Operational resilience has become a hot topic in compliance and risk management circles. The ability to absorb business disruptions like data breaches or critical service downtime and continue to function places organizations in an advantageous position.
Because disruptions can and will occur with increasing frequency, IT and cybersecurity leaders need to consider how to build resilience into their risk management strategies. A good starting point for any effective operational resiliency program is to shift from reactive procedures to proactive risk mitigation.
If an operational resilience program is designed to anticipate, mitigate, and respond to incidents, it will support organizational performance as the risk landscape evolves.
Third-party relationships are one of the most common sources of operational disruption. Vendors, suppliers, and other third parties pose risk in two important ways: business continuity and network access.
Risks stemming from third parties that provide critical products or services can have wide-ranging operational impact. A disruption such as a service outage could cause a bottleneck or bring important business processes to a standstill. While most vendors will work to address issues quickly and effectively, their resolution is ultimately out of your hands, narrowing the potential response.
Similarly, vendor network access — particularly when combined with insufficient due diligence and cybersecurity practices — also invites risk exposure. Integration with internal systems can create a bridge for intruders to jump from one organization’s network to another.
To shore up third-party and IT risk management and improve operational resilience, organizations need an integrated system and processes. Maintaining a single source of truth for vendor, IT, continuity, and other risk data is key to understanding and controlling operational risk. A technology platform that enables data-sharing and automation can help your institution:
IT and risk professionals often face a difficult task in creating and maintaining a sustainable management infrastructure, but investing in process improvements and management capabilities positions teams to have a sizable impact on their organization’s risk posture.