Are You Up-to-Date in Managing Cyber Risk? Here’s How



A strange development is taking place. Businesspeople are increasingly concerned about risk management and data loss, but many are implementing the wrong solutions.

True, chief executives have finally learned that failure to deal with cyber-security threats will cost them their jobs. Not only are CEOs on notice.

They finally fear cyber-security threats, and boards of directors are directing them to strategize on cybercrime, too. The new strategic risks as a result of technological changes range from big data and cloud computing to social media.

As a result, executives are targeting five technology threats to company value.

ID-10088767 stockimagesHowever, many business and information-technology pros have been focused on the wrong issues in data loss and risk management. That’s according to a Vision Solutions’ 56-page report, “State of Resilience Report 2015.”

My impression of the salient reasons for data loss in information technology:

— Storage failure

— The lack of a backup copy

— Human error

— Data protection program malfunction

— A data protection solution that’s down for maintenance

— Corrupt data

All of this means companies are making decisions on uncertain data. Consequently, 62 percent of the survey’s respondents have postponed data migration over concerns of downtime or not having the right resources.

Therefore, with the uncertainties from globalization, meeting consumer needs, IT risks and complying with regulations – there are gaps in business strategy, data management and technology.

CEOs have long complained to me about information technology. They complain about high-priced consultants, and that IT projects are too expensive and fail to yield a return on investment. Further, two studies indicate the need for IT pros to get businesslike.

Daily data breaches have become the norm in news headlines. We’re also hearing a lot about strategies to manage third-party risks. They are a chief culprit in cybercrime. Your business associates might be bigger risks for data breaches than you realize, too.

Solutions

So what’s needed? That would be creative thinking.

Key questions you must ask of yourself:

  1. How are we focused on continuous improvement?
  2. What are the impending problems, and what are the solutions?
  3. Are we doing the right things to understand the needs of our customers – now and for the future?

All of this means companies are making decisions on uncertain data. Consequently, 62 percent of the survey’s respondents have postponed data migration over concerns of downtime or not having the right resources.

Chances are you’re not able to adequately answer the above three questions. Meantime, remember risks from cybercrime gather steam every day.

Not to complicate things, but here’s another question: How are you managing three Rs – resources to repurpose, redeploy and realign?

For bosses to guard against cyber risks, here are four must-do strategies:

  1. Bosses must communicate proactively in cyber-risk management. Communication with IT professionals must improve – dramatically. Analysis should include priorities, the potential dangers to information assets and the tradeoffs.
  2. CEOs must direct security initiatives at every level and opportunity. This includes being transparent with customers and potential customers in the marketplace before and after any cyber attack.
  3. CEOs must be role models in security. They must walk the talk in cyber security matters. Only then will they be effective in motivating staff to use security measures.
  4. CEOs must make sure all employees and vendors employ security controls and diligent follow policies. It should be an ongoing process to monitor security issues to insure progress.

Another proven method

To help accomplish these safeguards, a solution lies in borrowing a page from the insurance industry – employing an actuary skilled in risk management.

If you operate a company with sizable assets, the recommendation is to become sophisticated in analysis and by employing a risk manager. Don’t rush into it without adequate due diligence.

A key point to consider: Don’t hire just anybody. Hire someone who is astute about your industry and business.

You want someone who can help you meet your risk-management goals now and who can also securely help drive your business growth in strategic planning.

If you can’t recruit an experienced person with these skills, consider a bright, enthusiastic MBA.

You’ll sleep better at night.

From the Coach’s Corner, here is additional relevant information:

Risk Management – Making Best Decisions, Using Right Tactics — To prevent a crisis from interfering with the continuity of your business, you must strategically plan to manage any potential risks. That means avoiding the classic mistakes routinely made by companies, and making the right decisions for proactive measures to minimize any dangers.  But how can you best manage risk?

How to Avoid Failure in Risk Management and Strategic Planning — Incredible as it might seem, companies fail because they underestimate strategic risks – yes, strategic blunders instead of common sense – according to an authoritative study. Here are three recommendations.

Risk Management – Picking the Best Cloud Storage Provider — If you feel you must go the cloud route, remember choosing the right cloud storage provider is a must for risk management.

7 Thought Leadership Tactics for Strong Performance — For a company to achieve strong performance, its culture and employees must be aligned with business strategy to provide value. But more and more, it seems employees can’t even articulate business strategy. Therefore, management must identify and communicate effective programs that are aligned with employee behavior in order to blaze new paths and fuel business growth.

Risk Management – Lawyer Explains Basics in Protecting Intellectual Property — Entrepreneurs are well-advised to consider ways to avoid legal entanglements over their inventions and intellectual property.

“The greater danger for most of lies in not setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” 

-Michelangelo

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.