IT industries is rising with projected growth up to USD $8852.41 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2%, organization expect information security, privacy of data and its flawless management. The most important point of consideration in Risk Management is when one talk about securing information privacy and its security. The theoretical concepts of identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks associated with IT systems, infrastructure, and operations are indeed crucial in the daily smooth business operations. If not through Risk Management, how else can we ensure the confidentiality, integrity, privacy, and availability of information and information processing units, and at the same time, safeguarding against potential threats and vulnerabilities.
According to a data breach report, social engineering phishing attacks on business emails compromise are often very effective and extremely lucrative for cybercriminals, 74% data breaches involve social engineering attacks, errors, or misuse, and 83% of breaches involve external factors. The three primary ways in which attackers access an organization are stolen credentials, phishing and exploitation of vulnerabilities.
Organizations to safeguard sensitive information, maintaining business continuity, and ensuring the overall resilience of the organization, should understand some important aspect of Risk Management which are,
1. Risk identification: Risk identification is an indispensable part of the risk management process. By identifying potential risks that could impact your business, you can take steps to mitigate those risks and protect your information and information processing units. Simply put, risk can be defined as the probability of an event occurring due to a vulnerability or gap in an organization control that can be exploited by an attacker, resulting in expected or actual loss, not just financial loss. Common examples of risks include DOS attacks, privacy data leaks, email phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, human error, and applications that stop working due to non-compliance with regulatory requirements.
2. Risk Assessment: Risk assessment is a systematic process of identifying, assessing and prioritizing risk for your organization. Once the risks are identified, one need to assess the level of impact a threat can cause in case of likelihood of occurrence of a given event. The two widely used ways to analyze the risks are Quantitative analysis and Qualitative analysis, and two approaches to perform the risk assessment: Top–Down approach and Bottom-Up approach. This process would help one prioritize the risk-based level of impact and probability of occurrence.
3. Risk Mitigation: When any risk is found, the organization has to device strategies as per the 4 T’s -treat, transfer, terminate or tolerate the identified risks. Mitigation strategies such as implementing security controls, taking redundancy measures, recovery plans, employee training, and compliance with relevant regulations help the organization to secure their information and information processing units to reduce the level of impact.
4. Risk Monitoring: Risk assessment process is not a onetime activity, there by the thumb rule is the risks should be monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis. With this ongoing process one is always informed about ever changing threats landscaped, reporting of new vulnerabilities, and the effectiveness of existing risk mitigation measures. Continuous risk assessments and audits help ensure the organization’s IT environment remains secure.
IT Risk Management can be effective only if the organization adhere to the industry standards, laws, and regulations related to security and information privacy. It is essential to document all aspects of Risk Management, and their regular reporting to management .The management must be well informed about the outcome of the periodic risk assessment exercise so that they can add value to the business and plans business resilience thereby making saving costs.
All these IT risk management frameworks are required for the organizations to protect their information and information processing units, maintain business continuity, and enhance the overall cybersecurity posture. Every organization needs protection of sensitive data in order to catapult business continuity, cost savings, and enhanced stakeholder confidence.
With the increasing grades of cyber threats and the growing value of digital assets, it is the need of the hour to be proactive towards comprehensive IT risk management.