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by Framework IT

6 August 2022

How to Evaluate Your Business’s IT Risk Management

Risk management can be broadly defined as investigating and identifying potential risks to your business's infrastructure. By doing so you’re able to generate procedures that reduce the damage posed by these risks. Such risks pose a direct impact on the organization’s reputation, credibility, and financial stability.

IT risk management means that you have safeguards in place to reduce and mitigate potential technological risks. For over a decade, Framework IT has been evaluating the IT environments of businesses to evaluate risk. A proper risk management evaluation requires an assessment of the controls and access to all systems such as applications, data, response systems and policies.

As most organization’s critical processes and data are now all digital, more of your business is exposed to cybersecurity-related risks. We hope that this blog will give you some valuable insight into the importance of proper risk management.

 

Benefits of Implementing an IT Risk Management Plan

You’re never going to be 100% safe of risk or harm, but by implementing a proper plan you can build a process for when something occurs.. 

Investing early in a risk management plan is a lot like a private insurance plan – if you invest now, you will save in unplanned, emergency costs should an issue arise in the future.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, "A business that is indifferent to lose control may have a higher than the average number of insurance claims. A really poor loss history can make it difficult to find insurance. Conversely, businesses that actively manage risks, and thereby control losses, will have fewer claims and will often see those efforts rewarded with lower insurance premiums."

An efficient plan affords you the ability to respond to incidents quickly and therefore reduce cost and risk. IT risk management will not only provide a positive financial gain but peace of mind in knowing you are being proactive versus reactive. 

 

Where is My Business at Risk? 

IT is one of the highest risk areas for your organization.

Many of the risks revolve around personal risk and data, how data is used, who and to where it is disseminated, and finally - who is trying to get to that data. Contrary to common misconception, these risks are most likely to enter your organization on an individual level via phishing attempts from email or similar insider attacks. Attackers are counting on employee negligence and misinformation. 

 

5 Steps to IT Risk Management 

There are five steps when assessing any area of risk management: Identify, analyze, evaluate, treat, and monitor. Together, these steps combine to deliver a manageable and effective risk management process to protect your IT environment.

  1. Identify Risks– To begin, one needs to broadly understand their technology landscape. Examine previous incidents or known threats to see if there is a history of system breaches...

Risk management should be pervasive across an organization’s network infrastructure, applications, cloud services, etc.

  1. Analyze Risks– This step involves examining the likelihood of threat occurrence and impact. You use the understanding of what the different IT elements do for the business and back it up against the larger threat landscape.

During this step, you may consider implementing overarching security expertise. Outside vendors such as MSPs or even SaaS programs will add an extra set of eyes that provide extra security. 

  1. Evaluate Risks– Framework IT has a specific stack of best practices to measure your IT against based on industry standards. In our experience, employing these best practices decrease your company’s IT risk.
  • Patching and keeping all devices up to date with ample power.
  • Framework suggests using Cisco Meraki and Ubiqiti Networks with cloud management.
  • Clients should be running the cloud networks Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite.
  • Backing everything including your CRM, ERP, and CHR to the cloud.
  • Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure as your server infrastructure.
  • Using carrier-grade fiber with diverse backup solutions.

If you are living within these best practices, you can maintain power over your systems. For any elements living outside our best practices, we rank the ones that leave you most exposed first. 

  1. Treat Risks– Treating the risk means that you limit the impact of the risk so that if it does occur, the problems created are more manageable. If you can mitigate against the result you can decrease the possibility of it occurring.

  2. Monitor Risks– When using cybersecurity tools, such as log and incident monitoring, you can often shut threats down as they are happening. 

Robust security monitoring systems, strong oversight capabilities, and governance over risk management will provide the ultimate monitoring operation.

By making sure your environment is modular and as up to date as possible, you reduce your overall vulnerability.

 

How Can I Reduce Risk Impact?

Reducing risks begins by identifying them as quickly as you can, isolating them, and mitigating them in a timely fashion. The main goal is to isolate network elements so that if any individual component gets compromised, you can quarantine it off and protect your larger organization.

We realize this is a monumental responsibility. If you don't have a cybersecurity expert on your team, we strongly recommend expert help. Framework IT can help.