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What PR needs to know about information security risk assessment

by | Sep 16, 2021 | Public Relations

Keeping records and data secure is vital for any business. History has shown us that a single data breach can have a tremendous impact on public relations. Additionally, depending on the nature of a breach, allowing data to leak can result in fines for non-compliance with HIPAA and other such regulations.

Thus, PR experts can substantially help their employers and clients by suggesting that they perform regular security risk assessments. This overview will cover what a security risk assessment is, and how an organization can benefit from one.

Security risk assessments: Essential information

A security risk assessment is precisely what it sounds like: it is an evaluation of an organization’s security infrastructure that serves to identify and address gaps. Although there is no universal standard regarding how to perform a security risk assessment, the general goal is to thoroughly investigate how a company can improve data security. Essentially, when performing a security risk assessment, you actually want to find weaknesses. This is key to eliminating them.

The specific ways in which you’ll go about performing a security risk assessment will depend on the nature of your organization and the nature of the security measures currently in place. For example, some companies operate almost entirely digitally, and therefore need to prioritize frequently evaluating their digital security measures.

Others need to focus on ensuring physical copies of important documents aren’t misplaced or stolen. Carefully consider what would be the most effective way for your company to assess its security needs when planning how to perform a security risk assessment.

Again, scheduling routine security risk assessments (which may involve enlisting outside help) can yield a number of PR benefits. They include the following:

Avoiding breaches

This is the most obvious (but also most important) benefit of performing a security risk assessment. If your organization is actively striving to determine how it can boost data security, the odds of a breach occurring will be much lower. This can help you maintain a degree of trust with your customers.

Improving reputation

It’s a good idea to advertise the fact that your company performs security risk assessments. You want the public to know that yours is the type of organization that emphasizes the importance of keeping data secure. This will help your business consistently earn the trust of existing customers while also attracting new customers.

Improving employee/employer relationships

It’s worth noting that performing regular security risk assessments won’t merely boost trust among your customers. It will also have a positive impact on trust among employees. After all, much of the valuable data your organization needs to keep secure will be employee-related. Your workforce will likely appreciate the fact that you’ve taken steps to ensure their private information isn’t vulnerable.

Again, this is another reason to openly perform security risk assessments instead of doing so covertly. Both employees and customers should be aware of the fact that you’re identifying and addressing security issues.

Whether you work in a company’s PR department or you’re a PR specialist who works with a number of clients, these are important points to keep in mind. Security risk assessments can play a very significant role in PR.

These are just a few examples of how they may do so.

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Larry Alton
Larry Alton is a freelance tech and computer writer

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