Information technology (IT) plays a huge role everywhere. IT is very crucial in various business and if you are someone who uses IT sector often then you should know all the risks that come along with IT. One should know all the risks that can harm one and how to manage and prevent those risks and develop a proper plan to avoid risks and safety of your data and system. The more your business depends on IT, the more you need to work on risk management as those risks could steal all your data and might corrupt your system.
IT risk refers to any possible threat to your data, system and process. IT risks have the potential to damage business data and system and it often comes from poor management of processes and events. If data and system are not protected properly then any hacker can break through and steal any data that they want or corrupt system or insert viruses.
Categories of IT risks
- security - compromised data due to unauthorized access or use
- availability - inability to access your IT systems that are needed for business operations
- performance - reduced productivity due to slow or inability access IT systems
- compliance - failure to follow laws and regulations like data protection etc.
IT risks varying in range and nature. It's important to know about all the different types of IT risk that can potentially affect your business.
- Physical threats - it results from any physical access or damage to IT resources such as the servers. It can include any kind of theft, damage from fire or flood, or unauthorized access to confidential data by an employee or outsider.
- Electronic threats - a hacker could get access to your data and system, your IT system could become infected by any computer virus. These are common of a criminal nature.
- Technical failures - It includes software bugs, a computer crash or the complete failure of a computer component. A technical failure can be tragic if, you cannot retrieve data and no backup copy is available.
- Human error - It is a major threat. Someone might accidentally delete or change important data, or fail to follow security procedures properly and invite any kind of unwanted risk.
- Hardware and software failure - power loss or data corruption is included in this.
- Malware - malicious software is specifically designed to interfere with computer operation.
- Viruses - there is a computer code that can copy itself and spread from one computer to another, often disturbing and corrupting computer operations, data and software.
- Spam, scams and phishing - any uninvited email that seeks to fool people into revealing their personal details or buying fraud goods or products.
- Hackers - people who illegally break into computer systems
- Fraud - using any computer to alter data and manipulate accordingly for illegal benefit
- Passwords theft - often a target for hackers. They steal your password and use sensitive data for their benefit.
- security breaches - includes physical break-ins as well as online intrusion
- staff dishonesty - staffs sometimes steal sensitive data about customers for their benefit.
Steps to manage risk
- Identify risks - determining the nature of risks and how they are related to your particular business. One should be familiar with the different kinds of risks they can face.
- Assess risks - determine how serious each risk is to your business and priorities them. Carry out an IT risk assessment.
- Mitigate risks - implement preventive measures to reduce the chances of the risk occurring and limit its impact.
- Develop incident response - create plans for managing any risk related problem and recovering your operations. Form your IT incident response and recovery strategy.
- Develop contingency plans - making sure that your business can continue to run even after an incident or damage.
- Review processes and procedures - continue to assess and know threats and managing and making strategies to avoid any new risks.