What are the best practices in IT risk management?


When it comes to IT risk management, there can be a lot to lose if not done right. What are some of the best practices to ensure this is avoided?

According to Diligent, an effective IT risk management solution is an excellent first line of defence, but only with equally strong IT risk management best practices.

The firm said, “While digital operations are inherent in most employees’ day-to-day, adopting risk management techniques isn’t always so seamless. To safeguard sensitive data, organizations need new and better ways to protect communication between employees, clients and customers.”

The first best practice is understanding the risk landscape. The company cited a 2021 Deloitte Global Risk Management study, 67% of respondents said they struggled to stay ahead of changing business needs. Therefore, understanding the risk landscape is one of the most vital things organisations can do to protect themselves.

Diligent said, “This includes auditing the broader risk landscape and the organization’s internal systems and software to identify risks that could become threats. Then, they need to develop a framework that informs what action they’ll take should any of those threats come to fruition, including relevant key risk indicators.”

Secondly, firms need to manage risk at scale. “Many organizations struggle with data silos, which challenge the IT risk management process and make it difficult for that process to scale,” said Diligent.

The company added, “Scalability matters because the risk management program needs to evolve with the company’s needs. This requires centralizing data and breaking down silos so that all departments are pulling from the same protocols, no matter how goals and processes differ from department to department.”

Companies also must drive stakeholder engagement. According to Diligent, risk management processes don’t work if the only ones following them are risk and compliance teams. Businesses need their clients, managers, shareholders and third-party partners to buy into their risk management program.

Diligent quipped, “Each of these stakeholders brings something to the business. While this has value, it can also introduce different kinds of risk. Ensure all stakeholders understand and support risk management processes so they can take action, too. They can also play an essential role in the review process if organizations solicit feedback on better processes.”

There is also a need to create a culture of compliance. By creating a strong risk culture, Diligent claims this educates employees about why risks matter, enables them to follow all processes and procedures and empowers them to report risks when they arise.

The company also highlighted the need to evaluate and monitor risks, effectively report risks and document the approach as key IT risk management practices.

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