Many companies have a “centralized risk register” of some sort. The problem is that most of the time it’s in an Excel database, or sprinkled across other applications and systems such a JIRA. Excel is great for organizing and providing structure to your data, but for a dynamic and fast-paced discipline such as risk management, you need so much more.
Unless you are using excel as a reporting or dashboard tool connected to a live database, chances are it’s a static worksheet that you maintain manually. Cross-checking data across systems and consolidating data points creates a lot of extra work and maintenance. Storing information in a tool like excel also limits access in many instances.
Maintain data with technology solutions, like integrations or assessments. By reading into connected systems and using automated questionnaires, your first line of defense can input risk measures directly. Shifting data input to individuals managing the subject matter can help keep information accurate and near real-time. Using an integrated risk management tool, companies can integrate their information across systems and data collection points to centralize their risk register and reporting efforts.
Once you have a centralized source, consider the ongoing maintenance of calculating and reporting risk. Excel and task management tools fall flat when it comes to data maintenance. You need a dynamic solution that can associate qualitative values, such as a response to an assessment questionnaire, and assign a quantitative risk score. Using this type of automation also provides consistency to the information you are collecting. By distributing a context relevant standard that is scenario-based rather than having individuals apply scores directly, you can remove instances of personal bias. Having a variety of individuals involved in the numeric scoring or quantification of risk can leave room for inconsistency. A person’s own risk tolerance or judgment may skew the value applied to a particular risk measure.
By using a dynamic risk repository, you increase your efficiency in collecting risk data inputs as well as boost the validity of the data collected. Having data collection points write back to a centralized location, helps to ensure that the data is maintained correctly, providing the most accurate risk register or repository.
Most organizations turn to the simplicity and availability of Excel because other risk management tools seem out of reach. Traditional integrated risk management platforms require a massive investment in both monetary costs as well as time and human resources. These programs take years to get off the ground and are dependent on a multi-phased implementation process before you can realize the core benefits of the system. But, investing in a tool to manage or centralize your risk register doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. There are tools available today where you can start with a focused project, as simple as centralizing your risk register. Avoiding clunky customizations with robust, but dated solutions are the simplest way to solve and unify your risk register.
OneTrust IT & Security Risk Management provides a solution to map and measure risk exposure throughout your digital enterprise. Using the most comprehensive assets and process register, combined with an integrated CMDB approach, OneTrust provides an integrated platform. Our configurable control, threat, and vulnerability library is pre-mapped to a variety of leading compliance frameworks and standards. With rules and logic-based workflow functionality, organizations can streamline the measurement and remediation of risk across their extended enterprise.