Information Risk Management Policy
Companies face new levels of economic uncertainty and volatility from escalating cyber risks. Without an effective information risk management policy in place, these risks can lead to severe consequences including breached networks, stolen or deleted information, compliance litigation and fines. Enterprise risk management security measures are an essential step in protecting an organization's IT infrastructure, from networks and hardware to the applications and data residing on them.
The Basics of Information Security Procedures
The first step to developing an IT risk management policy is to determine the minimum amount of information system risk that is acceptable and sustainable for an organization without affecting performance, growth, profits and market share. The information risk management policy can then outline processes for risk detection, prevention and the measurements to indicate security effectiveness.
An information risk management policy should also go on to identify the detailed requirements, guidelines and practices for recovering a company’s technology and data assets in the face of any system disasters that could occur. This should incorporate safeguards to minimize the impact of incidents on users and business processes.
A comprehensive IT risk management policy will set the governance of how an organization and its employees use and interact with data and technology by:
- Identifying information security assets
- Calculating current and potential risks and the costs necessary to mitigate them
- Assigning a cost to information risks
- Determining procedures for risk avoidance, risk management and disaster recovery
Identifying Information System Assets
IT systems and services are essential in supporting business processes. Information technology assets include:
- Physical devices — Includes servers, computers, mobile devices, network switches, routers and all related physical hardware components
- Data — Includes emails, customer payment information, employee health data and personally identifiable information (PII), business files, software, company website, applications and more
A company must determine every one of its IT assets and organize them into three levels or tiers:
- Critical assets that drive essential business processes
- Semi-critical assets that are used in business, but are not key to daily function and success
- Non-critical assets that do not play a daily role in business operations
Calculating Risks and the Cost of Security
Once information system assets have been catalogued, the real and potential threats to each component can be considered. For example:
- Human error, such as accidental file deletion
- Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes
- Security breaches
- Risks from internal threats such as disgruntled employees
- System crashes and overloads
Realistically, no company can operate efficiently if it locks down every component in the IT infrastructure with unreasonable security requirements. Risk calculations can be used to establish an estimated financial cost of safeguarding each IT asset. Implementing safeguard protocols will come with costs.
Prioritizing the most urgent information technology and data security risks will help business leaders make more informed decisions regarding their risk management budget. The cost of security measures should be appropriately measured in relation to the potential financial cost of the vulnerabilities being exposed.
Risk exposure can cost companies dearly. Non-compliance with regulatory data requirements can result in hefty fines and costly litigation. A disruption in business operations can also cause immensely negative financial impact, resulting from lost business, decreased employee productivity and tarnished reputations with potential customers.
Planning for Risks
Some of the defensive IT security measures a company can consider include:
Business leaders must decide the best way to incorporate these types of information security procedures and how to properly train their staff to comply with the risk management policy guidelines. Very often, organizations turn to managed service providers to help support their IT risk management strategies.
Luckily for MSPs and IT professionals around the world,SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow) offers a suite of products designed to address information risk management both proactively and reactively. One key product that MSPs can rely on in developing a truly effective information risk management policy is SolarWinds MSP's MSP Risk Intelligence.
The Data You Need From MSP Risk Intelligence
MSPs that lead their clients through the rigorous process of developing information risk management policies recognize the importance of setting those procedures in place as soon as possible. MSP Risk Intelligence allows you to share your sense of urgency with clients by viewing the sensitivity of data in financial bottom-line terms. Seeing vulnerabilities in terms of dollars and cents will help you build a strong business case for protecting critical data assets and triaging the most important risks.
In addition to dollar-based risk assessment, MSP Risk intelligence supports the following powerful features to help formulate best practices for your client's risk management policies:
- In-depth visibility into the locations where sensitive data resides within the organization, across entire networks, devices and workstations
- Proactive risk identification along with actionable steps for mitigating threats
- Deep vulnerability scans that patch network holes used to exploit systems and breach data
- Ensure that sensitive data is made available to appropriate individuals only with encryption keys, permissions discovery and alerts
- Comprehensive log management and risk-intelligence reports for threats, regulatory compliances and audits
MSPs can rely on MSP Risk Intelligence for the data they need to help their clients craft the information risk management policy that best suits their needs. Additional risk trending reports and PCI compliance scans can also help IT professionals make the case for necessary security and data backup tools such as MSP Remote Management and MSP Backup & Recovery.
The Information Risk Management Tools You Need
MSPs equipped with the appropriate risk management tools are poised to deliver industry-leading solutions that can make their client's IT infrastructure stronger and better positioned to weather current and emerging threats. And MSP Risk Intelligence provides MSPs with the ability to understand their client's risk management postures without requiring onsite visits.
Using this kind of intelligence allows MSPs to assess their client's vulnerabilities frequently, automate certain security measures and focus efforts on threats that are both critical and have serious security issues.
Experience for yourself how MSP Risk Intelligence helps in developing a sound information risk management policy. Start your free trial today.
Tech Target: http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-write-an-information-risk-management-policy
Security Intelligence: https://securityintelligence.com/media/2016-cost-data-breach-study