Tackling IT Risk Challenges With Risk Management Consulting Firms
Cybercrime and other digital threats have taken on a life of their own, especially in recent years, with cyber criminals becoming more and more sophisticated and advancing their malicious trade in a manner that poses some serious threats to businesses both large and small. Cybercriminals aside, an organization’s IT division faces other threats and risks such as information and data privacy, viruses and malware, natural disasters, data management risks, and even legal and compliance-related threats.
These factors have caused IT risk management to emerge as a rapidly growing niche, with an increasing number of companies turning to experts and consultants to help identify vulnerabilities and mitigate risks. But there are a few challenges that you may potentially encounter when securing the help of a risk management consulting firm.
Why Has IT Risk Management Become a More Serious Concern in Recent Years?
There are many factors that have contributed to the emergence of new IT-related vulnerabilities and threats in recent years. One major contributor has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only revealed the vulnerable nature of many organizations’ very existence; the pandemic also brought to light many risks that have prompted business leaders to take a more proactive approach to risk management as a whole.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Interpol reported “a significant target shift from individuals and small businesses to major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure. With organizations and businesses rapidly deploying remote systems and networks to support staff working from home, criminals are also taking advantage of increased security vulnerabilities to steal data, generate profits, and cause disruption.” In addition to the shift in IT cybercrime targets, the pandemic saw an overall increase in the number of cybercrime incidents increased dramatically. Depending upon who you ask, there has been a cyber attack increase of around 75% to 80% in malware, ransomware, malicious domains, hacking incidents, data theft, and other cybercrimes.
Even before the pandemic, we were seeing an increase in cyber attacks, leaving IT departments and business leaders seeking help to manage these threats more effectively. Risk management consulting has always been an ideal solution due to the constantly-evolving nature of the IT risk management landscape. You could quite literally make it a full-time job to simply identify all of the new risks facing your organization.
What Does a Risk Management Consulting Firm Do?
Risk management consultants specialize in the identification, management, mitigation, and monitoring of threats, risks, and vulnerabilities facing today’s companies. Consultants bring valuable expertise and experience to the table as they provide the following services.
- Evaluating the risk landscape.
- Identifying existing or likely threats facing an organization.
- Pinpointing the dynamics surrounding an organization’s vulnerabilities and risk factors.
- Developing and executing a risk mitigation action plan.
- Monitoring the progress of risk mitigation efforts and ensuring that everything goes according to plan.
- Developing a comprehensive risk management strategy to minimize and address risks that arise in the future.
- Guiding an organization to establish a risk management task force that can periodically address threats and vulnerabilities, in addition to guiding any responses to a new emerging risk.
Many risk management consulting firms use the multifaceted PPRR risk management model, which stands for prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. The PPRR risk management model works to minimize losses by anticipating threats and taking preventative measures and developing a preparedness plan to address those risks and any related recovery efforts. The approach also includes a response and recovery strategy for the long-term management of IT risks.
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Targeting the Challenges of IT Risk Management and Risk Management Consulting
The serious threats associated with an organization’s IT infrastructure can be effectively managed with the help of a risk management consulting firm. But it’s not always smooth sailing because there are many challenges that can come into play. Here is a look at a few of the most common challenges that risk management consulting firms address.
- Comprehensive Insights – To effectively address IT risks, a consultant must take the time to dig into the organization, its IT division, and its operations. Without a complete understanding of all these facets, it is possible that a potential threat could be overlooked. Consultants know exactly where the likely vulnerabilities may exist, making them especially effective in identifying these issues.
- Industry-Specific Expertise – One major issue for risk management consulting firms surrounds industry expertise. Each industry or business sector has unique challenges in terms of risk management and this extends into the realm of IT. Consulting firms can bring extensive expertise and insights that are required to effectively resolve risks and threats that confront a company’s IT division.
- Other IT Risks – Cybercrime isn’t the only concern for IT department and business leaders, although many are unaware of the myriad of threats just waiting in the wings to potentially emerge and cause havoc at some point in the future. There are many non-cybercrime-related vulnerabilities and threats that must be addressed in an organization’s risk management plan. These may include issues with natural disasters and backup systems, software and hardware failures, human error, and similar issues. A risk management consulting firm is more likely to have the expertise to root out some of these more peripheral risks.
IT risk management efforts can also be effectively augmented with technology such as risk management software platforms. These software systems provide valuable tools that can be used to identify, manage and monitor a company’s risk landscape. This is one of the more effective strategies for IT risk management and a consulting firm can be a great resource for helping your business to implement one of these platforms and configure the software so that you get the maximum benefit from this technology.
At iTech, risk management is among our specialties. Our team develops innovative enterprise risk management solutions, ranging from governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software to more specialized platforms. Our expertise in the area of technology and IT means that we are well-positioned to develop solutions that target this very specialized domain. Reach out to the team at iTech today to discuss your company’s risk management needs and collaborate on the development of a proactive strategy for managing, monitoring, and mitigating threats and vulnerabilities.