Risk management is the process of identifying, monitoring, and managing risks and their harm to a business. These risks can range from data loss, cyberattacks, and security breaches, to system failures and even natural disasters.

Given the potential harm these risks can inflict on a business, security and cybersecurity teams must create and implement risk management programs to identify these threats and then implement appropriate steps to prevent them from happening.

What Is the Risk Management Process?

The foundation of a risk management program is the risk management framework – a blueprint that guides you through certain best practices to build an effective program. For example, a company looking to manage risks around personal health information (PHI) in its possession might implement the HITECH framework; a company with payment card data might follow the PCI DSS framework. Numerous frameworks exist to help manage a wide range of risks.

When designing a risk management program, you must consider at least five essential elements. They are risk governance, risk reporting and monitoring, risk reporting and assessment, mitigating risk, and risk identification.

Identification of Risk

In this first stage, you define the universe of risks that your organization might confront. Simply put, the risk universe is a catalog of all potential dangers. Examples include credit risk, regulatory risk, operational risk, legal risk, political risk, and regulatory risk. The organization can then group those risks into core and non-core categories.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment helps a company understand the nature and likelihood of damage from a specific risk. Fundamentally, the risk assessment wants to determine the potential harm of a risk, should it happen; and the probability that a risk will strike, given the company’s current policies, procedures, and controls to manage risks.

Risk Response

Once you have assessed the threat of a risk, management must decide how to handle it. Typically the organization will make one of four choices: accept the risk as it is; transfer the risk to another party (say, by taking out an insurance policy); reduce the risk by adding new controls to prevent harm; or avoid the risk entirely by not taking any actions that might trigger it.

Monitoring and Reporting on Risk

To assure that risk levels stay at desired levels, it’s important to monitor risks and then report on those risk levels to key decision-makers. For example, financial firms churn out daily risk reports based on their transactions. Other organizations could have less regular reporting requirements.

How Do You Create a Risk Management Plan?

The techniques and tactics used in a successful risk management strategy are numerous. For example, avoiding risk or moving a piece of it to another project may be the plan of attack to lessen the impact.

Other risk management techniques could offer the idea of accepting the risk. An extensive cost/benefit study is conducted before a decision is made. The organization’s risk-prioritization strategy will also affect the risk management strategy. Risks are assigned a weight based on relative priorities; for instance, one business could be more concerned with operational or strategic risks than with legal and physical ones. The strategy, then the plan, is determined by the order of risk prioritization.

Before the final draft, an efficient risk management plan may go through the following in addition to keeping in mind the risk management cycle:

Compile a List

It’s vital to make a list of potential dangers before beginning or deciding on anything else. Even the most minor things must be attended to. Something that right now seems like a bit of trouble might develop into a risk shortly. Particularly in project management, this is true. List the project categories, and then assess the risks in each. For instance, a cost category could exist; identify the variables that might raise costs and create a list.

Set the risks in order of importance by prioritizing them

First on the list are those that require immediate attention. Risks are ranked according to their potential impact and chance of happening.

Create an action plan

Plans are created to lessen the risk’s effect and stop the occurrence. Additionally, a plan of action is created for each risk, including who will be accountable for what and what the backup plans are in the event of an incident.

Using human resources

People are now assigned specific jobs and placed at specified times. They collaborate with the whole team and are specifically sent out to carry out planned actions if the predicted dangers materialize. There must be a timeline since these tasks must be carried out within a specific time window.


Finally, stakeholders will be informed of the plan (internal and external becomes necessary). Then, give the project to the people making the critical interventions. Describe the deadlines, procedures, and obligations.

The risk management cycle, which serves as the fundamental guideline, is used in concert with the plan’s creation. Both are interdependent; in fact, the above-discussed actions in step 3 are impossible without complete knowledge of the cycle.

Why is Risk Mitigation Important?

The act of minimizing or reducing hazards is known as risk mitigation. Therefore, it’s crucial to pick a strategy that fits your company’s profile and line of business continuity when developing a strategy for decreasing potential risks and working with an action plan.

Here are some reasons risk mitigation is crucial:

A thorough risk mitigation strategy aids in establishing processes for risk avoidance, risk reduction, or risk impact reduction on companies.

  • It provides companies with guidance on how to manage and bear risks. This aids a company in attaining its goals.
  • The capacity to comprehend and manage dangers boosts an organization’s self-assurance and aids in helping it make the best possible commercial judgments.
  • It lessens the organization’s legal liabilities and improves its stability.
  • It shields those engaged and the business from any possible harm.

5 Best Practices for Risk Management

Risk management is an ongoing process and doesn’t end once your risks have been identified and remediated. Therefore, your organization’s risk management practices should be revisited every year to ensure policies, procedures, and risks are up-to-date and relevant.

Here are five best practices to keep in mind as you create and deploy your organization’s risk management plan:

  • Implement Risk Accountability for every employee. Creating enterprise-wide accountability will help incorporate risk-based thinking into your day-to-day activities while promoting a beneficial, risk-aware culture.
  • Get a champion Risk from the Top on board for your risk management plan to be truly effective.
  • Conduct Regular Risk Assessments to keep your risk profile (or cyber risk profile) up to date and ensure your business leaders have the most current information before decision-making process that could impact your organization’s risk profile.
  • Quantify & Prioritize Risks, including their probability and impact, as well as mitigation costs, so you know best where to maximize the return on investing in risk treatments, including your compliance program.
  • Implement Risk Treatments, including strong controls, metrics, and management tools to help with ongoing risk management and actively reduce your top priority risks.

What is a Risk Assessment?

The systematic process of discovering, evaluating, and controlling risks and hazards is known as a risk assessment. A competent individual determines the steps that need to be taken to reduce or eliminate risk in the workplace in every given circumstance.

One of the critical elements of a risk analysis is risk assessment. Risk analysis is a multi-step process to identify and analyze all potential risks and problems that might harm the organization. This is a continuous procedure that is updated as required. Therefore, these ideas are related and adaptable on their own.

A crucial step in maintaining the health and safety of your staff and clients is identifying threats utilizing risk assessment methodologies. Businesses must undertake risk analyses per OSHA regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards state that the personal protective equipment and tools a worker may require for their job depend on how dangerous the situation is or how much risk there is.

Since the potential dangers today might vary by industry, recommendations are accessible for various sectors; agribusinesses are one such sector. Manure storage, tractor operation, animal handling, behavior, and health present particular dangers for this sector.

How to Conduct a Risk Assessment

Certain dangers are not worthwhile. However, what behaviors, policies, or processes are high-risk is not always obvious.

The many types of risk assessment are helpful in this situation.

Companies may identify and plan for future hazards through a risk assessment to prevent catastrophic outcomes down the road and maintain the safety of their staff.

The process of risk assessment can start once you’ve planned and assigned the appropriate resources. Follow these five actions.

Determine the risks

Identifying the dangers your staff and company face is the first step in generating your risk assessment.

See what procedures or behaviors can jeopardize your company by peering around your office. Include all facets of labor, including remote employees and irregular tasks like repair and maintenance. To find out what dangers have already affected your business, you could also look at accident/incident reports.

Establish who could be the most harmed and how

Consider how business operations or outside influences may hurt your staff when you look around your company. Then, consider who will be injured if each of the hazards you identified in step one comes to pass.

Record your findings

If your office has more than five employees, your risk assessment procedure must be documented by law. Your plan should outline the risks you’ve identified, the people they affect, and your mitigation strategy. The documentation-or risk assessment plan-should demonstrate that you:

  • Inspected your workspace carefully.
  • Figured out who would be impacted
  • Managed and dealt with clear dangers
  • Initiated safety measures to minimize risks
  • Engage your staff in the process at all times.

Review your analysis and make any necessary updates.

Because your workplace is constantly evolving, so make threats to your business. Each time new tools, procedures, or personnel are used, there is a chance that a new hazard will arise. To maintain the pace with these emerging risks, you should regularly review and update your risk assessment procedure.

Facilitate Risk Management with Reciprocity ZenRisk

Increasing risk visibility is essential for fostering a strong, risk-aware culture. Utilize Reciprocity ZenRisk’s complete risk software solution to increase insight into your risk picture. With the help of ZenRisk, you can take the required steps to reduce company exposure by seeing where risks are present and where they are evolving.

ZenRisk offers multivariable scoring to support your assessment of connections’ hazards. In addition, its user-friendly processes and automatic warnings allow continuous risk monitoring, so you can identify and address problems in real time.

With ZenRisk, you may overcome risk management difficulties and recognize the significance of substantial risk culture. Request a demonstration of this integrated risk management solution. Schedule a demo for more info!