IT Risk Management Policy
Many organizations have an IT risk management policy that outlines protocols for handling and tracking IT assets and risks. Although each risk management policy varies based on the specific industry, priorities and needs, there are several components that every effective IT risk management policy should have.
Creating an Effective IT Risk Management Policy
The main goal of IT risk management is to protect the confidentiality and availability of an organization's data and minimize risks associated with a security breach. Prior to creating or reevaluating an IT risk management policy, an organization should weigh identified risks and analyze changes in existing policies, laws and regulations involving information technology.
The following steps can help ensure an organization develops an IT risk management policy that is effective, appropriate and up-to-date.
1. Catalog IT assets
IT assets include computers, routers, servers, software, data, emails, networks and files.
2. Determine the type of threats that each asset could potentially face
Threats can include hackers, user errors, viruses, system crashes and natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.
3. Estimate the cost of managing these threats
When estimating costs, include anything that could negatively affect the organization's reputation or cause an interruption in commerce or operations.
4. Implement risk controls
Risk controls are precautions an organization takes to reduce the likelihood that one of the determined risks will actually happen. Examples of risk controls include web blocking, high-grade encryption, routine backups and a business continuity plan.
5. Educate users of risk controls and policies
Once risk controls are implemented, management should educate the staff on any policy changes and explain how the newly implemented risk controls will help mitigate IT risks.
6. Track IT risk controls and monitor risks
IT risk management policies should be revisited annually to ensure policies are still relevant. Remember: risk management is a continuous process that can influence practices and decisions made throughout the organization.
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