The technological complexity of modern enterprises is making business riskier than ever. Enterprises need to be sure they have effective technology risk mitigation plans in place. But how can they do this better, faster, and smarter when taking stock of all risks from a technological perspective is a challenge that spans so many functions and teams?
What is Technology Risk Mitigation?
Technology risk mitigation is the process of identifying, assessing, and taking steps to reduce or eliminate potential risks associated with the adoption and use of technology within an organization. As organizations become more reliant on technology, the risks associated with it also multiply. These risks can vary widely, from security breaches to system failures, data loss, compliance violations, and more. To mitigate these risks, leveraging Enterprise Architecture (EA) knowledge is critical.
Effective Technology Risk Mitigation Planning
Enterprise Architecture is all about developing and enriching comprehensive overviews that aid collaboration across the business. These overviews are invaluable foundations for many cross-functional initiatives, including technology risk mitigation. Here are five ways EA aids technology risk mitigation planning and execution in the digital organizations of today:
1. A Comprehensive Understanding of the Technological Landscape
The mission of modern Enterprise Architecture is to create models that empower the organization to make better decisions. This often begins with mapping out the technology landscape, including hardware, software, data, processes, and the relationships between them, but is not limited to technology alone. Enterprise Architecture is also able to map how technology is connected to the business’ capabilities, initiatives, and strategic objectives. This comprehensive understanding is vital in assessing potential points of failure, vulnerabilities, and dependencies, what the impact could be, and which risks are greatest in the greater context of the business.
In addition, it's likely that security and risk teams already have existing, preferred tooling. A modern EA tool with a suite of integration options eases the import of risks and controls into the architectural overview. These can then be connected more easily to the existing overview of the enterprise of people, processes, information, and technology. Getting this coordinated oversight on risks enables more efficient technology risk mitigation planning from the get-go instead of wasting resources to develop or update a siloed security and risk overview from scratch.
It’s also key that valuable insights from this architectural overview are easily accessible to those outside the Enterprise Architecture domain, not requiring heavy industry expertise or expert training in specific tooling. The choice of an Enterprise Architcture tool that is built for collaboration, engagement, and provides real-time contextutual insights with a citizen user in mind is instrumental to successful cross-functional initiatives like this one.
2. Up-To-Date Data-Driven Risk Assessment
Modern Enterprise Architecture tools such as Ardoq are cloud-native and powered by always up-to-date data, unlike their predecessors, which were dependent on static data input from spreadsheets and manual drawings of the architecture. This means they are much faster and more reliable sources of information on the enterprise, especially when it comes to technology.
Some of the data leveraged to model the organization’s architecture is also very relevant to assessing the potential impact and likelihood of various technology-related risks. The process of documenting the architecture already highlights weak spots, vulnerabilities, and potential threats. Security teams can and should collaborate closely with their Enterprise Architecture teams to build on this foundation and use architectural information to inform risk prioritization based on severity and probability.
3. Ensuring Alignment with Business Goals and Strategy
One of the growing missions of Enterprise Architecture in forward-thinking enterprises is to ensure that technology investments and initiatives align with the overall business strategy. When technology is closely aligned with business objectives, it is more likely to contribute positively to the organization's success and less likely to introduce risks that may not align with those goals.
Furthermore, successful technology risk mitigation is about ensuring clear alignment with the overall vision and strategy of the enterprise. By collaborating with EAs and leveraging the architectural insight into which initiatives, teams, and technology are critical to strategic objectives, security and risk teams can ensure their energy is prioritized appropriately to select, implement, and manage technology risk mitigation solutions where they are needed most.
4. Build In Security Considerations From the Beginning
It’s important that EA and security teams are engaged as more effective collaboration will enable better, more agile technology risk mitigation. Enterprise Architecture allows for the integration of security considerations into the architecture from the beginning. This includes defining security policies, access controls, and encryption standards, which can help reduce the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. This collaboration with EA teams can greatly ease governance for all involved, potentially streamlining processes and speeding up audits.
Leveraging the interconnected overview of Enterprise Architecture, security considerations can also be surfaced from the very beginning of planned technology acquisition or procurement processes.
5. Continually Monitoring and Govern
With modern Enterprise Architecture software, orchestrating and engaging the wider organization in automated governance processes when it comes to risk becomes even easier. Rather than a grand one-time effort that may take weeks of work, collaborative EA functionality can help enable “always-on” governance.
Ardoq’s Surveys and Broadcasts, for example, are able to ensure that information requests are sent to the right people at the right time for an updated overview or response to relevant risks, such as risk, control, or application owners. Those who need to take action are presented with these requests in an interface they are familiar with, such as an email or customized survey, never even needing to understand how the central EA tool itself works but still able to contribute their valuable insights and input.
EA facilitates continuous monitoring and agile adaptation as the organization’s context and needs evolve. This ensures higher vigilance against emerging risks and allows security and risk teams to make necessary adjustments to mitigate them accordingly. This also applies to compliance needs and regulations, averting the risk of data regulatory non-compliance.
Closer Collaboration for Better Technology Risk Mitigation Planning
Enterprise Architecture has much to offer enterprises when it comes to improving how technology risk mitigation is planned and executed. EA’s holistic view of an organization's technology landscape plays a key role in:
Enabling faster, better risk assessment
Ensuring alignment with business goals
Allowing for the integration of security measures
Easing ongoing monitoring and governance
Facilitating more effective cross-team initiatives
Closer collaboration of Enterprise Architecture, security, and risk teams on one unified platform or overview empowers organizations to proactively address potential technology risks and enhance their overall resilience.
Learn more about how modern Enterprise Architecture is a powerful and effective ally for the organizations of today:
Protection of customer data is critical to Ardoq, and information security is considered a high priority by senior management. Read on to learn more about Ardoq’s approach to safeguarding the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information stored and processed by the Ardoq Cloud platform.