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

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It’s all about managing risks in the context of what the business is trying to achieve – launch or grow a new product or service line; gain consistency in the rollout to a new geographic region; lead a successful merger or acquisition. We have to make sure risk tolerances are mapped to policies that will ultimately govern the behavior of people, processes and systems. Policies, controls and analytics can be calibrated to feed the right key performance and risk indicators that will help leadership make decisions to avoid, treat or transfer risk efficiently and effectively.

What to do: Press leadership to set risk appetites, and get business leaders to help translate these into thresholds, policies and controls.

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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