What is Digital Risk Management?

Published July 2, 2020 • 2 min read

Digital risk is created by the new technologies that a company adopts to help accelerate its digital transformation. Digital risk management refers to assessing, monitoring, and treating the risks that stem from digital transformation.

Digital risk management is a critical part of business management. Digital risk management focuses on the threats and risks to an organization’s data and the IT systems that process that data.

As organizations continue to embrace digital transformation, their information security teams have to deal with keeping the business secure while still enabling growth and innovation. 

Consequently, chief information security officers must develop digital risk management strategies that take these new technologies into account and provide better decision-making capabilities.

Since digital risk is created by the new technologies a company adopts, a digital risk management program must be unique to that organization. 

But generally, a digital risk management program typically encompasses the risks associated with these technology groups: third-party organizations, mobile, big data, Internet of Things, cloud computing, and social media.

In particular, the risks associated with social media presence, such as phishing and account hacking, can introduce numerous threats into an organization and damage its reputation. 

If a company’s information security team isn’t able to secure its social media accounts, which are its digital communication channels, customers and potential customers will worry that their personal information is also at risk.

Effective digital risk management strategies

Identify critical assets, such as IT systems, including databases, websites, and payment processing systems, and determining their vulnerabilities.

Understand the threats to the business. Determining how threats behave can help companies tighten the cybersecurity of their systems.

Check for exposed assets. Companies should identify sources of unwanted online exposure, including social media, file-sharing sites, and Git repositories.

Develop a mitigating strategy to protect against digital risks. This includes:

  • Reducing the attack surface by identifying the systems that are vulnerable and removing them.
  • Ensuring that information security teams keep threat models updated by considering critical digital assets, including those associated with third-party organizations and supply chains. 
  • Integrating digital risk management into general incident management processes.

In addition, companies should plan for continuous risk assessment because assessing risk on an ongoing basis will improve their cybersecurity posture and protect the value of the business.

Managing digital risk takes time, and it’s difficult. As such, information security teams first have to understand what digital risk is as well as the types of digital risk that exist so they can implement the most effective digital risk management strategies.

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