As the digital age continues to grow and evolve, your information risk management strategy is more important than ever. You probably have a lot of employees who work remotely, and you may have business partners spread out all over the world. As a result, you might even use cloud services to make your information more accessible to your employees and partners.
Unfortunately, this also makes your information more vulnerable. That is why you need to think about your risk management platform. If you don’t have a plan, you could leave your information vulnerable to a security hack. Then, your confidential information could fall into the wrong hands while also undermining the confidence of your employees, business partners, and clients have in your company. Therefore, you need to understand information risk management and how the right information risk management program can help you mitigate a lot of these risks.
What Is Information Risk Management?
Information risk management refers to processes and platforms that are designed to reduce the chances of unauthorized users accessing the information possessed by your company.
There are several important components you need to have in any information risk management platform. These include:
- Confidentiality: You need to ensure that your information is confidential. This means that only individuals who have the right credentials have access to your information. You should also follow minimum required access protocols, meaning that your users should only have access to the information they need to do their jobs.
- Integrity: You should have controls in place that prevent people from changing protocols and permissions on files without your permission.
- Availability: You also need to make sure the security protocols you have in place are always available. That way, software, networks, and systems work appropriately to protect your information 24 hours per day, 7 days per week while also minimizing downtime.
If your information risk management program has all of these components, you can mitigate threats from hackers, cybercriminals, and malicious actors. You also need to regularly evaluate your strategies to make sure you stay up-to-date on the latest threats in the digital field.
Why You Need Strategies for Information Risk Management
There are several key reasons why you need to follow all appropriate strategies for information risk management.
- If you have a strong risk management strategy, you can create a competitive advantage for your company. You can increase the amount of trust your customers and clients place in your business, helping you increase revenue.
- A strong risk management strategy can also reduce the chances of your information being involved in a data breach. The right strategy will also help you identify risks in your strategy, allowing you to patch holes before they are exploited by a hacker.
- Information risk management can also help you save money. If you have more efficient controls in place, you reduce your chances of having to call IT professionals for an acute issue. You also reduce your chances of being involved in a ransomware attack.
- A strong information risk management strategy can also help you increase transparency across your company. You will have more visibility over your information, and you can respond quickly if you have an issue with your human resources or legal team.
- With a strong information risk management strategy, your business partners and investors will have more confidence in you. This will make it easier for you to do business with other entities and organizations.
These are just a few of the many benefits that come from a strong information risk management strategy. If you want to put together a comprehensive information risk management strategy, what are a few steps you need to follow?
The Top Steps for Information Risk Management
Clearly, the main purpose of an information risk management strategy is to protect your company; however, what are you protecting your company from? You need to do a comprehensive audit to figure out where the biggest risks are coming from. Then, you can put together a strategy that can help you defend against these threats.
For example, you may want to take a look at a few of your biggest projects. Then, figure out what might derail those projects. Is there malware that could impact your operations? Is there a natural disaster that might threaten your information? If you can protect your company against these threats, you can stay one step ahead.
As you create a list of the biggest threats to your company and its information, you need to figure out what the impacts of those risks are. If you were hit by an attack, what would it mean for your company? For example, what happens if one of your employees surrenders his or her credentials in a phishing attack? If you use two-factor authentication, the threat might not be that serious; however, if you do not use two-factor authentication, it might be a bigger threat to your company if one of your employees falls victim to a phishing attack. You need to comprehensively analyze each individual risk to your company and its confidential information.
Once you have analyzed each individual risk, it is time to rank them accordingly. What threats are at the top of the list? For example, a natural disaster that destroys all of your hardware could be at the top of the list. Or, you might decide to put a ransomware attack at the top of the list.
In addition to evaluating the severity of these various threats, you need to decide how likely they are to occur. For example, if you live in the middle of the country, a hurricane might not be a very likely threat to your business; however, a tornado might be more likely. You need to include not only the severity of the attack but also its likelihood of occurrence.
After this, you need to go through risk response planning. If you are hit by any of these attacks, what will you do next? How do you think your business should respond?
There are several elements you need to include in this step. First, you need to specify who was going to be contacted in the event of an attack. You also need to specify how you will respond regarding your hardware and software. You need to have preventative and contingency plans. If your network goes offline, what do you do? Do you have a backup copy of the information you want to use to keep your company operational?
Finally, the last step is monitoring. Now that you understand what the threats are and how you are going to respond to them, you need to monitor the effectiveness of your plan and how these threats grow and evolve over time.
Just as you are probably continuously evaluating your information risk management strategy, criminals are constantly finding ways to get around them. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on various cyberattacks that take place and how your company can respond accordingly to them. You also need to keep an eye on the weather so you know if there is a natural disaster headed your way.
Best Practices for Information Risk Management
As you put together a comprehensive plan for your information risk management, you need to follow several best practices. These include:
- Continuous Vigilance: You need to remain vigilant. In an era where so many people are working remotely, this is even more important. If someone is working from home, they might not be using a network with the same security protocols. You also need to think carefully about how you store your information on the public cloud. You need to monitor everything that is involved in your IT environment so you can respond quickly to any information security threats.
- Your Supply Stream: You also need to keep an eye on your supply stream. Do you have suppliers who are responsible for providing your software and hardware? Even though you might have control of your suppliers, you do not necessarily have control of their security protocols. Therefore, you need to understand what your suppliers are doing to protect their information. They are probably doing the same thing to protect the information you share with them. Make sure their security protocols are good enough for you.
- Your Compliance: You also need to make sure your information risk management strategy is in compliance with all rules and regulations. For example, if you operate in California, you need to make sure you are in conjunction with the California Consumer Privacy Act. If you do business in New York, you need to make sure you are in compliance with the NY SHIELD Act. Even though there is a good chance that your security protocols are good enough for the government, you need to make sure of this. You don’t want to face fines and sanctions.
- Penetration Testing: You should also perform penetration testing from time to time. If you have strong security measures that protect your confidential information, your strategy should stand up to ethical hackers. You might want to ask your IT department to hire ethical hackers to try to break into your security protocol from time to time. That way, you can uncover vulnerabilities in your system, giving you a chance to catch them before they are exploited by actual criminals. Continuous testing and auditing are important for making sure your information risk management strategy is up to snuff.
If you follow these best practices, you should have a strong information risk management strategy in place that can protect the confidential information of your employees, your business partners, and your company. If you want to have the best information risk management strategy in place, you should work with professionals who can assist you.
Work With SmartFile for Help with Information Risk Management
Because so much of your information is stored in the digital world, you need to make sure you protect it accordingly. A strong information risk management strategy can help you do that.
No matter what industry in which you operate, SmartFile can help you protect the information of your employees, business partners, and company. The effects of a data breach can be disastrous, and you need to manage these risks accordingly. There is a line between making it too hard for your employees to access information and making it too easy for cybercriminals to take advantage of you. We can help you walk that line, maximizing your efficiency and security.