Risk management is a systematic approach to understanding, evaluating, and addressing risk to help reach organizational goals. Effectively managing risk requires that an organization understand which risks are relevant and which are highest priority. Risk management requires a methodical approach to controlling risks. If you work in IT, you know you can’t constantly watch over end-users to make sure they avoid all risks associated with the IT infrastructure they use. End-users might, for example, download software that has not been approved, and this can increase risk.
Fortunately, high quality help desk software often includes risk management features to help you identify risky behavior so you can manage it promptly.
A systematic approach to identifying and addressing risk is critical to every business.
Information Risk Management
An organization’s information is one of its most valuable assets, and risk to that information, whether from hardware going bad, malware, or carelessness on the part of employees can be very costly in time, money, and reputation. Managing information risk requires three basic steps:
• Assessing information risk – which involves identifying and prioritizing risks such as theft, cyber-attack, or running afoul of regulations.
• Implementing information security practices – which can significantly reduce risks to information. This step may or may not be dependent on technology, and ultimately relies upon responsible behavior by the IT department and end-users.
• Verifying information security compliance – whether with industry or government regulations, or with policies developed in-house. This step assures both IT and management that risks are being managed effectively.
Taking these steps can help any organization make substantial improvements to the security of its valuable information and keep risks contained.
Help Desk Software and Risk Detection
You can’t manage a risk if you don’t know it exists, so risk detection is critical. Your help desk software solution should offer risk detection features that make this important process easier. Detecting risks in an organization’s information technology program is critical to enterprise-wide risk management and is too important to neglect. Your help desk software should help you focus on the types of risks that go along with enterprise IT. It should offer risk detection capability that scans help desk tickets and IT asset inventory to look for problematic patterns. Once your help desk software detects a risk, it should automatically notify the appropriate personnel of the risk so it can be addressed right away.
Automated Monitoring with Help Desk Software
Since you can’t look over the shoulders of all your end-users, you need your help desk software to automatically monitor your network to detect unauthorized software usage. Should, for example, an end-user download software without authorization, your help desk software should notify the help desk so that the situation can be investigated further. This type of automation can save organizations considerable time over corresponding manual processes, like inventorying software on each workstation individually. Automated detection features can also be set up to monitor whether anti-virus software is installed and functional on all PCs, laptops, and other devices to minimize risk of malware causing corruption or theft of data.
Help Desk Software and Compliance Alerts
Another risk that IT departments face is falling out of compliance with software licenses. Software vendors are auditing more than ever, and a license violation can be expensive if an auditor discovers it. Your help desk software should automatically track your contracts and software licenses and alert you about events like upcoming license expiration, or a mismatch between the number of licenses your organization has and the number of software instances that are installed. Unauthorized software can cost companies dearly, and managing risk of noncompliance with software licenses is an important part of overall risk management.
Risk is a part of every business, and there’s no way to avoid it altogether. However, there is much that an organization of any size can do to mitigate risk and the costs associated with it. Your help desk software can be an important component of risk management by helping you monitor network activity, alert you to unauthorized downloads, and keep track of software licenses and any discrepancies associated with them.
Samanage is help desk software that includes several critical risk management features built right in. For example, it can scan IT assets and help desk tickets to detect problematic patterns, notify the help desk of unauthorized downloads, and send out alerts when software licenses are about to expire, or when there is a mismatch between the number of licenses and the number of software instances installed. When your help desk software is powered by Samanage, your IT team has the tools it needs to identify and manage risk before problems can develop.
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director, ITSM at SolarWinds. He has nine years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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