume that their leadership is not going to invest in such heavy projects. You can’t make these decisions on your own. There is no guarantee that a two-day recovery time will be acceptable to your leadership. If they want to reduce the recovery time, then they will invest in new technologies.
You don’t want to sit on the hot seat. If something goes wrong, then everyone will look at you. Thus, you should explain both the risks and the impact of these risks on your business.
IT risk assessment
It is very difficult to check all the areas in your IT infrastructure by yourself. Even a small thing in your IT infrastructure can affect your business operations. Thus, you should consider a formal IT risk assessment. Your MSP partner can help you in finding a weakness in your network. An IT risk assessment will help you in finding risks associated with your infrastructure. They will also give you some recommendations which you can implement for decreasing your risks.
You should go for a third-party IT risk assessment. This will ensure that the risk assessment will be neutral. The IT provider will look for weaknesses in your network. They will tell you about the best IT solutions that you can use. You can also discuss the consequence of buying new IT technology. This report will also help you in increasing your IT budget. You can submit this IT risk assessment report to your executive team. Your executive team will get to know about the weakness present in your network. They can also check the recommendations given by your IT partner.
IT risk assessment will help you in taking better decisions. It will help you in understanding the impact of your decisions.
Analyze data types
You should check the data that you are storing on your server. If you are storing Personally Identifiable Information, then you need to make sure that your data is protected. Attackers are always looking for PII data because they can dump it on the Dark Web. Thus, your data is a high-risk asset for your business.
If you are storing low-risk data like marketing copy, then you don’t need to worry about it. You should separate your sensitive data from normal data. This will ensure that you can focus on protecting your sensitive data.
Evaluate the information risk
You need to first determine the data that you are storing. This will help you in analyzing the risks. You should know the location of your data. After that, you need to determine the risk and impact of a cyberattack. You should calculate the risk level for determining this. Risk Level is just the multiplication of the probability of a data breach and the financial impact of a data breach on your business.
For example, you can store normal data like your marketing copy in a high-risk location. This type of data can be stored in a file-sharing tool as the financial impact of this data is very low on your business. Thus, you don’t need to worry about losing this data.
However, if you are storing the personal data of your customers, then the financial impact of a data breach can be drastic for your business. You should store this data in a private server or cloud. This will help you in reducing the probability of a data breach. Thus, your risk factor will automatically go down.
Monitor your risk
Attackers are always working on new threats and hacking methods. Thus, you should ensure that you are always monitoring your risk. Make sure that you are reviewing your risk management strategy after every few months. This will help you in updating your plan according to the current threat landscape.
How Bleuwire can help your business?
Bleuwire can help you in securing your entire IT infrastructure from attackers. This will help you in reducing your risk factor. They will continuously monitor your network for attackers and malware. This will ensure that you don’t need to worry about manually scanning your network. Bleuwire has access to a large team of IT security professionals. They can help you in performing IT risk assessments. This will help you in finding weaknesses in your network. They will also help you in dealing with these IT risks. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.