Organizations big and small, across every industry, need to manage IT risk. According to PurpleSec, cybercrimes worldwide will cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. The financial implications of a cyber breach are clear, but when a breach occurs, organizations also face a damaged reputation, customer loss, and distrust among their stakeholders.\n\nRocket Software recently surveyed 275 U.S.-based IT directors and vice presidents in companies with more than 1,000 employees to determine what keeps them up at night\u2014and it comes as no surprise that one of their biggest nightmares is managing IT risk.\n\nTechnology professionals are taking a more proactive and less reactionary approach to how they manage risk and cybersecurity. But IT risk extends beyond cyberattacks by bad actors. Hardware or software failures, natural disasters, maintaining compliance, and even human error all pose threats to organizations\u2019 IT health. According to Rocket Software\u2019s survey, nearly half of respondents (42%) noted that they think about IT risk daily (31%) and even multiple times a day (11%). Sixty-three percent of IT leaders even measure success within their IT organization by their ability to reduce risk.\n\nHowever, while IT leaders are worried about their risk posture, overall, they aren\u2019t very confident in their organization\u2019s ability to execute an approach to IT management based on the technology, processes, and people in their organizations. According to Rocket Software\u2019s survey:\n\nTo improve confidence, organizations need the right tools, processes, and people in place to effectively manage risk both on the mainframe and in the cloud. To help mitigate risk, respondents of Rocket Software\u2019s survey found the three most popular processes and tools include data and system access (63%), data availability (62%), and process automation (47%). A whopping 13% of respondents don\u2019t have tools deployed to mitigate risk at all.\n\nHere are three crucial strategies that IT leaders can implement to monitor, manage, and mitigate risk in their organization:\n\nCompliance and data privacy\n\nRemaining compliant with regulatory guidelines and maintaining data privacy are of the utmost importance for organizations that want to remain competitive in today\u2019s market and are crucial to mitigate IT risk. Fifty-one percent of respondents noted compliance as their organization's current primary focus when it comes to data management.\n\nTo be compliant with regulatory frameworks and data privacy standards, organizations must understand which legislation they are required to follow. For organizations that offer digital services to their clients and collect their data, this includes data privacy regulations based on each customer\u2019s location. Organizations risk hefty fines and damaged reputations if they do not abide by government regulations.\n\nOrganizations must also treat their data like an asset, not a liability. A business\u2019s data is one of its most valuable assets, and organizations cannot maximize their data if it is carelessly locked up or unavailable to key employees. To avoid compliance issues and optimize the usefulness of data, organizations must consider what data they have, what kind of data it is, whose data it is, where the data is located, and the last time the data was audited or deleted.\n\nRocket Software Content Services enables companies to bridge mainframe, distributed, and cloud tools with a single technology fabric that unifies and governs critical business data and information.\n\nData and systems access, availability, and backup\n\nOrganizations need to be confident in knowing where their data came from and who has access to it. Data lineage, therefore, is crucial. Controlling data and system access, and using tools that are completely auditable, will help organizations mitigate risk, remain compliant, and keep their reputations intact. \n\nIn addition, organizations need a solution to optimize data protection, starting with backups. Without backups, data assets cannot be recovered quickly in the event of an emergency like a cyberattack, natural disaster, or human error.\n\nProcess automation\n\nData quality, management, and compliance can be scaled with automation\u2014which reduces IT risk tremendously. Automation is the linchpin for data and information modernization. Not only does automation achieve faster time-to-value and derive more value from data, but it mitigates compliance risks and costs. In addition, by implementing automation into processes and workflows and taking humans out of the equation, there\u2019s less room for human error and therefore mitigates risk.\n\nThe importance of IT security\u2014both on the mainframe and cloud\u2014cannot be overstated. Mainframes are responsible for storing businesses\u2019 most sensitive data and information \u2013 from financial records to trade secrets to customers\u2019 personal information. Ignoring or deprioritizing mainframe security can jeopardize an organization\u2019s entire digital transformation journey. As hybrid cloud solutions become even more popular to achieve digital transformation, mainframe systems will need to be ready to protect data in an on-premises environment and beyond.\n\nRocket Software enables IT leaders to protect their data and de-risk their organization. Through its recent acquisition of KRI Resources, Inc. Rocket Software\u2019s mainframe security capabilities enables its customers to address their mainframe infrastructure needs in the most comprehensive and holistic way.\n\nLearn more about Rocket Software\u2019s suite of tools to protect organizations\u2019 IT functions.