IT risk assessments are an important aspect to a small company’s operations and can help prevent serious legal issues that may appear in the future. The purpose of a thorough assessment is to confirm that all your company’s vulnerabilities, risk factors, and shortfalls are managed and addressed properly. There should always be a dedicated security team to perform risk assessment properly for all employees and board members.
These expert IT evaluations should be a regular practice of your company and must be managed effectively to meet rigorous demands and protocols. Smaller companies should rely on reliable governance structures and regulations to mitigate potential risks as much as possible. Here are seven ways to ensure a successful IT risk assessment plan and support cybersecurity for small businesses. As a specialized virus and spyware removal service in Toronto, we bring reliable years of experience and work to provide the best advice for smaller companies.
Evaluate Your Company’s Risks
The first thing you should consider is to make a document or list of all your company’s risk factors in order to fully evaluate them. This is where you can note down any threats such as malware, ransomware, and phishing scams among others. An easy to access document helps your IT support team manage discussions of potential risks and the steps to recovery and prevention. Having an extensive report of risks to evaluate promotes a consistent risk awareness for your company overall.
Identify & Organize The Types of Risks
It’s particularly important to have someone identify and organize the types of dangers associated with your small company. The main risk categories to consider for a business often includes strategic (a newcomer in the market), compliance (mandatory health and safety protocols), financial (missed payments from clients), and operational (vulnerability to breakdown and theft). There are also other factors to consider such as environmental hazards, political instability, and economic uncertainty.
While some of these factors may not come into play during your IT risk assessment, it’s always a key step to stay ahead and plan for any potential risks that may come your way.
Find the Right Risk Owners for the Job
There’s many possible risk factors your IT team can face in a typical work day. That’s why it’s crucial you find the right risk owners for the right roles so that they can identify and organize them for your company. It’s particularly important to start implementing and maintaining appropriate areas of responsibility to report security breaches or online scams. Risk factors are almost always interconnected and to avoid more serious issues arising later on, find the right person to go through the list of potential risks for your company. They’ll provide helpful advice to keep your assets and operations running safely.
Analyze the Impact of Your Risks
Any potential risks or areas of concerns need to be discovered and addressed with a detailed strategy put in place to prevent more serious consequences. Your IT team should analyze the specific vulnerability of your company, the impact of the threat, how it can affect business, and the possibility of the risk occurring again.
A good analysis will aid management in determining whether the company is operating within its safe zone, as well as the likelihood and financial impact of a potential risk. From here, they can accept, reject or reduce risk factors based on the IT team’s recommendations. Other aspects to consider include the likelihood and the broad impact of harm from any unwanted access to systems and information databases.
Communicate Recommendations to Decision Makers
With any great IT risk assessment plan, you need equally great communicators to get the plan out clearly. After an IT risk mitigation plan is created and listed with potential risk factors, it should be provided to all the relevant stakeholders of the business. You should present all the findings from your IT team and create carefully selected responses of strategy to areas of concern.
Afterwards, each department should receive the assessment and be expected to review the risks described. They should then respond and create their own strategy to reduce or avoid the dangers based on their business operations.
Review Results Annually
After you’ve gathered all the findings and implemented the much-needed changes for your business, it’s crucial you revisit what you’ve done and evaluate any potential risks again. The risk assessment process is always ongoing and should be an annual practice for small companies. It’s important to be critical and flexible to change when needed. Doing so will give your company a better understanding of risk control and its current risk profile.