Regardless of size, virtually all companies have a cyber presence. As companies move online, they need to identify ways to protect their data. That’s why many companies implement IT risk management strategies: to protect corporate data from online risks, vulnerabilities or security breaches.
IT departments that practice risk management have several goals. They identify potential risks to cyber data and mitigate those risks before they arise. This process typically involves regular examinations of a company’s hardware and software for weak points where hackers or cybercriminals could gain access to a company’s systems.
Even in the event of a data breach, IT risk management strategies are used to help companies resume normal operations faster by minimizing data loss, rebuilding servers and resetting systems.
Given how much sensitive data is stored online, IT risk management is essential for virtually every company with an online presence. In fact, more than 60% of corporate data is stored wirelessly in the cloud. Even if an organization operates minimally online, IT risk management is still important to protect assets.
If a company successfully implements IT risk management, employees might never know it. Smooth, ongoing operations are the main benefit of IT risk management. When a breach damages or destroys hardware, software or online systems, companies can lose time, data, profits, network security and even stakeholders.
IT risk management can also help companies drastically reduce costs. Though risk management strategies often require time and money to implement, they help protect corporate data against the alternative: a cyberattack that involves costly and time-consuming recovery processes.
To identify potential information technology risks, many IT departments complete comprehensive IT risk assessments. Though your company might differentiate its IT risk assessment, the underlying process is the same: screening security issues, assessing threat levels and addressing those risks.
When completing an IT risk assessment, you might fulfill the following steps:
Many information technology departments use the IT risk equation to understand and assess the impact that potential threats might have.
This equation calculates risk by multiplying several variables together: IT threats, vulnerability levels and the value of each asset. The variables in the equation aren’t meant to be replaced with numbers. Rather, IT departments will calculate risks by considering threat levels, vulnerability levels and asset value together.
Sometimes, the risk management process can mean the difference between smooth day-to-day operations and a serious cybersecurity threat. To prepare and protect a company from risk, IT departments will often complete the risk management process.
Here are the major steps of such a process:
Together, the five steps of the risk management process contribute toward a single goal: keeping the company safe from IT and non-IT-related threats.
Learn more about what’s possible with a degree in information technology!
No matter the nature of your company, several best practices characterize IT risk management:
IT risk management strategies differ from one organization to another. For example, social media platforms might spend more time protecting customer preferences. By contrast, online retailers may implement IT risk management strategies that keep payment information safe.
You can participate in IT risk management through a wide variety of information technology positions. Whether you’re looking to lead an IT team, contribute to a cloud infrastructure or simply help an organization protect its online assets, there’s an IT role that fits the bill.
Careers in IT risk management include the following jobs:
Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.
Each of these IT and technology careers typically plays a role in IT risk management. Depending on your technological field, you might be responsible for auditing the software, hardware, networks and tools you’re familiar with as part of regular, comprehensive risk assessments.
Many individuals pursuing IT careers first obtain a bachelor’s degree in information technology, a program that teaches basic IT terms and concepts.
If you’re interested in risk management, you might instead select a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity, where you’ll learn how to protect corporate data from a wide variety of potential cybersecurity threats.
To gain the knowledge base and experience for an IT risk management landscape, you might also consider one of several master’s degrees in information science.
If you plan to further pursue an IT career in data protection, a master’s degree in cybersecurity is likely the best path forward.
In addition to the educational component of a career in IT risk management, you’ll also need to build up a series of IT-related skills. These might include the following:
Before you can begin work in an IT risk management role, you might also need to obtain one or more certifications, such as:
Depending on your technical position, you may also be required to obtain certifications in cloud platforms, programming languages, database development or other IT fields.
As companies increasingly make the shift to cloud-based solutions, the need for IT risk management will grow accordingly. Now is the time to explore the career opportunities in this field! Ready to get started? Discover technology degree offerings at University of Phoenix.
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