4 Risk Assessments Your Business Needs to Perform ASAP
Sep 06, 2021 16:43
Running a business comes with a variety of risks, and depending on your industry, some of those risks could have severe consequences. For example, your employees might be subject to the risk of physical harm, and if you store data online, your company might be at risk for a data breach.
Other risks can be specific to your company and/or industry. All businesses are subject to risk. However, if you’re not prepared to mitigate, manage, and recover from various risks, your business could be in trouble.
Risk management is a critical component for running a successful business. If you want to reduce risks, here are several risk assessments your business needs to perform ASAP.
1. Cybersecurity risk assessment
Of all the possible risk assessments you could perform, cybersecurity should be at the top of your list. Every year, thousands of businesses experience a data breach that exposes sensitive company information, including proprietary secrets and customer information.
Hackers sell this information to others who use it for identity theft, among other things.
According to Box, a leader in secure file storage, information security risk management is crucial. You need to evaluate the risks and hazards facing your business. You can only mitigate and manage the risks you can identify.
Here are three steps to perform a cybersecurity risk assessment:
· Review how employees store and access your company’s data. Do you use a secure cloud file storage platform? Do you require employees to encrypt all company data on their personal devices? Do you have a strong BYOD policy? Is your data encrypted end-to-end?
Do your remote employees follow your company’s IT security policy to the letter? Do you restrict logins by device? Do you require multi-factor authentication and forbid saving passwords in a browser?
· Review your compliance requirements. Are you GDPR-compliant? Are you compliant with all the other data protection and privacy laws you’re required to follow?
· Do your employees follow your data security rules? You might have a strong IT security policy, but that policy isn’t worth much if employees don’t comply. Make sure you enforce your data security policies.
Finally, make sure you have some kind of data breach insurance policy. A good policy will cover your lawyers’ fees, settlement fees, and other court costs.
2. Building risk assessment
Building risks include things like fires, explosions, and other types of risks related to your physical office space. These risks are generally the easiest to mitigate with precautions and education.
For example, Investopedia recommends making sure employees know your office street number in case they need to dial 911 in an emergency. It’s also advised to clearly mark fire exits and install fire alarms, sprinklers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors.
3. Hazardous materials risk assessment
Are there hazardous materials in your building? It’s hard to know unless you’ve had an inspection. For example, many people live in buildings for decades with asbestos and never know it’s there.
Do your employees handle hazardous materials as part of their job? If so, you definitely need to assess the risks associated with their work. For instance, you might have employees using chemicals that are dangerous without realizing the risks.
With a proper assessment, you can mitigate the risks accordingly. For example, you may discover you need to provide employees with protective equipment for their eyes and install an eye washing station in the office.
4. Natural disaster risk assessment
Natural disasters can strike anywhere at any time. In today’s world, you can’t always predict the type of disasters that can happen. For example, there have been major flash floods across the world in places that barely get any rain under normal circumstances. Even Texas experienced strange weather in the form of an unexpected, deadly snowstorm in February 2021.
Is your business ready for any type of natural disaster? Earthquakes, floods, fires, wind storms, hail, and snow are all possibilities. If you can think of it, you should prepare for it.
Performing risk assessments will give you peace of mind
Risk assessments are crucial in gaining peace of mind about your company’s future. The last thing you want is to be slapped with a multi-million-dollar lawsuit over a data breach you could have prevented with encryption.
When conducting your risk assessments, don’t leave out any possibilities. If a risk seems rare, assess the potential damage anyway and do what you can to mitigate the potential damage.
Many risks are unpredictable and catch business owners off guard. Don’t let that happen to you – prioritize risk assessment and keep your business protected.
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