Risk Management

Risk Management

Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling financial, legal, strategic and security risks to an organization’s capital and earnings. These threats, or risks, could stem from a wide variety of sources, including financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management errors, accidents and natural disasters.

If an unforeseen event catches your organization unaware, the impact could be minor, such as a small impact on your overhead costs. In a worst-case scenario, though, it could be catastrophic and have serious ramifications, such as a significant financial burden or even the closure of your business.

To reduce risk, an organization needs to apply resources to minimize, monitor and control the impact of negative events while maximizing positive events. A consistent, systemic and integrated approach to risk management can help determine how best to identify, manage and mitigate significant risks.

The risk management process

At the broadest level, risk management is a system of people, processes and technology that enables an organization to establish objectives in line with values and risks.

A successful risk assessment program must meet legal, contractual, internal, social and ethical goals, as well as monitor new technology-related regulations. By focusing attention on risk and committing the necessary resources to control and mitigate risk, a business will protect itself from uncertainty, reduce costs and increase the likelihood of business continuity and success.

Three important steps of the risk management process are risk identification, risk analysis and assessment, and risk mitigation and monitoring.

Identifying risks

Risk identification is the process of identifying and assessing threats to an organization, its operations and its workforce. For example, risk identification may include assessing IT security threats such as malware and ransomware, accidents, natural disasters and other potentially harmful events that could disrupt business operations.

Risk analysis and assessment

Risk analysis involves establishing the probability that a risk event might occur and the potential outcome of each event. Risk evaluation compares the magnitude of each risk and ranks them according to prominence and consequence.

Risk mitigation and monitoring

Risk mitigation refers to the process of planning and developing methods and options to reduce threats to project objectives. A project team might implement risk mitigation strategies to identify, monitor and evaluate risks and consequences inherent to completing a specific project, such as new product creation. Risk mitigation also includes the actions put into place to deal with issues and effects of those issues regarding a project.

Risk management is a nonstop process that adapts and changes over time. Repeating and continually monitoring the processes can help assure maximum coverage of known and unknown risks.

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