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2024 IT Risk and Compliance Benchmark

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Many companies have extensive IT infrastructure for their operations because of the efficiency it brings and how much it increases workplace productivity. However, there are security risks associated with digitizing business operations.

For example, cybercriminals can gain unauthorized access to company servers, employee work accounts, and other parts of a business’s IT systems.

Business leaders should be aware of this IT risk and create security policies that will guide the way employees use their IT systems and safeguard their passwords.

There are industry standards and frameworks developed by reputable organizations like ISO that companies.

These types of companies can adhere to standards when creating their internal security policies as well as companies that create regulatory software.

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. They develop frameworks, guidelines, and standards for companies in all sectors.

Besides ISO, government bodies also create data privacy regulations that state how companies can or cannot handle consumer data. These regulations are enforceable, so non-compliance will result in fines, sanctions, or other legal penalties. Companies must comply with them by all means. 

When companies adhere to these standards and regulations, cybercriminals will have a hard time infiltrating their IT systems. To do this effectively, business owners and cybersecurity professionals have to create IT risk and compliance benchmarks to measure and evaluate their security status.

Creating these IT risk and compliance benchmarks will help cybersecurity professionals identify the challenges that their companies face when trying to comply with industry security standards and government regulations. It also makes the IT risk management process easier.

What Is IT Risk Management?

IT risk is the possibility of a cyber attack on a business’s IT infrastructure by a cybercriminal or malware exploiting a vulnerability. The risks can stem from misconfigurations, human error, software vulnerability, social engineering, and hacking. Regardless of the source of the risks, cyber threats can have devastating and long-lasting effects on the affected company. 

This is why cybersecurity teams have to manage IT risks by creating and applying various policies and procedures to guide employee behavior. They also use software tools to detect, assess, and mitigate threats and vulnerabilities in the IT system.

Core Elements of IT Risk Management 

When conducting IT risk management, there are four core elements that cybersecurity professionals focus on. These elements are also fundamental to data privacy regulatory compliance, and are outlined below:

  1. Threat

This is an entity that can affect, corrupt, or compromise the components of a company’s IT infrastructure. Most cyber threats are either malware infections or unauthorized system access.

  1. Asset

This is a term used to denote any essential component of an IT infrastructure. Be it hardware tools, software programs, or data stored on local computers and cloud storage servers.

  1. Vulnerability

This is any security lapse, gap, or shortcoming that exists in a company’s IT infrastructure that cybercriminals can use to gain access to the system or infect it with malware. This includes but is not limited to software bugs, accounts with weak passwords, and a lack of intrusion alert systems.

  1. Cost

This is the setback an affected company suffers when its IT system gets attacked. The loss could be reputational, financial, or otherwise. When performing IT risk management, cybersecurity professionals should consider the cost of any potential attack. 


Companies should learn to manage IT risks and set compliance benchmarks to protect themselves from cyber threats. There are established security standards and government regulations they can comply with to keep themselves safe.

Non-compliance with these regulations can sometimes result in business disruptions, fines, and government sanctions.

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