Risk Assessment Methods

Risk assessments are necessary in order to keep your business, data, assets, and personal information safe from potential attackers.

Risk assessments are necessary in order to keep your business, data, assets, and personal information safe from potential attackers.

Risk assessments are a type of preventative process conducted in organizations to identify threats, figure out the severity of those threats, and determine a plan to both prevent attacks and address them. Risk assessments are necessary in order to keep your business, data, assets, and personal information safe from potential attackers. Risk assessments are needed for businesses in all industries, since no company is truly immune from some form of threat. They also help protect your employees and customers.

While every industry requires some form of risk assessment, each industry requires different risk assessment considerations; the risks associated with the education industry, for example, differ from those involved in the retail industry or the manufacturing industry. That is where different risk assessment methods come into play.

There are two key types of risk assessments used across various industries: qualitative and quantitative risk assessments. So what is quantitative risk assessment methodology, and what is qualitative risk assessment methodology - and how do they differ?

Quantitative risk assessments involve statistical analysis, and take a look at threats - as well as their potential impact - from a more certain and numerical standpoint. A quantitative approach may involve calculating the exact likelihood of a cyber attack happening if no new precautions are implemented, for example, offering insight on whether this should be a priority.

On the other hand, qualitative risk assessments involve taking a more abstract, subjective look at potential threats that might not be immediately visible from statistics alone. A qualitative risk assessment example could involve rating threats on a five-point scale, which is one of the most common ways to perform this type of assessment. You should ensure that you keep thorough track of both your qualitative and quantitative risk assessment, PDF format is ideal.

In this article, we will go over the importance of risk assessments, what risk assessments are, and the various qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methodologies you can put into place in your workplace.

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Importance Of Risk Assessment

If you own a business, you should understand the importance of risk assessment in the workplace. No organization is fully immune from threats - whether they are cyber threats or HIPAA security risks. As such, you should inform yourself about the risks that could impact your own business, as well as how you can mitigate those potential attackers and protect your business. Routine risk assessments are so critical because they ensure that you never miss a hazard.

A risk assessment is done by evaluating potential threats, as well as their severity, and setting a plan in place for how to mitigate them. Risk assessments should be done regularly in order to ensure your risk mitigation strategy is up-to-date and relevant to what your business is currently facing.

The most common risk assessment process steps are as follows:

  1. Identify risks and threats. Before you start thinking about how you can address threats, you first need to identify what risks could affect your business. As you single out threats and risks, consider the following questions: What threats could impact your business? What unsafe work practices are your employees following, or do you have in place? Is your business clean?
  2. Assess risks. When you assess risks, you consider more deeply how they might affect people if they are not mitigated. Think about questions like: who could this harm? How severely could it harm them? What is the likelihood of someone getting hurt?
  3. Mitigate risks. Once you’ve identified and assessed risks, it is your responsibility to put resolutions into place to protect you, your business, your employees, and your customers. Consider the following questions: How could I get rid of this hazard? What is the timeframe of getting rid of this hazard? How can I minimize the damages from this hazard, if I can’t get rid of it?
  4. Record findings. Write down all of the risks and threats that could impact your business, as well as what you have done to mitigate them.
  5. Keep track of your findings. You need to know if the changes you’ve put into place are actually making a difference. Keep track of the changes over time to ensure safety improves.

Thorough risk assessments are incredibly important in the workplace because it is your opportunity to ensure that you, your business, your employees, and your customers are safe doing business with you.

Risk Assessment Tools

There are various types of risk assessment tools and techniques you can use to help you perform a risk assessment in your workplace. Using existing frameworks for risk assessments ensures that you follow regulations and do not miss any steps or overlook important information.

Risk assessment tools serve various purposes in helping you properly complete a risk assessment. For example, you can find risk assessment tools PDFs online which may offer questionnaires to help guide you through the process or a form in which you can easily track your findings. No matter which tools you choose to use, it’s best to utilize them and not to try to complete risk assessments without them.

Most risk assessment methodologies and frameworks utilize one or more of the common risk assessment tools, including:

Risk matrixes are used to compare the likelihood of a risk hurting someone in the workplace to the potential damages the risk could cause. Once you understand these factors, you can determine the priority level of the risk and what steps should be taken to mitigate it.

The bowtie model offers a clear, visual representation of one individual threat at a time that could affect your business. The threat sits in the center of the bowtie, with potential scenarios sitting to the side, each different scenario representing inaction versus different actions you could take to mitigate the risk.

Decision trees, like the bowtie model, display hazards and a variety of potential scenarios depending on inaction versus possible actions. You can think of a decision tree almost like a flow chart, with each decision leading to a different branch and outcome.

You can find software that will help you visualize and map out your risk assessment using any of these risk assessment tools free online.

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Methods Of Risk Assessment In An Organization

We’ve already answered the question: what is a risk assessment at work? Now it’s time to consider which types of risk assessments are best for different types of organizations so you can determine which are best and most relevant to your organization.

It is best to use various methods of risk assessments in your organization. Applying various risk assessment methods can ensure that you do not overlook any risks, and helps you make sure that you have looked at potential threats from all perspectives. You should take care that any risk assessment methods you use, though, are relevant to your organization and industry, as each industry has different needs and requirements. Risk assessment techniques in cyber security will differ from those in other industries, like manufacturing or information, so you should keep this in mind.

No matter which methods of risk assessment your organization utilizes, you should ensure that you keep track of your findings and follow the 5 steps to risk assessment. PDFs are a great way to save your information and ensure that you maintain posterity. Utilizing risk assessment tools and techniques can help you visualize your risk assessments as well as store your risk mitigation strategy and keep all your information in one place.

Quantitative Risk Assessment Methods

Using quantitative risk assessment methods is a great way to get a numerical and easy-to-digest view of the risks that your business faces. By looking at the numbers, you should be able to easily prioritize risks and threats and determine which are most important at the current time.

Quantitative risk assessment is a useful methodology for most businesses, so no matter your industry, you’ll probably need to use a quantitative risk analysis at some point. For example, you may use a quantitative risk analysis in project management to identify potential risks to your project and company.

Are you wondering, what is quantitative risk assessment methodology, and how do quantitative risk assessments work? Quantitative risk management requires identifying risks from a numerical standpoint - for example, the likelihood of an event happening, and the amount of damage the event could cause - and then using that information to create a risk mitigation strategy. A quantitative risk assessment example might include a risk matrix, with exact percentages of likelihoods and potential damages or losses.

Both quantitative and qualitative risk assessment methods are useful tools and techniques depending on your industry and unique requirements. Regardless of which industry your business is a part of, you should take care to understand the importance of conducting regular, thorough risk assessments that address all relevant issues in your industry.

If you're looking to keep your business safe from risks online and ensure that your risk assessments are up to par, look no further than the experts at Trava. Book a free demo with us today, and we’ll walk you through every step of the process - from assessment to compliance and further.