Risk Management

Within the enterprise risk management framework, an important aspect of effective IT governance is assessing and managing IT risks. The high level of reliance by modern businesses on IT, digital data handling, intellectual capital and the Internet / the company website (which may also be the online store) underline the importance of being able to spot risks and get effective protection from them. In order to plan and implement ways of minimising risks they first need to be identified and assessed.

Key Risk Areas

Managing the risks to aspects of your organisations IT framework therefore involves focusing on 4 key areas including:

  1. Risks to your data. Compliance with UK and EU law and regulations i.e. the Data Protection Act 1998 and the incoming GDPR, and any industry specific / market related regulations, and protecting your commercially sensitive data. You need to manage multiple risks in this area e.g. theft (cyber criminals and insiders), loss and damage to data (viruses and human error), practice in handling, storing and processing data - this includes physical filing as well as digital filing systems (both are covered by the DPA). Ensuring that security, confidentiality and privacy are maximised involves keeping on top of the risks on an ongoing basis.
  2. Risks to your organisation’s IT Infrastructure and its network security. Again these risks could be cyber criminals (outside or within the organisation), human error, malicious programs etc.
  3. Risks to your critical business functions. All organisations are at risk of serious incidents or disasters. Risks to the critical business functions therefore need to be assessed and plans made to ensure business continuity, and to enable a speedy recovery i.e. a disaster recovery plan. This is part of good IT governance and is important for the organisations survival, for the stakeholders, and for compliance e.g. with the UK Companies Act 2006 174(1), Principle 7 of Part I of Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998, and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.
  4. Risks to your IT Management. These risks could come from many different areas including risks to the various parts of your IT infrastructure, risks to the IT operational performance, risks to IT projects and their completion / success, and risks to IT staff’s effectiveness and efficiency e.g. lack of training, HR issues, issues with individual managers or staff members.

Effective IT Risk Management is therefore the process that enables managers to balance protective measures for their systems, data and networks with the operational aspects of the organisation in a way that minimises IT threats and weaknesses, contributes to value addition, and helps the organisation to meet its aims and objectives and maximise ROI.

The Benefits of Risk Management

As well as making your organisation less vulnerable, more robust and resilient demonstrable and effective risk management can mean:

  1. Better stakeholder trust and confidence and trust
  2. Minimising of losses and interruptions to operational efficiency by having systems and controls in place
  3. Competitive advantage from being able to quickly take advantage of opportunities and grow in a safe way.

How We Can Help You

  1. Risk Management Training and Consultancy
  2. Help with working towards nationally and internationally recognised standards and establishing recognised IT risk management frameworks.

These include:

If you are a UK business looking for help with any (or all) of your IT requirements, click here.