The Importance of IT Risk Management: Take These 5 Steps to Protect Your Technology

Fifty years ago, the most high tech devices in an office might be a self-correcting typewriter and copier. Today, technology has permeated just about everything a business does from communicating with customers to doing payroll for employees.

Most offices today couldn’t operate without computers, wireless networks, cloud applications, and other types of tech that we take for granted will always be there when we need it.

With so much of a company’s wellbeing depending upon their technology infrastructure, managing IT risk has become vital to ensuring business continuity and keeping operations running smoothly.

The average cost of network downtime is $5,600 per minute (Gartner)

When technology goes down, business typically slows or comes to a halt all together. Our On-Demand IT Support Team sees this happen all too often and provides 24/7 support in the case of an urgent IT issue. Then we help clients with IT risk management to avoid emergencies like that in the future.

How Does IT Risk Management Help My Business?

Risk management for IT is about minimizing downtime and the chance of a data breach or other cybersecurity issue that causes an outage. It’s designed to keep your technology infrastructure up and running in the event of any number of threats.

Threats to your IT infrastructure include:

  • Hardware/software failures
  • Malware/viruses
  • Spam, phishing, other scams
  • Human error
  • Hackers/password theft
  • Data breaches
  • Denial-of-service attacks
  • Lost or stolen devices
  • Natural disasters

Properly managing risk to your technology involves taking five important steps to mitigate risk and plan for business continuity in the aftermath of events like a flood or fire. Protecting your technology is really about protecting your business and livelihood since so much of it depends upon your IT infrastructure.

Here are the five steps to good IT risk management.

Identify Risks

In order to create a strategy to handle IT risks, you first need to identify them. They can come from both inside (user error) and outside (hacked network) or be the result of an uncontrollable force such as a hurricane or extended power outage.

This first step is vital so you can address any potential risks to your technology with a plan of action.

Analyze Risks

Once you’ve identified what can go wrong with your IT infrastructure and cause costly downtime, you want to assess the impact and determine the likelihood and consequence of each type of risk. This analysis will help you complete the next step.

Evaluate/Rank the Risk

This is also referred to as Risk Response Planning and it involves prioritizing each type of risk according to how much it could impact your business. You want to look at risk likelihood and the consequences and rank each one from most to the least impactful so you can address them accordingly.

For example, one type of risk would be a virus infection, but if you already have a Managed IT Security Plan in place, that risk might fall lower on the priority list than the risk of a employee losing a mobile device with company information on it.

Develop Risk Response Plans

Ranking of the different risks to your IT infrastructure gives you a roadmap to begin your risk response planning. You want to begin with the highest risks first and create a plan to mitigate the risk as much as possible and how to overcome it and get your business back up and running if a risk event occurs.

For example, for risks related to phishing emails and data breaches, you could mitigate those risks by installing anti-phishing software, regularly training your employees on cybersecurity, and adding additional network security

However, in the case of a natural disaster like a tornado or hurricane making your office unusable, you can’t stop it from happening, but you can put systems, like cloud computing and VoIP phones, into place that allow you to run your business from anywhere should a natural disaster happen.

Monitor and Review the Risk

Once you have your risk mitigation and response plan put together, you don’t want to just sit back and wait for something bad to happen. You want to put systems in place that will monitor for any risks, such as an IT partner continually monitoring your network for breaches. This helps you be prepared and ready.

The other part of this step is to run drills that test your risk response plans, for instance in the event of a long-term power outage or natural disaster, or if an employee loses a company laptop with data on it. Running response drills will help you identify any weak spots in your plan and will familiarize your staff with what they need to do so they’re not doing it for the first time when one of the risk events actually occurs.

Need Help Mitigating Risk to Your Business IT?

Neuron Computers can help you create a solid IT risk management plan and ensure all your bases are covered in the event of a problem. We can also manage and monitor your network 24/7/365 to ensure it’s protected and secure.

Contact us today and let’s make sure your business is protected, no matter what. Call 909.418.1410 or reach out online.