An Introduction to Risk Management

October 16, 2012

Whether you're managing a SaaS solution for thousands of large clients around the world or you're running a small mail server for a few mom-and-pop businesses in your neighborhood, you're providing IT service for a fee — and your customers expect you to deliver. It's easy to get caught up in focusing your attention and energy on day-to-day operations, and in doing so, you might neglect some of the looming risks that threaten the continuity of your business. You need to prioritize risk assessment and management.

Just reading that you need to invest in "Risk Management" probably makes you shudder. Admittedly, when a business owner has to start quantifying and qualifying potential areas of business risk, the process can seem daunting and full of questions ... "What kinds of risks should I be concerned with?" "Once I find a potential risk, should I mitigate it? Avoid it? Accept it?" "How much do I need to spend on risk management?"

When it comes to risk management in hosting, the biggest topics are information security, backups and disaster recovery. While those general topics are common, each business's needs will differ greatly in each area. Because risk management isn't a very "cookie-cutter" process, it's intimidating. It's important to understand that protecting your business from risks isn't a destination ... it's a journey, and whatever you do, you'll be better off than you were before you did it.

Because there's not a "100% Complete" moment in the process of risk management, some people think it's futile — a gross waste of time and resources. History would suggest that risk management can save companies millions of dollars, and that's just when you look at failures. You don't see headlines when businesses effectively protect themselves from attempted hacks or when sites automatically fail over to a new server after a hardware failure.

It's unfortunate how often confidential customer data is unintentionally released by employees or breached by malicious attackers. Especially because those instances are often so easily preventable. When you understand the potential risks of your business's confidential data in the hands of the wrong people (whether malicious attackers or careless employees), you'll usually take action to avoid quantifiable losses like monetary fines and unquantifiable ones like the loss of your reputation.

More and more, regulations are being put in place to holding companies accountable for protecting their sensitive information. In the healthcare industry businesses have to meet the strict Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. Sites that accept credit card payments online are required to operate in Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance. Data centers will spend hours (and hours and hours) achieving and maintaining their SSAE 16 certification. These rules and requirements are not arbitrarily designed to be restrictive (though they can feel that way sometimes) ... They are based on best practices to ultimately protect businesses in those industries from risks that are common throughout the respective industry.

Over the coming months, I'll discuss ways that you as a SoftLayer customer can mitigate and manage your risk. We'll talk about security and backup plans that will incrementally protect your business and your customers. While we won't get to the destination of 100% risk-mitigated operations, we'll get you walking down the path of continuous risk assessment, identification and mitigation.

Stay tuned!

-Matthew

Comments

October 16th, 2012 at 10:01pm

Yes, i thing It will help to protect people as well as physical and financial assets. This is very Useful article.

October 17th, 2012 at 12:32pm

This is a great article which SMB's should especially take action on at least doing a bit more research prior to investing in solutions.

A great resource for their internet backup failover solution is www.cradlepoint.com with their CBA 750 which utilizes 3G/4G connectivity for the end-users' network.

October 19th, 2012 at 7:17am

Risk management is the pert of any business. To reach the goal it is must be measure on the risk management.The article you are post , it's really an excellent post and gathering huge information about risk taking.
thank you for publishing this post.

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Comments

October 16th, 2012 at 10:01pm

Yes, i thing It will help to protect people as well as physical and financial assets. This is very Useful article.

October 17th, 2012 at 12:32pm

This is a great article which SMB's should especially take action on at least doing a bit more research prior to investing in solutions.

A great resource for their internet backup failover solution is www.cradlepoint.com with their CBA 750 which utilizes 3G/4G connectivity for the end-users' network.

October 19th, 2012 at 7:17am

Risk management is the pert of any business. To reach the goal it is must be measure on the risk management.The article you are post , it's really an excellent post and gathering huge information about risk taking.
thank you for publishing this post.

Leave a Reply

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