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The 8 Steps of a Successful IT Risk Assessment

By July 18, 2020 No Comments
IT Risk Assessment

Most businesses are embracing remote work due to the COVID-19 crisis. The number of remote workers has increased from 5% to 50% in just a few months. This has changed the work habits of people. Also, businesses are using new technology now. They are worried about the security of their data and applications. The easiest way to answer this question is by running an IT Risk assessment. In this article, we are going to share some steps that you can follow for running a successful IT risk assessment.

  1. Define vulnerabilities

You should first create a document that will contain all the possible risks and vulnerabilities that can affect your business. First, you should focus on all the possible threats to your IT systems and network. For example, your business can get affected by phishing, DDoS, and ransomware attacks. You should also provide an example of these attacks in your document.

You should note down all the possible attacks that can affect your business. This will ensure that people outside of IT can understand the impact of these possible attacks. These risks are going to be interconnected with each other. They can create a snowballing effect in your business. Cybersecurity will always start with a security issue. But, it can also affect other areas like compliance and productivity of your employees.

You should also conduct a vulnerability assessment. For example, you should check if your employees know about phishing emails. This will help you in understanding the threat level of these attacks. Your IT risk assessment should document the security solutions that you are currently using. You can use anti-spam software for blocking phishing emails.

  1. Communicate your plans

Every employee is now using IT for completing their work. Thus, an IT risk assessment is relevant for your entire team. You can easily implement a risk management procedure if you are working with the right people. If you have a large enterprise, then you should set up a separate committee. However, most SMBs only need to clearly communicate their plans.

Everyone in your business should know about the aim of this assessment. They should know how to gather information and how to communicate the results. Your team should be ready for some disruption. Make sure that all your departments are up-to-date. They should know about your current plan. Communication is the most important thing during an IT risk assessment.

  1. Collect your data

You need to start your IT risk assessment by checking your current infrastructure. First, you should check both your software and hardware. If you are using assets that have security risks, then you should note them down. Data is also becoming a big asset for companies. You need to follow strict regulations like GDPR and HIPAA. Thus, it is important to consider your data also during this step.

  1. Risk analysis

If you have discovered areas of risk, then you should immediately start working on a security strategy. This strategy will protect you from the worst-case scenario. You should first find the vulnerability and the probability of it happening. This should be analyzed for all the vulnerabilities that you have discovered. You should also check the possibility of unwanted access and the amount of data that it can cause to your systems.

  1. Review and recommendations

You should include all the recommendations of this assessment in an official report. This official report should be given to all the relevant members. It should contain the results of this assessment and the strategy that you have selected for mitigating the risks. Every department of your business should review the risks. They should create a strategy that will help them in reducing these risks.

  1. Create a risk mitigation plan

Your risk mitigation plan will help you in reducing the risks that you have found in your assessment. You should create a timescale that your employees should follow while implementing these changes. It is also important to consider your partners, third party relationships, and integrations during this step. This is even more important when your partner has access to your data.

  1. Implementation

Your IT risk assessment plan will help you in controlling these risks. This plan will help you in eliminating the possibility of these risks. Also, it will reduce the impact that these attacks can cause. You should also include the impact on other third parties like warranties and insurance companies. Every department should focus on ensuring security compliance. They should review their findings and update your plan after some time. If there are some new risks in your system, then you should immediately consider them. Also, it is important to update your plan when you are updating your IT network and systems.

  1. Maintenance

You should regularly review your business risk mitigation plan. Make sure that your plan is still effective and comprehensive. You need to review all the steps that are mentioned in your plan. These steps should be approved by business leaders. You should make further modifications if you think something is missing.

The best way to protect your business is by creating a risk mitigation plan. You should regularly check your IT resources for risks. If there are new vulnerabilities, then you should update your plan again. It is important to ensure that your plan is up-to-date. Most companies review their IT risk assessment every two years. This will ensure that your business is protected from the latest IT risks. However, you can also work with an MSP. They will regularly check your systems for vulnerabilities. If there are new vulnerabilities in your network, then they will inform you. This will ensure that you can quickly update your risk mitigation plan.

Conclusion

You can follow these steps for performing an IT risk assessment. It will help you in checking the security level of your network. If your network is not protected from threats, then you can install new security tools. However, most SMBs don’t have access to a good IT security team. Thus, they can’t perform this assessment on their own. SMBs should consider working with an MSP like Bleuwire. Bleuwire will help you in performing a full assessment. They will also suggest a security strategy that you can follow for mitigating these risks. If you need more information regarding IT risk assessment, then you can contact Bleuwire.

Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™  services and solutions in how we can help your business.

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