The need for effective IT Risk management has become significantly more important as organizations have become more dependent on their IT systems for their livelihood and success. While many organizations feel they have a solid grasp on their IT risk concerns, too often their IT risk management efforts have serious gaps and vulnerabilities due to a failure to take a holistic approach to IT risk. Effective IT risk management requires a comprehensive approach that addresses all four areas of IT risk: security, availability, performance, and compliance. It requires an IT risk management program that follows a proven model that takes into account an organization’s unique culture and attitudes toward risk.
Risk management provides an organization with the ability to handle long-term and short-term changes in its operations arising from changes in its environment, in regulations, in its business activities. These changes may be planned or unexpected.
All business decisions, in IT or otherwise, are an exercise in the evaluation of the risk of inaction versus the cost of action to reduce risks (real or perceived). Risk management is helpful in answering both strategic and tactical questions – the commitment to a new technology or whether to upgrade the capacity of the existing file-and-print server. Furthermore, a risk-management process will help you prioritize these issues should you lack the resources necessary to address them all immediately.
In a competitive business setting, the use of risk management is vital to the long-term success of your company. The cost of attempting to eliminate all risks would make a prohibitive demand on resources and time. In reality, businesses need to take some risks to gain a competitive edge. You must therefore the an educated and informed approach to deciding which risks can be taken and how to allocate your finite resources to support your business strategies.
Risk management is about sound judgment when taking risks. It affords a level of contingency planning should a risk become a reality. Understanding risks is the starting point of a risk-management process. Once you understand the risks, you are be able to make sound decisions on whether to accept, mitigate or transfer those risks. In addition, risk management pulls together data from other security areas, such as vulnerability analysis and operations monitoring, to provide an overall view of business risk.