4 IT Risk Assessment Blunders to Avoid

Why is it crucial for your business to undergo a risk assessment? IT risk assessments are an integral part of your security management plan. They help to increase awareness of potential risks, identify infrastructure vulnerabilities, determine if existing IT security measures are adequate, and help you prioritize threats that could disrupt your business. These are all things that affect your bottom line!

Whether you’re an organization of 10 or 10,000 people, it’s important to know as much as you can about your IT infrastructure to make the best decisions on which security practices to follow. However, even when businesses conduct a risk assessment, they frequently fall victim to common mistakes and errors that greatly undermine the effort altogether. Here are the top four blunders you can learn from:

1. Not Assessing Third-Party Risks

You would never ask for the bare minimum amount of security coverage when it comes to things in your personal life, such as the car you drive or the home you live in. When conducting a risk assessment for your hard-earned business, you should be just as meticulous and never take the mediocre route!

Most enterprises today don’t dig deeper to assess the level of risk posed by their vendors and other third-party partners that handle or oversee their sensitive, private data. One area that business owners aren’t touching on enough is managing their relationships with their vendors and making sure things are on the right track. When businesses fail to do their due diligence, they’re bound to miss crucial details that could dramatically change the outlook of their risk exposure. For instance, a customer may not know that a vendor is storing their private data in a public Cloud – a major detail that could change the entire risk assessment process!

2. Forgetting to Carry Out Regular Risk Assessments.

Businesses do not carry out risk assessments as often as they should. Although it is the only way to keep up with the constantly evolving threat landscape, organizations simply don’t make efficient use of this very valuable practice.

Executing regular risk assessments not only puts your IT security budgets to good use, but it also helps you strategically plan for potential threats and disasters that could affect your profitability, productivity, and even destroy your company’s reputation. By following NIST guidelines for continuous monitoring to stay informed and aware of all the latest security trends, you can improve your response readiness and minimize overall risk.

3. Neglecting the Risk of Human Error.

Businesses must always remember that system vulnerabilities and software leaks are only part of the overall risk assessment equation. Concerns about the likelihood of human error and negligence when complex technologies are utilized is an important facet to consider.

Failing to account for employee errors within your organization can lead to misleading assumptions and outcomes in the risk assessment.

4. Forgetting to Train Employees.

The end goal of a risk assessment is not just to identify and detect risks, but to also prevent potential data breaches. This cannot be attained without frequently and constantly reminding your workforce about the dangers of data falling into the wrong hands and having set policies and procedures in place for your employees to follow when handling sensitive information. Even the most foolproof risk management assessment will fall to its doom if an untrained workforce doesn’t have the proper knowledge and training to handle company data with IT security best practices in mind.

The solution is to provide training that is simple enough for anyone with little technical expertise to easily comply, yet comprehensive enough that employees do not develop a one-track mind regarding the formation of a breach.

To learn more about securing your IT infrastructure with a thorough risk assessment, contact HCTG for a free consultation!