Devastating cyberattacks and suspect digital communications have pushed cybersecurity to the top of most business leaders’ agendas. IT risk management has become paramount for the leaders of public and private organisations because cyber threats pose a financial and legal liability. The threat level and the gravity of a potential impact are rising exponentially, and executives are now insisting on complete transparency around IT risk management, leading to a need for comprehensive IT risk reports to help actively protect organisations. Outsourcing to a specialist IT company is generally considered to be the best way to approach the issue.

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A holistic approach to risk management is the best way to ensure cybersecurity is effectively covered. This proceeds from an accurate overview of the risk landscape, which is achieved through risk reports. The goal of these reports is to empower organisations to optimise their defences for the most probable cyber-risk scenarios they might face, helping achieve equilibrium between effective resilience and operational efficiency. The tightest controls only need to be applied to the most crucial or vulnerable assets.

Risk Identification

The first thing an IT risk report does is identify risks. This involves creating a list of critical assets, previously-identified risks and potential new threats. There will also be an assessment of existing controls and weaknesses. Different assets have different levels of value to an organisation, and a process of prioritisation must take place – something that a third-party consultant firm will work with top management on.

The next thing that comes out of an IT risk report is an analysis and evaluation of threats. Once they have been identified, internal experts must work with the consultancy to evaluate risks alongside their likelihood of occurrence and the potential impact they might have. This will take into account things like regulatory, operational, reputational and financial impact. With this assessment completed, an organisation can prioritise areas for mitigation, starting with the scenarios that are most likely which will have the greatest negative impact.

Finding The Best Solutions

Once the identification and prioritisation of the risk have taken place, the options for mitigation can be explored. These options must be evaluated in terms of their effectiveness in reducing risk. If a single mitigating initiative is sufficient to reduce a risk to an acceptable level, then it can be used alone. But if the residual risk level exceeds acceptable limits, additional mitigation initiatives can be developed and deployed in tandem.

Finally, an important thing risk reports can do is help discover the means to monitor risk over time. Scheduled status updates to senior management can maintain the identification of top risks, treatment strategies and the like. Risk management is a long-term process that starts with the initial risk report but must be continuously updated to stay on top of the evolving threats. Having an in-house team that specialises in this can be costly, as the human resources are highly skilled individuals – this is why outsourcing is such a good option. Get your organisation on track by taking advantage of the free IT network risk assessment offered by UserOne, and move towards a safer, more secure cyber environment.

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