The new Iron Mountain-sponsored Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) "2014 Information Risk Maturity Index" shows that most organizations (almost 60%) in Europe and North America are aware of the importance of their information and its role in gaining competitive advantage. The challenge is protecting it from internal and external threats without sacrificing the ability to access it to leverage its value within the organization.
The study is in its third year, but this is the first year it included North America in the information risk maturity index. The index gauges the extent to which businesses implement and monitor a set of 34 measures to manage and protect information assets.
These measures fall into four groupings: strategy, people, communications, and security. To receive a high individual index score, an organization must not only implement the measure, but also monitor its effectiveness. The four levels of risk maturity are:
- Unprepared for Risk – Organization is severely exposed to information risk. It likely does not have an information risk strategy in place, and senior management is unaware of the potential impact to its business. (Score: 49 or under)
- Aware of Risk – Organization realizes it needs to manage risk but is uncertain about what to do or remains ill-equipped to tackle the threat. (Score: 50-79)
- Approaching Maturity – Organization has established some measures, and senior leaders are more aware. It has reduced its exposure but has not yet implemented a robust strategy. (Score: 80-99)
- Equipped for Risk – Organization has implemented a responsible approach that encompasses strategy, people, communications, and security from top to bottom. It monitors, evaluates, and improves its approach to effectively manage its exposure to risk. (Score: 100)
Larger organizations (2,500+ employees) are outperforming mid-size organizations (250-2,500 employees) in this effort, with Europe leading over the United States. At the sector level, energy and pharmaceutical businesses lead the way in information risk strategy in both Europe and North America.
According to the report, organizations that are leading the pack and approaching maturity are focused on monitoring the success of their policies and programs, and they are adapting to the evolving landscape. These organizations are more likely to have prioritized leadership, communications, and analytic skills in future growth plans. They protect their data well and use it to drive growth through innovation.
The report, “Beyond Awareness: The Growing Urgency for Data Management” and its executive summary are available at www.ironmountain.co.uk/risk-management. Registration is required.)