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The Best Practices for Data Risk Management

Defining the Risks

Carrying out a full assessment of an organisation to determine its scope of risk is essential as each business will store different kinds of data at different sensitivity levels in turn effecting the systems, software, and tools in use. By doing so you can determine a good risk strategy to adopt and knowledge of what to look for before starting the process will also be highly beneficial.

Identifying Potential Risks and Threats

By identifying what your business needs are and carrying out a risk assessment to identify the potential data risks within your business, it places you in a better position to prepare. By identifying the weaknesses, it will make the areas that require more work clearer to identify.

Assessing the Existing Measures

Now that you have identified the potential risks and you have placed measures to mitigate those risks, it is important that you continue to assess and monitor those measures to ensure that they are still performing at the same level required. Doing things like checking that all software is up to date, checking that the tools used are still performing the same functions and checking that the data governance processes are current and up to date.

It is a business’s responsibility not to become complacent and let familiarity become their downfall. It’s harder to clear up a major data breach than it is to implement new and better systems.

Having a Plan in Place

Contingency plans, where possible, should always be put in place for the major and possibly impactful risks that have been identified. This should happen when the main risks have been identified and the likelihood of them occurring have been assessed and then businesses can draw up responses as a result. Having a plan in place is an important step to preventing any data breach.

Adopting a Holistic Approach

Data risk management should not be addressed separately from other key operations within your business, however that is often the case. By adopting a holistic approach and looking at the performance of your business as a whole, data risk policies and rules should be defined and integrated into the company’s processes at the highest level. By having all sections of the business working together will create a more fool proof data risk management strategy and ensure those risks are protected from top to bottom.

Learning from any Mistakes

This is one of the key practices when thinking about data risk management! By listening to previous mistakes, you can ensure to the best of your ability that they won’t happen again. If data is compromised, despite your best efforts, examining the weaknesses in your business’s strategy is the first step. Secondly, adjusting those measures to patch those mistakes is key and finally learning from not only your errors but the errors of others is key.

Only a fool makes the same mistakes twice.

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