Business continuity means ensuring that employees have everything they need from the IT organization to stay productive and support the company’s partners and customers. It requires assessing and mitigating risks to websites, databases, financial systems, email servers, business processes, and more.
Business continuity also requires capacity planning, especially if the company is experiencing growth. This, in turn, might lead to new cloud migration projects, new technology purchases, or the development of new applications, all of which might introduce new risks to the organization.
Finally, business continuity might involve IT processes such as patch management, employee training both inside and outside the IT department, and partner relationships.
An organization’s leadership team needs to understand the risks involved in each of these areas, as well as the cumulative risks that affect the company’s ability to achieve its overall business continuity objectives.
Here are three steps to help you develop a risk reporting strategy to understand and communicate those risks, so you can keep the business running.
1. Share the report with the business units that helped you create it
It’s vital to communicate with stakeholders in individual departments and business units to learn about their perceptions of risk. They’ll likely know about risks and priorities that you might miss just from scanning asset inventories in the IT department.
Now that you’ve generated a report, share your findings with these stakeholders. Get their thoughts on the ways risks have been measured and reported. And after the leadership team and the board have had a chance to review the report, share any news about new investments, shifting priorities, and so on with the report’s contributors.
People want to know that they’ve been listened to and understood. By sharing the results of the report, you close the loop with people you talked to early in your risk management process, and you make it more likely that they’ll contribute to risk assessments in the future.
2. Put systems in place to accelerate reporting
In many organizations, reporting on risk is an annual or quarterly activity. However, risks are shifting all the time. Regulations change. New competitors enter markets. New malware variants are created. And new business initiatives and digital transformations can shift priorities, eliminate some risks and create others.
Put IT systems and workflow processes in place to help automate and accelerate data collection for risk reporting. That gives you a much more timely and accurate report of risks at any given moment. It also makes it easier to quickly assess risks when new threats arise or when your company takes on a new market or adopts new technology.
One important requirement for automating risk analysis is being sure you can collect real-time data from endpoints – desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and servers your employees depend on. By gaining real-time access to what’s happening on endpoints, you’ll gain insights into employee productivity, threat status, IT resource utilization and more.
3. Develop an ongoing practice for risk reporting
To make risk reporting successful, you can’t think of it as one and done. It’s something you’ll need to conduct regularly and evolve as the business and market changes. Automating your risk assessment process will help you keep up with the ever-evolving changes and allow your organization to achieve its business continuity goals.
With cyber threats increasing and businesses moving faster than ever before, it’s vital for business leaders to understand and mitigate risks that could jeopardize their business. That understanding begins with effective risk reporting.
Ready to stay ahead of exploits and build out your existing security practices? Learn how Tanium can help.