IT Risk Assessments

IT-Risk-AssesementIT Risk Assessments

Simplifying IT risk to achieve greater security and compliance

Managing IT risk is part of running any business these days. Regardless of the business, understanding IT risk helps increase network security, reduce management costs and achieve greater compliance posture.

Failure to identify, assess and mitigate IT risk sets the business up for serious security breaches and financial losses down the road. And those that think managing IT risk is the job solely of the IT staff are in for a big shock.

Companies make considerable investments in people, processes and technology to ensure their businesses run smoothly. Understanding the relationships and levels of risk among these vital assets is imperative if you want to increase network security, streamline compliance and reduce overall IT costs. The challenge for most companies is to identify a repeatable process to identify, assess and remediate IT risk without interrupting their business activities.

Today’s IT risk environment is more threatened than ever thanks to the growth in sophisticated malware attacks and security vulnerabilities, with Web 2.0 adoption adding new layers of IT risk. Regulations continue to increase, placing additional costs on organizations to meet these new requirements. Organizations need an intelligent approach when it comes to assessing IT risk and managing compliance.

What is IT risk?

IT risk can be defined as any threat to your information technology, data, critical systems and business processes.

Management has a responsibility to identify areas of control weakness and respond in a timely fashion to these by improving processes, augmenting controls and even reducing the cycle time between control testing to ensure that the organization is properly identifying and responding to IT risks. However, labour and cost constraints mean you can’t mitigate all risk. There is always some degree of residual risk, either unidentified or known but unmitigated. The problem is that many organizations don’t understand that managing their IT risk — from the shop floor to the boardroom — is critical to business success. The inherent risks in IT show up in complex and subtle ways, making IT risk management a difficult concept to communicate and manage effectively.

By aggregating and reporting on the impact of security risks within IT and understanding how these risks impact the business, security professionals can become an integral part of business decision-making process and help guide the organization to a more risk-aware culture.