IT Risk Management

 Identify and implement the policies, procedures and technology your organisation needs to mitigate the impact of potential data-focused cyber attacks. 

What is IT Risk Management?

IT risk management (often known as ‘information security risk management’) entails a company’s policies, procedures, and technologies for mitigating malicious actor threats and reducing information technology vulnerabilities that compromise data confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

What is information risk?

Information risk is a calculation of the possibility that an unauthorised user may compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data that you gather, transfer or store. An effective IT risk management program will cover three key areas:
Confidentiality

Establish and implement proper authorization rules to ensure that only those with a need for access have it. 

Integrity

Establish and implement controls to prevent data from being changed without the approval of the data owner.

Availability

Establish and enforce controls to prevent the failure of systems, networks, and software.

Why is IT Risk Management important?

Organizations can better prepare for cyber attacks and reduce the impact of a cyber attack by identifying and assessing potential vulnerabilities in their enterprise IT network. An IT risk management program’s procedures and rules can guide future decision-making about how to control risk while focusing on company goals, consisting of these five steps:

Identify vulnerabilities

Identifying the places where your data is stored is the starting point. Most businesses begin with their databases or collaboration software. Data can become more sensitive to cyber threats as more firms adopt cloud-first or cloud-only strategies. 

Because enterprises typically lack visibility into the effectiveness of their controls, cloud-based data collecting, transport, and storage sites provide a heightened risk of theft. During the information risk assessment, the various locations and people who access your data will be determined. 

Analyze data types

As well as establishing where your data is stored, you must also identify what types of data you collect. Name, birth date, social security number, and even IP address are examples of personally identifiable information (PII). Because hostile actors frequently target PII in order to sell it on the Dark Web, this data is a high-risk asset. 

The basis for your risk analysis will be to identify the categories of data your business holds and match them to the places where you store it. 

Evaluate and prioritize

The following formula is used to determine how the potential risk to each data type impacts the potential for an attack by a malicious actor: 

Likelihood of data breach X Financial impact = Risk Level 

For instance, a low-risk data asset like marketing content could be stored in a high-risk location like a file-sharing tool. If a malicious actor obtains this information, the financial impact on your firm is small and can be classified as low or moderate risk. 

Meanwhile, storing a high-risk data asset such as a consumer medical file in a low-risk place, such as a private cloud, could have a significant financial impact. This would be classified as a significant or high risk to your company. 

Set a risk tolerance

Choosing whether to accept, transfer, reduce, or refuse a risk determines your risk tolerance.  

Purchasing cyber risk liability insurance is an example of a risk transfer control. Installing a firewall to prohibit access to the site where the data is stored is an example of a risk-mitigation control. While malicious actors can be stopped by mitigation controls such as firewalls and encryption, these can still fail, and this is the reason to implement an IT Risk Management program to continuously monitor and deal with risk. 

Continuous monitoring

Malicious actors’ threat tactics are constantly developing. For example, many have responded to organizations becoming better at discovering and protecting against new ransomware attacks by focusing more on cryptocurrency and phishing. Today’s effective controls could become tomorrow’s flaws, and adapting to these evolving threats is the basis of a continuously developing IT Risk Management program.

Effective Risk Management

Because attacks can take various forms and what works for one data asset may not work for another, an effective IT risk management programme should employ a mix of policies and techniques. However, there are some broad steps that all businesses may take to improve their cybersecurity posture.

Most importantly, continual monitoring is required for enterprise security teams to ensure that cybersecurity initiatives maintain pace with the changing threat landscape.

Monitor environment

Continuously monitoring your IT infrastructure will ensure detection of potential weaknesses and determine the prioritisation of remedial efforts. Many businesses have trouble configuring cloud resources, and your IT environment can aid in the detection of misconfigured databases and storage sites, allowing you to better secure your data management program.

Monitor supply stream
Risk mitigation from third-party vendors is also important. Visibility into the cybersecurity posture across your ecosystem is part of a holistic IT risk management approach. Continuously monitoring your supply chain for encryption, a method of rendering data unreadable even if an attacker gains access to it, gives you insight into the cyber health of your ecosystem.
Monitor compliance

Legislative bodies and industry standards organisations have issued more strict compliance requirements as data breaches continue to affect all industries. You must monitor and document your efforts to provide assurance to internal and external auditors in order to develop a compliant IT risk management program.

How Inovo InfoSec Can Help

We provide IT Risk Management programs to businesses of all sizes, from SME up to the Fortune 500. Our programs are based on recognised IT Risk Management Frameworks including ISO 27001, NIST, and the CIS Controls.

Inovo helps organizations identify, assess and manage their essential risks, including third party risk management and operational risk management.

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