Businesses face many different types of risks these days. What with recent events in terms of airplane security to or from Egypt (e.g., EgyptAir Flight 804), as well as events in Brussels, Belgium, or Paris France, business travelers and senior executives today are increasingly aware of the risks posed by international travel. In addition, outbreaks of new viruses such as the Zika virus, have caused great consternation among international travelers. The world seems to be getting smaller, and not necessarily in a good way.
For this reason, businesses are increasingly nervous about risks to their operations and to their employees, as well as the friends and families of those employees in international environments. In this blog post, we would like to enumerate a few of the value elements that are brought to the table by an outside business risk assessment expert.
The Value of an Outside Business Risk Assessment Expert
First and foremost, an outsider can often see things that are invisible to the insiders. The quip that the “fish cannot see the water because they are in it” is relevant to this perspective. Business executives and senior employee who may be involved in operations, and who have done things a certain way for a long time, may find it difficult to step outside their perspectives and see vulnerabilities. The world has changed dramatically since 9/11, but sometimes the security procedures have not adapted as rapidly.
Second, a business risk assessment expert brings a set of tools that helped him work with a company and its management to systematically inventory procedures and identify vulnerabilities. Where as many corporations do not have a systematic method to create a business risk assessment audit, the security expert will have such a method. Integrating this method with the particular situation of the business unifies theory and practice, resulting in a more nuanced outcome.
Third, the business risk assessment expert brings a conceptual framework with counterintuitive perspectives on risk. For example, the layperson is often unaware of the difference between the known unknowns and unknown unknowns, both of which complicate security. Some risks, such as weather events like hurricanes, are known in advance, even if they are hard to predict. Other risks, such as the latest so-called innovative tactics by terrorists, can be very difficult to even imagine in advance!
Finally, the business risk assessment expert is an outside party who is not beholden to special, internal interests. He can tell it like it is, and not have to cater to the egos and personalities of senior management. In an area as sensitive and important as risk assessment, in summary, it is extremely valuable to bring in an outside, neutral party, especially one with a wealth of experience, to do a systematic audit.