Five Ways to Minimize Risk Exposure
Risk management is something to be taken very seriously. Few things are more harmful to a company's reputation and bottom line, than a breach of client information.
However, many companies are busy managing their solution over managing risk or using complicated and expensive resources, practices and solutions to identify risks. To more efficiently manage risk, let's go back to basics and take a look at five simple (and often overlooked) ways to minimize risk exposure:
- Stop looking for a silver bullet
Remember that a “control” is not the same thing as a “security product.” Despite what the salesman may say, a shiny new technology solution is not a “silver bullet” to reducing every conceivable risk. Changes to an existing process or the implementation of a simple procedure are often all that is required to reduce risk to an acceptable level.
- Don’t forget risk acceptance
Many times further risk mitigation simply does not make financial sense. When the potential loss resulting from a risk is less than the cost of implementing a risk mitigating control, get senior management to accept the risk and move on to more unacceptable risks. That said, don’t forget to monetize the potential cost of reputational damage or loss of public or regulatory goodwill in your calculations.
- Use risk to enable business development
You don’t need to eliminate all risk. Sometimes enterprise, IT and vendor risk management professionals forget that businesses must take some risks to succeed. Launching innovative new products can be risky. Just be sure your organization understands the risks and keeps them at an acceptable level. As long as risk is at or below the organization’s tolerance level, stop, or you'll mitigate your way to a decrease in revenue!
- Consider risk transference
Shifting risk elsewhere is a relatively painless, but often forgotten method. Risk can be transferred to a third party through a legal agreement or an insurance policy. Today most commercial property and casualty policies come with a built-in cyber insurance policy or rider. Be sure you are aware of any such coverage and factor that into your risk assessment. Instead of adding new controls, it may be more cost-effective to allow a contract or insurance policy to cover losses.
- Improve existing controls before deploying new ones
Enterprise, IT and vendor risk management professionals often start down the road of proposing the implementation of new controls without examining the effectiveness of existing ones. Sometimes existing controls can be upgraded or shored up enough to reduce risk to an acceptable level without undertaking a costly new deployment.
Bring these five basic solutions to the table during a risk assessment to save your company valuable time and resources. What other systems do you have in place to minimize risk exposure?