Risk – Managing and Mitigating

Risk.  In today’s world, that word means a lot of different things.  You manage risk in your daily life by eating right, exercising, buckling up and looking both ways before crossing the street.

But, risk in business can also mean a great deal.  Threats are coming at your business from many different directions.  Some of the major areas of risk you have to deal with everyday are:

  • Competition
  • Personnel
  • Network/Virus/Malware
  • Supplier/Vendor
  • Legal/Regulatory/Compliance
  • Consumer/Cost
  • Reputation

How do you manage these?  How do you mitigate them?  How can you minimize your exposure?  A multi-faceted approach is necessary.

You need to look at all facets of your business.  Risk can be lessened to the point it is acceptable.  Each business is different in how this is done.  It is important, though, that each business review their risk posture and see where they stand.

Each business needs to conduct a risk analysis.  This can be done by someone internally, or for best results, work with someone external to the business.  During the risk analysis, the reviewer will look at all facets of the business and discuss policies and procedures.  It is important that each unit within the business have good documented procedures and follow those.  You also need to have good policies in place, from the top management down and verify everyone buys into those policies and follow them.

When reviewing external risks, you need to make sure you cover all of your potential vulnerabilities.  This is especially true when you have outside websites, external facing network connections or E-Commerce solutions. There are multiple routes bad people can get in and mess around with your systems.  You need to make sure you have good systems in place to detect issues, and you need to make sure you have good people in place to mitigate those issues.

Businesses need to review their risks continuously.  It is very important to maintain your competitive advantage and reputation.