IT Risk Is Not About IT – It’s About the Business

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For example, the enterprise risk function will be looking at a different set of risk factors than, say, the operational risk function, audit function, project management office (PMO) or security team. The PMO may be looking at project delivery risk in terms of budget, timelines, resources and third-party suppliers. In parallel, operational risk teams may analyze risks in terms of probable loss, and focus on severity, frequency and velocity. IT risk teams need to be conversant with different approaches to risk management and need to always be digging deeper to see how threats, vulnerabilities and exposures in the IT ecosystem can be woven into risk factors in a meaningful way.

What to do: Be curious, ask questions about how risk is measured, educate yourself and your teams, and reflect back to your stakeholders on how IT components figure into the risk equation.

Information technology risk teams know well that the scope of IT risks can be very broad – ranging from technical security risk, to IT operations risk, through to operational risk and enterprise risk. IT risk teams typically have deep skills in risk identification and analysis of information technology components, and many are also quite skilled in making recommendations on risk treatment options. But their scope and point of view is typically limited to technology applications and infrastructure. As the enterprise becomes increasingly complex, and extends out with deep interlocks to customer and supplier eco-systems, IT risk teams' core competencies need to evolve.

When IT risk teams are effective, they’ve formed partnerships with other risk stakeholders across the organization – business leaders, the chief risk officer, internal audit, information and physical security teams, business resilience groups and vendor management. They understand how IT is linked up the stack to the business, press to get risk appetites defined, and are able to translate risk appetite into acceptable thresholds that IT operational teams can work with. 

Here are four critical core capabilities, identified by Yo Delmar, vice president of GRC solutions at MetricStream, that IT risk teams need to develop in order to be truly effective in working with the business.  


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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