Business Risk Assessment Services

Our strategic business risk assessment services evaluate the most important risks, as opposed to the hundreds or thousands of trivial risks that may inherently impact an organization. The business risk assessment process includes an evaluation of activities that mitigate or reduce individual risks, called risk response strategies and tactics. Risk response strategies and tactics span a variety of activities. Examples include:

  • The use of various insurances
  • The best use of personnel, adding or changing skills, and training
  • New or improved uses of technologies
  • Instituting defined protocols and procedures

What is a Business Risk Assessment?

A business risk assessment is a process intended to help an enterprise FOCUS on “what’s important?” The process is broadly comprised of three activities:

  1. Identifying situations that could place an organization in serious jeopardy;
  2. Assessing the significance of these situations by gauging the potential “impact” and “likelihood” of each, as well as the speed in which these situations can arise; and
  3. Critically evaluating and devising actions that help to reduce the impact and likelihood of such risks.

A business risk assessment uses quantitative modeling and qualitative assessments to evaluate the potential size and effect of the situation (i.e., how big and how bad could “it” become? Next, it answers the question, what actions should management consider to reduce the threat by taking into account time, energy, and cost? Additionally, a thorough business risk assessment will uncover important risks that take the identity of “missed opportunities” versus explicitly bad outcomes (e.g., not investing in a new ERP system to replace antiquated legacy systems).

Business Risk Assessment Process

Business Risk Assessment, as a service, begins with the organization’s strategic plan, an organization chart, and gaining access to operational and financial indicator reports as well as several other sets of information. A message is typically sent to all participants from the CEO underscoring the importance of the business risk assessment service to be performed and related expectations. Business Risk Assessments are typically performed in one-on-one interviews.

Business Risk Assessment - ERM Exchange Business Risk Assessment - ERM Exchange

Assuring and maintaining the anonymity of each and every participant is critical – which is why it is essential to consider utilizing an independent consultant. Eliminating the fear of retribution better ensures the highest level of transparency and insight from all participants.

Based upon the input from all participants, a report is drafted that identifies the top 10 to 20 risks that are supported by “contributing factors” and “mitigating activities” which provide context and depth to each important risk identified. Each important risk is preliminarily plotted on a heat map which gauges the level of impact and probability. The velocity (i.e., the speed in which a risk can emerge) is also gauged for certain risks. Often, all participants are gathered for a few hours to discuss the business risk assessment and debate the risks, including their perceived level of impact and likelihood, and the effectiveness of the response strategies employed. Ultimately, consensus should be achieved and each important risk should clearly link with the strategic plan of the organization.


What Is The Goal Or Outcome Of A Business Risk Assessment?

A greater level of clarity of each risk and the related response strategies. 

Consensus achieved and each important risk and response strategy should clearly link with the strategic plan of the organization.  

A re-allocation of time, energy, and resources for the most important risk response strategies employed.  

An “owner” or “champion” of each risk is identified.  

Communication of emerging risks as well as changes to previously identified risks to senior executive management and the board on a periodic basis. 

Continued understanding of important risks and modified risk response strategies.

What is a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment?

Our risk assessment services include an optional cybersecurity threat and vulnerability assessment from one of our partner firms. Cybersecurity threat and vulnerability risk assessments evaluate your current security posture to determine whether your processes, procedures, personnel, and technologies are sufficient to protect you from a harmful attack while also measuring the consequences of potential cybersecurity breaches. Cybersecurity threat and vulnerability risk assessments:

  • Understand threats and locate vulnerabilities and dangers within a company’s network security
  • Measures the potential impact or risk on the business
  • Creates controls and processes to reduce cybersecurity risk exposure
  • Enables fast decision-making for executives with timely alerts

ERM Exchange’s Approach And Methodology

Business risk assessments can help organizations of all sizes and industries create robust risk response strategies for their MOST important risks. A business risk assessment is the first step to develop a robust enterprise risk management program.