Companies are often aware of risks derived over the course of normal business operations, but there is also a growing need to be aware of risks arising from within their IT departments. Mitigating unnecessary risk within your organization can go a long way towards improving compliance metrics and reducing firm-wide liabilities. CIO’s can take a few steps to drastically reduce their overall risk and the potential monumental cost of recovery.

What are the risks?

Losing company data is the largest and potentially most damaging problem companies face today. Your data can include proprietary information, personal records, health records, or financial records; these can include internal data sets or external client data. Once trust has been broken between your organization and your employees or clients it can be nearly impossible to recover and regain that trust. New clients will be reluctant to sign up and existing clients will be hesitant to provide you with data.

When you don’t know what you have and who has it, you leave your company exposed at the most basic level.

Company data can be compromised via electronic means (getting hacked, phishing scams, etc.) or physical means through a lost or stolen asset. When you don’t know what you have and who has it, you leave your company exposed at the most basic level.

Not only does the cost of notifying affected individuals, retaining legal counsel and lost revenues drain your resources but the associated productivity loss can also be very taxing. Numerous departments must get involved including procurement, legal, human resources, IT, compliance and, of course, the department the employee is a member of. So what are some ways you can reduce this risk?

4 Quick Tips To Reduce IT Risks

1. Implement a fully-utilized asset management solution.

When selecting the right asset management software for your company, be sure the system is easy to use and integrates well with your company workflow so data is entered accurately and in a timely fashion. The solution should add value throughout your organization. A system utilized at 50% won’t give you a reduction of 50% of your risks – it will give you a false sense of security that could lead to precisely the scenario you are trying to avoid.

2. Encrypt all data whenever possible.

Encrypting your employee and client data is so important. Regardless of how well you plan, there is always the possibility of something going wrong- Murphy’s Law! Ensure you enforce strict data policies, including encrypting sensitive email communications, disk drives, and USB sticks. Although there are high security USB sticks, limiting the use of USB sticks whenever possible is recommended as they are very easy to lose and can still be hacked.

3. Dispose of assets properly.

Many companies don’t realize that much of their vulnerability comes during the disposal of electronic assets. Establish procedures to wipe/destroy data, remove identifying information (such as asset tags) and audit the disposals periodically. If you have a dynamic asset management software you should be able to track where all of the disposed assets end up.

4. Develop and maintain robust disaster recovery plans.

Every department in your organization should be involved in the process of planning for a disaster. Getting input from throughout the organization will improve overall awareness and allow you to create a more comprehensive and accurate plan. Knowing exactly where your IT assets are and what is on them is pivotal to having your business back up and running.

Be proactive and start mitigating your IT risks!

Comdash is a leading web-based asset management solution. Let us help you reduce your IT risk and save you money in the process – contact us at: info@comdash.com or (888) 600-3128.