In the fast-moving, ever-evolving digital age, risk management is no longer an option that’s relegated to a few select industries; it’s a necessity for nearly every organization. It’s no wonder then that 92 percent of enterprises report having a formal risk management program in place, up from 59 percent less than 10 years ago.
With the unique threats and opportunities of our highly connected world in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top risk management strategies for the digital age:
Strive to be proactive.
There’s no doubt that the digital nature of our world brings with it new and more sophisticated risks. With every passing year, it becomes more important for organizations to implement effective, proactive risk management strategies that account for this heightened risk environment.
Today, the types of threats facing your organization are rapidly changing, and new risks emerge all the time. Meanwhile, many are becoming increasingly sophisticated, making it hard to keep up.
This is certainly true of online threats. With every year, cybercriminals adopt increasingly sophisticated tactics, making them more difficult than ever to prevent, detect, and deter. At the same time, political developments and policy shifts in the U.S. and around the globe have many organizations feeling more cautious about the future.
All the while, the hyperconnected nature of the digital age puts every organization at risk for a social media gaffe, executive scandal, or similar PR crisis, all of which could spread like wildfire on Twitter, Facebook, and the 24-hour news channels.
The very nature of our always-connected world makes proactive risk management a necessity. Risk never “turns off” or disappears for a weekend. A crisis can strike at any time, and you need to be prepared. Your organization will suffer if you only begin to determine a crisis response once the risk has come to fruition.
Prepare for every possibility.
Being proactive involves establishing specific, thorough plans that detail what you, your team, and the organization at large must do if one of these risks actually starts to impact the business or becomes a real-life crisis. Planning for potential threats allows you to be proactive, rather than reactive.
For each risk, establish a crisis plan and test and update it regularly. Make sure all stakeholders—from the IT department to public relations, your leadership team, and every employee in between—understand their roles in the crisis response and receive regular training.
Leverage digital tools.
With so many risks manifesting through digital systems and platforms, such as email and social media, it only makes sense to harness the power of digital tools when establishing your risk management strategies.
For example, a crisis management app with mobile capabilities is one effective option for providing stakeholders with quick, reliable access to relevant risk management and crisis response information. Platforms such as the In Case of Crisis app enable companies to manage risk in a proactive way. This includes operationalizing crisis planning documents, providing real-time updates and crisis communications, digitizing workplace safety initiatives, and giving all employees 24/7 access to key information. A mobile app allows your organization to stay ahead of a crisis as it unfolds, rather than scrambling to play catch-up.
As the digital age continues to encompass every aspect of our work and personal lives, new and more sophisticated risks will keep emerging. By planning for potential crises today, your organization will be better equipped to respond to whatever threat it encounters.