Running a business always comes with risks, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. Whether you sell products online or you hold a lot of client information in a database, some of those risks may come from your IT systems. If you want to guard your financial and reputational interests, it’s a good idea to explore some of the steps you can take toward managing risks.
Assess potential risks
There’s no sense in creating a risk management plan if you haven’t yet assessed for potential risks. You can either do this yourself, or you can hire an external IT team to do it for you.
While carrying out a risk assessment, remember that there are universal risks and there are those which are unique to your industry. It’s also worth remembering that your risks can change over time. Because of this, your risk management plan shouldn’t be inflexible.
Educate your employees
Did you know that 90% of data breaches are caused by human error? Despite your employees’ best efforts, accidents do happen. Whether that’s opening a phishing link that seems genuine or leaving a device where prying eyes can see what’s on it, your workforce may unwittingly expose your data.
Although you can’t prevent human error altogether, you can significantly reduce the risk of an event happening. For example, you can provide your employees with training on how to recognize potential phishing emails. You could also offer them a non-punitive amnesty on reporting all lost devices so you can block them earlier. By giving your employees a helping hand, it’s harder for them to make mistakes.
Strengthen your data backup
When your data rests at the heart of your business, losing even a little of it has serious repercussions. In addition to having to recover old ground, you may suffer from financial losses. Depending on the scale of the data that’s lost, you may find such events difficult to recover from.
Because of this, your risk management plan should always include some form of data backup.
With more than 90% of organizations already using cloud storage, you may want to hop on that particular trend. Using cloud storage usually means using a backup that’s far away from your current premises. That means you’re less likely to suffer a loss if there’s an adverse weather event. Additionally, cloud storage allows you to run your business with flexibility, which is a modern asset that a lot of businesses covet.
Update and review your plan
The risks your business faces will change over time. For example, every time you add a new employee to your team, you’ve introduced a new risk. Whenever you download new software, add a new device to your network, or change your approach to IT, you’re introducing a new risk.
Updating and reviewing your risk management plan is necessary for combatting external changes as well. Threats are always evolving and cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to gain access to your systems. Make sure you review your risk management plan regularly and adapt it as necessary.
Managing risks in your business requires research, strong IT systems, and employee participation. With consistent efforts, you can guard your business and maintain its reputation.