Many standards and regulations to protect information security require an organization to identify, assess, and control its risks. Using a Risk Management Information System (RMIS) to assist with the process can ease that burden. Although traditionally positioned as a tool enabling better insurance communications, automating risk management also reduces the challenge (and chores) of the risk management process.
What Does It Mean to ‘Manage’ Risk?
Managing risk means actively protecting your data and IT environment. You need to be able to catalog your information assets, review the threats against them, find ways to control the risks, establish risk mitigation procedures, and then document all your efforts.
Cataloging your risk requires you to look at all information storage locations (physical and electronic) in your enterprise, and then review their access. Those threats include external ones such as hackers, and internal ones such as weak passwords.
Controlling risks requires finding ways to lock down your information environment, whether using a firewall or establishing role-based authorizations for access.
Mitigating risks means thinking about ways to lessen the impact of a potential event, such as through regular backups of your important data. Then document all of the decisions you make regarding your risk management, to demonstrate to others that you’ve taken a thoughtful, serious approach to risk management.
What Is an RMIS?
RMIS is an IT system that assists you with risk evaluation. It allows you to document your information assets, controls, mitigation procedures, and compliance requirements in a single location. Although RMIS were initially used for gathering information to provide to insurance brokers, many IT professionals now use these systems to help assemble necessary data to perform audits.
Consolidating the risk information and automating communications among stakeholders means that your risk manager and IT department can work more efficiently together. An RMIS allows organizations to understand their risk, so they can establish controls that will help them mitigate those risks. Another benefit to using RMIS: as cyber insurance becomes more important to avoid the financial shocks of a breach, organizations must provide the best data available to help their cyber insurers set accurate premiums.
What Are the Benefits of a Risk Management Information System (RMIS) in Your Organization?
RMIS tools help companies to anticipate possible threats and the attendant possible losses, and to spot patterns by providing efficient monitoring and reporting (to name only two benefits). These components, when combined, allow an organization to recognize trends in risks and to respond more quickly when danger occurs.
Some other potential benefits of implementing an RMIS:
- Personalization of insurance policies and more accurate cyber insurance premiums.
- Improved contingency planning.
- A single source of truth about data security.
- Increased system functionality.
- High-risk event detection and mitigation.
- Better organizational transparency and collaboration.
What Are the Primary Functions of an RMIS?
One of the most challenging aspects of information security is the coordination of information among departments to incorporate all safety measures. A risk management information system allows you to move away from the spreadsheets and word documents that make such compliance efforts clunky and difficult to execute.
To provide information, you first must gather it. For example, when applying for cyber insurance, you need to be able to provide your policies, controls, risk evaluations, and risk mitigation strategies. Housing this information in a single location streamlines that process. Likewise, if your auditor is looking for such information, an RMIS provides allows you to aggregate data for that process too.
One benefit of an RMIS is that it automates workflows and clarifies employee responsibilities. For example, automating task management allows risk managers to assign duties and track the status of that work without the hassle of emails. In addition, by organizing the responsibilities inherent in cyber risk management and audit management, your risk and audit managers can create cross-functional teams that streamline the process. For example, risk and audit managers need access to your comprehensive cyber risk information. Rather than sending separate emails to your IT department coordinator, all three members of the organization can connect and share information through the system.
In the cyber environment, risk changes constantly. For example, hackers find new exploits every day. The speed at which your risks can change requires a tool that provides you instant insights as well as instant mitigation response techniques. An RMIS will let you evaluate risks so that your data environment remains protected continuously.
Most CISOs recognize that providing easy-to-digest risk reports for senior management partners and the board of directors is a pain point. Using the appropriate RMIS tool for your organization can lessen your reporting burden. For example, rather than generating IT reports whose data needs to be entered manually into a spreadsheet, an RMIS tool can automate that process for charts that are both easy to generate and easy to read. These reports allow your C-suite and board to engage in the necessary oversight.
How Do You Streamline Workflow With an RMIS?
A successful RMIS is meant to provide workflow capabilities and information to multiple siloed groups within one corporate enterprise, while also providing a holistic picture of risk that allows users across the platform to make better decisions and avoid risk.
Permissions-based dashboards provide specific user profiles with the information they want in helpful, fast, and straightforward ways. This leads to richer, more flexible, and customized reporting.
For example, individuals with the appropriate rights can choose to report any related data fields in the system rather than only those assigned to a single, siloed business function. Even better, this reporting may be disseminated automatically by day, week, month, quarter, and more, assuring that the information reaches the essential individuals who require it.
An RMIS also entails streamlining workflows using warnings, approval processes, and tracking to turn manual operations into more efficient, automated ones.
This offers users a comprehensive, auditable history, allowing different persons to view the same data while assuring data integrity. An intelligent system with this set of checks and balances can reduce mistakes, organize and manage data, increase communication, create more efficient procedures, and stimulate more significant innovations.
The correct RMIS can interface with your existing systems without requiring considerable, time-consuming, and costly development. For example, a modular RMIS, with adjustable modules and unique integration solutions, may open doors to your silos with little development effort.
How Can an RMIS Enable a Risk Management Plan?
Your IT risk management plan requires your organization to estimate the impact of threats to your environment. That’s not easy, since a risk management plan requires a participation from a variety of vendors, departments, and controls needed to maintain system security. An RMIS can guide you through the tasks necessary to work with all those teams and acquire the necessary information from them. That RMIS can then maintain those lines of communication so that you can update data, and keep pace with the constantly evolving risks that you need to manage.
Simplify Risk Management With Reciprocity ZenRisk
With ZenRisk’s risk assessment tools and role-based authorization capabilities, you can provide all employees with the information they need to implement your risk management strategies. Empowering employees with the information they need allows you to maintain a strong corporate culture.
ZenRisk’s reporting tools provide easy-to-digest reports with graphics that clearly explain your risk profile. These reports give your board the necessary information they need (and no more than that, so directors aren’t overwhelmed) while saving you creation time.
For audits and documentation, ZenRisk provides a single source of truth by aggregating all records, reports, policies, procedures, and control listing in one place. Streamlining the audit process saves time and money and produces more substantial audit outcomes.
Schedule a demo to learn more about how ZenRisk can help your company establish an enterprise risk management program that effectively aligns with business objectives.