How Important Is IT Risk Management?

How Important Is IT Risk Management?

How Important Is IT Risk Management?

The advances made in technology in recent years have made it critical for businesses to have an online presence. Businesses have realized the undeniable benefits of offering their services online, as it makes them more visible to people everywhere. Online customers make up a large portion of today’s consumer market, which means your online offerings need to be reliable and secure at all times.

To this end, information technology plays a critical role in your business. If you have legacy IT (information technology) risk management processes in place, it’s likely everything your business is banking on for success is in jeopardy.

What Is IT Risk Management?

IT Risk Management is the process used to mitigate threats of malicious intent of your data. At all times, the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data need to be protected. There is always the potential of unauthorized users who will attempt to compromise your data through hacking or cyberattacks. Thus, your data is vulnerable to these malicious acts if the appropriate IT risk management processes are not in place.

The Importance of IT Risk Management

There’s value in protecting what’s yours. Processes implemented for IT Risk Management limit the success rate of potential threats to your data. That, in turn, protects your data and saves your business money that a threat would have caused. It keeps the business about the matter of making decisions and handling the day to operations of the business. Other benefits of IT risk management include:

  • A safe work environment.
  • Decrease legal liability.
  • Increase the stability of the business.
  • Provides protection.


Managing IT Risks

There are five critical steps that any business can do to help minimize the threat to their data. They need to identify the location of their information, analyze the type of information they have, prioritize risk, establish risk tolerance for each data asset they have, and continue to monitor regularly.


Locating your data sounds easy enough, but with the rise of cloud-based storage, businesses now have data everywhere. As more businesses become more customer-oriented, customer-facing portals from websites are also sources for information. There are also email and messaging services that impact where data is stored. So, ensure you know the many locations of your data sources.


You also need to know the different types of data you’re storing. Personally identifiable information or PII is data that is usually targeted through malicious acts. This type of data includes name, date of birth, social security number and IP addresses. There are also other types of information like your marketing content. Knowing the where and what of your data is the basis of your risk analysis for your data.


Now that you know the type of data you have, you need to analyze the risk. You do this to determine the likelihood of a data breach and the financial impact the breach of that data type would bring. The formula to determine this is:

Likelihood of a data breach x Financial impact of a data breach = Risk Level

A low or moderate risk would be one that would not have a large substantial impact on the company should the data be compromised.

Setting Risk Tolerance

Setting risk tolerance means deciding what you want to put in place in case of a risk. For example, purchasing cyber risk liability insurance or putting a firewall in place to prevent access to where the data is.


Malicious acts are always a risk no matter what protective measures you put in place. Once you’ve done all you can do as far as implementing security measures, the only other thing you can do is monitor … continuously. Three best practices for monitoring are monitoring your IT environment, monitoring your supply stream and monitoring compliance.

Monitor IT Environment
Continuously monitoring your IT environment to ensure all processes are working as they should can go a long way to help your business detect weaknesses and to know when other measures need to be implemented.

Monitor Supply Stream
Just as your business hires vendors, your vendors hire vendors, and so forth and so on. That is like six degrees of separation. Your infrastructure could be indirectly connected to a distant vendor that you don’t even realize. Ensure your business secures its data using best practices for supply chain risk management.

Monitor Compliance
As data breaches become prevalent, more standards are being put in place for businesses to comply. Ensure your business is adhering to compliance requirements. Be mindful of any new laws as they also require monitoring as part of compliance cybersecurity programs. Monitor and document your activities to assure internal and external auditors as needed.


For nearly three decades, IT Services Group (ITSG) has provided proven expertise to solve networking, security, and telecommunications problems for different industries, including businesses, school systems, associations and government entities. We can help secure your online presence by protecting the most precious asset to your business: your data.

Contact us for your IT needs.


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