How do you quantify risk in your organization

Josh Reid
9/20/2021
How do you quantify risk your organization faces?

In the past few years, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Data is the new oil.” But what does that mean, exactly? And why is acknowledging the value of data so critical for companies that want to drive growth and profitability?

Consider the sheer volume of data collected by life sciences companies, including clinical trial results, diagnostic testing analysis, and personal health information. Such data provides valuable insights that can lead to life-changing or life-saving treatments. However, compromising the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of gathered data could result in irreparable harm to a company and its customers.

For life sciences companies that manage data, understanding how valuable their data is for organizational growth and identifying how much the data would garner on the black market is an important and worthwhile investment. In fact, risk quantification, or evaluating identified risks and producing actionable data for responding to those risks, should be a top priority.

Risk mitigation is a common practice, but risk quantification is a new trend

Risk mitigation is a common practice, but risk quantification is a new trend

In many companies, the pace of expanding data strategies is accelerating; however, the investment in managing and protecting data remains low. Chief information security officers (CISOs) and chief privacy officers (CPOs) typically are responsible for these activities. But they often have limited resources to collaborate across business lines and help first-line employees identify security and privacy risks while prioritizing controls for risk mitigation.

One proactive step CISOs and CPOs can take is to use risk quantification tools that evaluate the potential risks and economic impacts of compromised data. Risk quantification tools also help determine where to direct team members and implement controls to reduce economic exposure as much as possible.

Risk quantification also provides information in business terms that help C-suite executives put economic risks into focus rather than in detailed security or privacy terms that might be more difficult to fully understand.

For example, an effective risk quantification tool can determine how many millions of dollars a data breach or ransomware attack could cost an organization. These data-driven figures can help prioritize the order of risk mitigation or identify new controls that could be implemented to further reduce risk.

Without a risk quantification tool, your organization could end up with more questions than answers

Without a risk quantification tool, your organization could end up with more questions than answers

Preparing risk management reports for the C-suite is a highly manual, labor-intensive process for information security and privacy teams. Common activities include interviewing business stakeholders, gathering information from multiple internal systems, researching market trends, and compiling results for presentations.

The challenge is clearly articulating risk that is complex by nature. As a result, messaging about the top risks facing an organization might seem abstract, subjective, or unclear.

Risk quantification can reduce confusion by providing economic analysis while answering questions such as:

  • What kinds of data do we have?
  • How much of this data do we have?
  • How much is this data worth to our business?
  • How much is this data worth to external threats?
  • What is the likelihood that this data will be affected by a data breach, ransomware, or other data risks?
  • What controls should we put in place to lower our data risk and economic exposure?

A risk quantification tool establishes valuable dialogue with the C-suite through results that are backed by market analysis and best practices.

Using a risk quantification tool can help drive growth for your organization in four ways:

  1. Putting data risk into business terms that the C-suite and board of directors can easily understand
  2. Improving communication while building credibility and trust for your risk management teams
  3. Increasing efficiency by making risk management more proactive than reactive
  4. Allowing information security and privacy teams to better access risk management resources

Crowe can help improve your organization’s data protection through risk quantification

We created the Crowe Risk Intelligence Suite to help you make informed decisions about how to manage risk. The Crowe Risk Intelligence Suite includes a risk quantification tool that illustrates your economic risk exposure based on risk monitoring and control monitoring results.

The Crowe Risk Intelligence Suite also includes these capabilities:

  1. A library of leading practices related to risks, key risk indicators, controls, and mitigation plans for cybersecurity, privacy, and third-party risk management
  2. A risk monitoring framework that retrieves data from key business systems to analyze data and convert into quantifiable metrics
  3. A control monitoring framework that identifies controls missing or implemented incorrectly on IT assets that store sensitive data

Let’s connect

Want to learn more about the risk quantification tools your organization could be using? Get in touch. We’d love to make time to chat or schedule a demo.
Josh Reid
Josh Reid
Principal, GRC Technology Services Leader