What is ESRM (Enterprise Security Risk Management)?

Enterprise Security Risk Management, or ESRM, is a strategic approach that you’ve almost certainly heard about in recent times. Frankly, it is a risk mitigation methodology that every business owner should look to implement ASAP. Otherwise, the future of your entire organisation could be put in jeopardy.  

With organisations now spending upwards of $150bn on security and risk management technology annually, ESRM is now a key ingredient in the recipe for business success. So, what is Enterprise Security Risk Management and how can you implement an ESRM strategy into your business operations? This quick guide will provide the answers you need.

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What is Enterprise Security Risk Management?

At its core, ERSM is an approach to security management that combines the organisation’s own strategies with globally recognized risk mitigation principles. It is driven by the partnership between business leaders and security leaders while simultaneously accepting that the responsibility of protecting the company ultimately lies with the organisational leader, although the security leader will manage any vulnerabilities.

ERSM encourages a closer working partnership in which security leaders support business leaders to protect assets while simultaneously promoting smoother operations, thus preventing financial and reputational damage. 

Why is ESRM so important?

Enterprise Security Risk Management feeds into an overall ERM campaign, subsequently playing a pivotal role in the efficient protection of organisation’s assets. It works particularly well because the close partnership allows security leaders to provide increased input while business leaders are able to ensure that any risk mitigation strategies are built within the context of the company’s own journey.

Studies by Perpetuity Research highlight that 76% of security managers agree that being able to influence the budget is key to delivering good security while only half believe that they currently have this authority. In fact, 10% feel that they are not involved at all. ESRM tackles this and allows security teams to raise issues such as low budgets (something that 46% cite as a problem) or the fact that security isn’t viewed as a core function.

As a business owner, you probably read another headline or scare story on an almost daily basis. However, a quick glance at the statistics surrounding the situation will further underline the need for ESRM in modern business. 

  • Under 30% of companies feel that they have implemented the right fraud prevention strategies to protect assets and people. 
  • After encountering a data breach, over 60% of small companies will stop trading within a matter of months.
  • Theft and intellectual property theft costs UK businesses over £9.2bn per year.
  • Happy employees are 13% more productive while the psychological effect of using ESRM can support this greatly.

Enterprise Security Risk Management allows your business to take a proactive approach by uniting business leaders and security leaders to identify risks before mitigating them with calculated strategies. It subsequently enables you to prevent damages to save time, money, and your business reputation. Crucially, it’ll deliver the peace of mind that you deserve.

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The fundamentals of ESRM

For ESRM to be effective, it must be implemented with a comprehensive and consistent strategy. Key features of the partnership are

  • Security leaders should be viewed as trusted partners who assist business leaders with their decision-making processes, 
  • There should be governance within the enterprise to ensure that risk management decisions are data-driven and reached by a committee rather than one person.
  • Security leaders must provide full transparency at all times so that business leaders can understand, prioritise, and overcome all obstacles.

Above all else, though, Enterprise Security Risk Management strategies must take a holistic approach that can identify and mitigate all types of risk.

Holistic risk management

The harsh reality is that all companies from SMEs to global organisations must focus on holistic risk management that covers technological security services, human security services, and all other necessary attributes.  Some of the key issues you’ll need to consider are;

  • Brand protection,
  • Crisis management,
  • Data protection,
  • Fraud risk management,
  • Information security,
  • Loss prevention,
  • Organisational resilience,
  • Safety risk management,
  • Supply chain management,
  • Workplace violence prevention.

Ultimately, your business should be protected against all threats across the physical, digital, and intellectual landscapes. Holistic risk management through a dedicated ESRM strategy is the only solution.

Explaining the ESRM life cycle

Back in 2019, ASIS International released a guideline on how an Enterprise Security Risk Management strategy should be implemented for 360° protection. As such, the life cycle of ESRM should cover the following four phases;

Identify assets:

Completing a record of business assets will allow you to understand what needs to be protected by your ESRM strategy while also evaluating their individual and collective value to the organization.

Assets may be defined as current assets like cash and stock or fixed assets like property and investments. Alternatively, they could be classified as tangibles like equipment and physical goods or intangibles like the brand’s reputation.

Identify risks:

Once the assets have been identified, you should list and order the risks to those assets. Risks may be prioritised based on vulnerabilities, probability, potential impact, and the value of damaged assets.

Most companies will categorise risks as “high risk” or “low risk” with the former taking priority for obvious reasons. It is also a chance for security leaders to educate business leaders about potential risk exposures.

Mitigate risks:

Mitigating risks is the process of putting the necessary steps in place to remove all risks, starting with the “high risk” items, ensuring that they are reduced to “low risk” or “no risk” levels.

The mitigation processes can include physical security, data protection, surveillance cameras, staff training, intellectual copyright, and many other factors. All companies should focus on developing ideas that work collectively.

Continued improvement:

Enterprise Security Risk Management is not a task that can simply be ticked off as ‘complete’. New risks constantly enter the arena, which is why you must respond with an evolving strategy.

Whether it’s continuing to invest in staff development, new technologies, or risk identification strategies doesn’t matter. The continued pursuit of maintaining optimal protection is the only way that your company can stay safe against growing threats.

Building your ESRM strategy

Enterprise Security Risk Management is an approach that relies heavily on the input of the security leader. If your in-house teams are not currently up to scratch, partnering with a trusted outsourced provider can solve your problems once and for all. Here at Lodge Service, we can develop and develop bespoke strategies that are guaranteed to keep your company protected in the modern age.

To find out more or arrange a consultation, get in touch with our experts today.

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