To develop effective risk management solutions, it is critical to discuss first the definition of risk. In simple terms, a risk is a possibility or likelihood that something bad, harmful, detrimental, or disadvantageous may happen to a project. Risks involve the uncertainty of a loss or other unexpected circumstance occurring as a consequence to a strategy, enterprise, project, or activity. They are present in a wide area of practice and can be specifically different depending on the application. For example, a project risk can be different from a business risk or an IT security risk.
The broad array of areas where risks apply prompted the Society of Risk Analysis to state that agreeing on one set of definitions of a risk is not realistic. In the same way, risk management tools differ in their design and methods depending on which area it is applied.
Types of risks
Although the definition of risk may be subjective depending on the perspective of the practice area, the commonality is the uncertainty of its effects. Risk management solutions will always focus on minimizing the negative and undesirable consequences if total avoidance is not possible. For example, in business, risks management would try to control factors that can lead to financial losses. In a computer network, IT security professionals monitor security risks where malicious actors and activities may likely exploit vulnerabilities in the network to steal data or damage resources. In project management, several types of project risks exist such as cost, schedule, performance, and governance risks.
Methods of risk management solutions
Many risk management software apply a standard process or method to help users address uncertainty and impact. First, they identify who or where threats can come from. Second, they guide the assessment of how vulnerable assets are from these identified threats. Third, they compute or determine the likelihood of the risk becoming a problem and the degree or amount of impact it will create. Next, the software suggests ways to reduce the risks and help prioritize which risk reduction measures should come first.
Best risk management software & tools
ISO 31000 was published to provide a guide on the implementation of risk management. It provides general best practices structure and guidance but is not industry, management system, or subject matter-specific. The best risk management solutions often include threat and vulnerability analysis, compliance management, IT governance and security, incident, audit, and policy management, reporting, notification, and alerts. They are used for managing risks in projects and/or portfolios, legal, HR, financial, and internal audits. Below is a short list of popular risk management tools based on multiple reviews, features, user recommendations, and company ranking.
Netwrix Auditor is an IT audit software that provides risk assessment. It helps users follow the NIST 5 Function cybersecurity framework of identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. Risk assessment helps minimize IT risks and provide timely detection and response with alerts and automated actions. It facilitates audits with predefined reports mapped to common regulations and industry standards. The software also keeps track of what’s happening across the IT environment to proactively prevent issues and streamline IT tasks.
MetricStream is an integrated risk management software solution. It helps organizations manage current and emerging risks across different areas, including cybersecurity and compliance areas. The software provides enterprise risk management that utilizes uniform risk management methodologies as well as risk and control frameworks. Other key capabilities include internal audit management, compliance management, and third-party risk management.
Intelex offers an environmental, health, safety, and quality (EHSQ) management platform that helps users understand and mitigate risks across their business and operations. Its risk management software identifies and mitigates risks in various forms, guide in prioritizing resources for risk mitigation using standard methodologies and ranking, and give users visibility into activities to track hazards and risks. The platform can address different areas of business, industries, and applications.
MasterControl is a provider of online risk management solutions. MasterControl Risk gives users a complete view of enterprise risks that span product lines, business units, procedures, quality management, and document control. It has tracking and analysis features to help identify and mitigate system, process, and product risks. The software provides quality risk analysis, out-of-specification (OOS) incident reporting, quality management, and ongoing risk awareness.
Analytic Solver Simulation from Frontline Solvers is an analytic tool for Excel and cloud spreadsheets. Capabilities include data and text mining, conventional optimization, and a Monte Carlo simulation model solver. It can quantify, control, and mitigate costly risks, and define distributions, correlations, and statistics. The software can help users analyze and control risks, and create optimal plans and resource allocation decisions. Several products can be combined to improve decision choices.
nTask‘s risk management tool provides a risk register where teams can identify and document every risk a project or task faces. Features include risk assessment, custom risk matrices, filters, and custom categorization. Users can evaluate risks visually with matrix charts, assessment graphs, and impact and probability. From these, they can create risk mitigation plans, and share documents to keep everyone in the loop.
Qualys is a provider of information security and compliance software. The platform includes tools to identify known and unknown assets with an inventory app across a hybrid IT environment. It analyzes threats and misconfigurations in real time to continuously detect vulnerabilities automatically. Other features include automatic prioritizing of the riskiest vulnerabilities and potential threats as well as automatic deployment of patches for remediation.
Synergi Life is a QHSE and risk management software solution from DNV GL. It provides the tools to manage non-conformance, incidents, and risks, while being able to perform risk analysis, audits, and assessments. It is a comprehensive QHSE management system and risk management solution that includes features for incident management reporting, processing, analysis, corrective actions, communication, experience transfer, trending, and KPI monitoring.
TeamMate Audit from Wolters Kluwer is a compliance, finance, tax, and accounting solution. It enables auditors to establish a consistent, clear, and thorough audit methodology that aligns with the business process. Users can integrate data from different systems and functions to get a complete view of the organization. Features include integrated analytics for risk assessment, reporting, and more to uncover hidden issues and get a greater risk oversight. It is collaborative and can be installed on-premise or on the cloud.
Splunk offers security, SIEM, and fraud protection solutions for the enterprise. Splunk Security Operations Suite combines data, analytics, and operations solutions to provide enhanced cyber defenses. It includes risk mitigation tools that uncover hidden security gaps. Features include analytic tools that analyze machine data from all environment to optimize security monitoring, prioritization, response, containment, and remediation. The risk management solution is used by companies in the financial, healthcare, and public sectors.
SAS enterprise risk management software offers several solutions for regulatory risk management, capital planning, credit risk management, risk governance, and insurance risk management. Its software applies proven methodologies and best practices to establish a risk-aware culture and meet regulatory demands. An intuitive management dashboard is powered by visual analytics to provide what-if analyses and regulatory reports to all risk stakeholders.