Digital risk management strategies for modern businesses

Here are a few tips to help you with risk management for your digital business.

Digitisation has contributed to smooth business processes across multiple industries. However, there are several risks that come with digitisation especially when it comes to safeguarding and governing the data. Here are a few tips to help you with risk management for your digital business.

Developing deletion schedules

Having a good data deletion and retention schedule can go a long way in lowering the risks associated with unstructured data that adds no value to your business. But for you to realise the benefits, you have to follow the schedules religiously. A recent study has indicated that although most companies have a data deletion policy, only about 10 per cent follow the stipulated schedules.

At times, companies will hold on to data simply because they think it could be useful in future. In the end, having too much useless data can be the real risk. Surprisingly, the data that is required for legal hold, as well as regulation, is seldom 2 per cent of all the unstructured data that you are holding. If you already have a data retention schedule and you are not following it, you might get into trouble if there is any litigation.

For the deletion schedules to work, it’s important that a company knows exactly what they have. The easiest way is by maintaining an updated inventory of the data in your possession and classifying it to decide exactly how this data will be used in the business.

Despite the fact that data classification is an important determinant of success for digital businesses, it doesn’t guarantee the success of the digital risk management. This is because there is insufficient input from the stakeholders in most companies.

Integrated risk management within the organisation

Getting the right input from various levels and departments within the organisation is the key to an effective digital risk management. Basically, the barriers that exist between departments in an organisation must be broken down.

The absence of collaboration between various stakeholders is one of the major difficulties faced by risk management executives when they are trying to forecast risks. A carefully-planned policy that is implemented at all levels of the business will eliminate this problem.

However, it’s quite important for companies to try as much as possible to gain the necessary insight from stakeholders within the company. While external consultants can be instrumental in the development and implementation of the digital risk management policy, it’s the people within the organisation who know the challenges they go through.

Regular assessment of IT security investments

A regular assessment of IT security measures will help the business to intercept any looming threat to data. Similarly, security technologies and processes should be implemented in all the layers of the company.

However, this calls for sufficient knowledge and patience that is lacking in most businesses. But it can be achieved by replacing the siloed software with a solution that is integrated. This makes it easier to monitor the new software and identify any gaps that could expose the company data.

Before the implementation process begins, it’s important to first identify all the stakeholders in the organisation that are critical to the success of the integration process. At the same time, creating a digital risk officer post in the organisation could prove useful to the business.

Further reading on digital risk management

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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Digital risk

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