Mitigate Digital Risks: Expert Strategies Revealed

Kerwyn Velasco
April 18, 2024
Mitigate digital risks with this digital risk management guide from anecdotes

Imagine having the entire Justice League of Super Heroes guarding your organization's digital world. They fight against cyber threats, operational snags, and other digital risks that could cause trouble for your business. With their arsenal of high-tech tools and analytics, these superheroes keep your organization safe and sound, ensuring a smooth and worry-free digital journey. 

This Justice League of Super Heroes exists; it’s known as Digital Risk Management.

What is Digital Risk Management?

Digital risk management (DRM) encompasses views of strategic, operational, and technology risks associated with digital products and services that may affect an organization's financial performance, operations, and reputation. These digital risks range from website outages to data breaches and everything in between.

Where did Digital Risk Management Come from?

In recent years, the manual processes and endless spreadsheets that serve as the core of traditional governance, risk management, and Compliance (GRC) tools have evolved to meet today's fast-changing digital environment. Gartner introduced the concept of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) to solve this problem, defining it as “a set of practices and processes supported by a risk-aware culture and enabling technologies that improve decision-making and performance through an integrated view of how well an organization manages its unique sets of risks.”  This concept has been a boon to businesses seeking to take risk management into the digital age. DRM has emerged from the IRM category, with some organizations viewing the Digital Risk Management process as a progression of GRC; others see it as a component of GRC.   

What are the Components of Digital Risk Management?

DRM consists of several vital components that work together to safeguard your organization's digital landscape. These components include:

  • Risk Evaluation: Digital Risk Management involves assessing and evaluating various risks specific to the digital realm, such as cybersecurity risks, third-party risks, data breaches, and operational vulnerabilities.
  • Risk Monitoring: Continuous monitoring is essential to detect and track potential risks in real time. This includes leveraging advanced digital risk monitoring systems, early warning alerts, and sophisticated analytics to stay ahead of emerging threats.
  • Process Automation: DRM utilizes automation tools to streamline and optimize risk management processes. By automating repetitive tasks and workflows, organizations can improve efficiency, reduce human error, and respond quickly to risk incidents.
  • Decision Automation: Automating decision-making processes is another crucial aspect of Digital Risk Management. Organizations can make faster and more accurate risk-related decisions by implementing intelligent algorithms and decision models.
  • Compliance Monitoring: The importance of Digital Risk Management to ensure Compliance with relevant regulations, standards, and policies cannot be overstated. It involves monitoring and assessing the organization's adherence to Compliance requirements, identifying gaps, and implementing necessary corrective measures.
  • Incident Response: In the event of a risk incident or breach, Digital Risk Management includes a well-defined incident response plan. This involves having a clear chain of command, predefined actions, and rapid response measures to minimize the impact and mitigate potential damages.

By integrating these components effectively, organizations can proactively manage digital risks, protect critical assets, and maintain a secure and resilient digital environment.

Ways Organizations Can Address & Mitigate Digital Risks 

Organizations today face digital risks from many angles. They must consider risks to business processes from cyberattacks, user-related risks, cloud vulnerabilities, and data leaks. When onboarding new businesses, they must consider risks around third parties, Compliance, and process automation. During ongoing operations, there are yet additional types of digital risks to consider, such as business resiliency and data privacy.

The types of digital risks that you should be aware of

Organizations can address different types of digital risks through various strategies and practices. Here are some key ways of managing digital risks:

Identify Key Assets and Conduct an Internal Audit

To effectively manage digital risk, start by identifying the critical assets in your organization and assessing their vulnerabilities. This includes stakeholders, IT systems like websites and databases, and essential applications. 

Understand Potential Threats to Your Organization

Gain a clear understanding of the threats your organization faces to manage digital risk effectively. Frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK can help you comprehend real-world threats and establish appropriate defenses. By studying threat behavior, you can better prepare and prioritize defenses against attacks.

Monitor for Unwanted Exposure

Regularly monitor various sources to detect any unwanted online exposure. Digital risk monitoring includes checking online file-sharing services, social media platforms, criminal forums, and dark web pages. Keeping an eye on these sources helps identify potential risks and vulnerabilities.

Take Action and Protect Against Digital Risks

Identifying online exposure is crucial, but you must also have a mitigation strategy in place. Consider three approaches to mitigate digital risks: tactical, operational, and strategic.

  • Tactical Mitigations: Reduce your attack surface by identifying and eliminating vulnerable systems. Limit the potential targets for attackers to minimize risk. Set up network blocking actions by creating policies that block domains and IP addresses using firewalls, existing proxies, or perimeter controls.
  • Operational Mitigations: Continuously monitor risks through a comprehensive digital risk monitoring strategy. Start with domain monitoring and gradually expand your monitoring efforts. Additionally, establish incident risk monitoring to promptly address identified risks and enhance your understanding of digital risk.
  • Strategic Mitigations: Keep your risk and threat models up to date by considering critical digital assets, including those related to third parties and supply chains. Regularly update and adapt your security strategies based on evolving threats. Measure, manage, and report digital risk by integrating digital risk management into your incident management processes. This ensures that digital risk is effectively addressed and reported within your organization.

Age-old Problems, New Solutions for Digital Risk Management

Digital Risk Management (DRM) is an essential practice for organizations to safeguard their digital landscape. No additional super heroes necessary.

anecdotes' Risk App is a comprehensive solution for Compliance leaders seeking continuous risk monitoring. Powered by automation and data, the Risk App delivers unmatched enterprise-level digital risk management insights and monitoring capabilities, enabling organizations to identify potential gaps across multiple frameworks and remediate them proactively.  With the ability to link mitigating controls to risks, you can gain clear visibility into your risk posture and implement a treatment strategy. Discover how the anecdotes Risk App and data-based Compliance solution can ensure you have a seamless assessing and managing digital risks experience. 

Kerwyn Velasco
Security and Compliance Nerd with 10 years GRC experience wearing all kinds of hats. He currently does marketing at anecdotes.