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Balancing Qualitative and Quantitative Assessments

1. The Need to Balance the Qualitative and Quantitative assessments in Risk Management.

2. Effective Information Security & Risk Management Strategy for Small & Medium Enterprise.

1. In the current world, there has been the rapid development of various projects which has increased concern to every organization to put measures that can help minimize risks and hence achieve the desired objective. As such, the best strategy to handle this is to balance both the qualitative and quantitative risk assessments. Whereas qualitative assessment aims at assessing the priority and the impact of the risks that may affect project objective, the quantitative approach focuses mainly on the numerical analyzing effect of identified risks on the overall objectives (Coleman and Marks, 1999).

There is a great need in balancing the two approaches of risk assessment in an investment project so as to comprehensively cover the risks associated. By balancing both the risk assessments, one is able to identify several risks under the normal condition

Balancing the qualitative and quantitative also is important as it predetermines the possible situations of disaster with a lot of insight (Han and Weng, 2010). This assists the concerned organization to take necessary steps of a recovery plan in advance. When only both assessment techniques are used, listing the possible disasters is usually an easy task. This is because the team is able to come up with a full comprehensive report that covers almost all the possible sources of risk at all levels. Additionally, both the qualitative and quantitative assessments help to cover all kinds of disasters while working on a project.

Integrating qualitative and quantitative assessments greatly helps during cases of disaster happenings and as such, it assists to evaluate the extent of damage caused (Finch, 2004). In such scenario, it is easier to plan the recovery process and putting measures to curb such future events. These assessments also may give a comprehensive approach to insurance companies for cases of compensation.

Besides, putting much focus on the qualitative assessment alongside quantitative is beneficial when it comes to elimination of barriers that would otherwise prevent the effective running of an organization towards its goals (Steinbach et al., 2009). This is ensured by making sure everything is in its rightful place before commencing on the operational phase of a project or organization. When such barriers are eliminated, there improved productivity and quality of work output will be higher as well. In cases where qualitative and quantitative assessments were not properly done together, the cases of time and resource wastage are usually more frequent. For instance, when employees have to deal with defective tools and equipment as a result of a failure in planning, they waste a lot of time fixing them (Smit and Watkins, 2012). As such, the company will lose resources and time and will not achieve optimal productivity.

Comprehensive Approach to Risk Assessment

Moreover, the workers in a company or Organisation are usually entitled to safe working environments. This is normally achieved by foreseeing future events that may deny the workers this right. Therefore, the best way to handle such is not only incorporating qualitative risk assessment but also quantitative. With such safety environments, workers will remain committed and happier (Nilsson, 2008). This will result in a boost in the company’s production.

There is also a great need to integrate both the qualitative and quantitative risk assessments especially when it comes to identification of highly risky areas in an organization. Such areas are usually difficult when only one risk assessment is used. Hence, integrating the two not only help in highlighting the highest risk areas in the organization's project but also increases the confidence among the team in the overall project execution plan. Typically, this assists the project management team to focus and concentrate some of the resources to where much attention is required.

Generally, both the risk assessment techniques put a great attention towards the mitigation of future disasters. Once the list of risky areas is identified with the two techniques, the project team collectively reviews the risk and a rational decision on the best-suited mitigation plan arrives. Moreover, the model provides a platform in which the project planner can use so as to analyze the impact of the mitigation plans and therefore provide ongoing monitoring plans to analyze future changes.


By balancing the two risk assessments, it is usually possible to come up with concrete data through combining figure, comparing data and examining the rate of change among others. In addition, it is possible also to process the relevant information in a systematic way so as to produce trendy extrapolations among other forecasts (Yonas and  Pindzola, 1998). Further, the balancing allows for comparison in various scales of developments under different circumstances. For instance, estimating the number of people in different areas that stand a risk of getting a disease, or susceptible to a given risk. Such comparison can be very important during the decision making the process for mitigation.

Whereas in qualitative assessment involves careful analysis of each risk to determine its probabilities and consequences, quantitative assessment focuses on filtered risks which are high on impact or probability analyzed for proper risk analysis and deals mostly with numerical (Love and Burn, 2005). However, the two assessments need to be implemented hand in hand so as to achieve the desired outcome.

Evaluation and Recovery Planning

2. Uncertainty and risks are continuously growing due to the increased dynamic, complex and interrelated economy alongside increased threats from information security and risk management. This situation over the recent past has been seen to affect most both the small and the medium businesses. However, the small-scale business does not usually give a higher preference to the information security as opposed to big and established businesses.

One of the greatest information securities that the small and medium enterprises face is the risk of being prone to cyber-attacks. The small businesses are usually unaware of the risk that is presented by poor information security. Social media, for instance, is normally vulnerable to viruses and malware (Nilsson, 2008). This is because it solely depends on the user generated content. By just a click on the contents on social media, the small scale businessmen are subjected to risks of being infected with malware. Besides the cookies that are attached to the websites, there are also add on which may be prone to malware infection. However, the small business enterprises mostly do not formalize their security policies since they do not normally accept the risk posed. Therefore, they need to understand the importance of information security as it helps a lot in their running of the business without incurring much cost (Haimes, 2015).


Today, different small scale organizations are continuously working on their plans so as to handle information securities and effective risk management procedures within their business. There have been increased cyber-attacks and hence the task of securing information has become the center of attention for most small and medium businesses. The importance of developing information security strategy is in most cases ignored. An information security serves as a guideline for establishing security practices that can be implemented to solve future challenges affecting small enterprises. The strategy assists organizations to achieve both the short and long-term objectives. As the threat becomes worse, the small enterprises that majorly depend on the internet are continuing to incur losses and this, therefore, becomes their focus. The small and medium enterprises are usually at risk when it comes to information security simply because they often lack the personnel and financial resources that can help them implement website security protection measures (Klipper, 2011). Therefore, for effective and efficient information security to prevail, the small and medium enterprise owners need to be proactive and invest in the security sector so as to build a strong defense mechanism.

Improved Productivity and Quality of Work

On the other hand, risk management is necessary for small and medium enterprises as they assist in the identification, assessing and controlling of the risks that are imposed by information insecurity. These risks may originate from diverse sources including financial uncertainty, accidents, disasters and IT-related threats (Zhang and Zhang, 2010). However, the modern and digitized companies have continued to strategize methods to eliminate the majority of these threats including cyber-attacks and data related risks. This has been achieved by identifying and controlling threats to the digital assets such as proprietary data, customer identifiable information, and intellectual properties. Moreover, several companies have come up with strategies to help solve the issue of information insecurity for the small-medium enterprises. At first, there should be risk identification techniques (Peltier, 2005). Here, the potential risks that have a negative impact on the enterprise’ operation are noted. This is followed by a thorough risk analysis once the specific risks have been identified. The odds of the risks, as well as its consequences, are determined so as to know the extent to which it would affect the small and medium enterprises’ objectives. Thereafter, the risk is assessed and evaluated to determine the general likelihood of future occurrence. A decision on whether the risk is acceptable is derived (Catteddu, 2010). Then, the possible measures for mitigation are formulated. The threat is eliminated and a subsequent follow-ups and monitoring plan implemented. With this strategy in place, all the small and medium-sized enterprises will have a leeway towards the solution of information security. Also, the small-scale business people should always consider installing backups which is essential for their effective information security (Anderson, 2001). Any mismanagement or mishandling of these backups may make them to become exposed or be susceptible to attacks. This could negatively affect their operation. Moreover, the small and middle business people should consider educating their employees on matters pertaining cyber security.by doing this, they are able to achieve maximum protection and effective information security (Von, 2005). Despite this, they should also develop a habit of continuous update of their software so as to counteract the changing malware.

Ensuring Safe Working Environments

Conclusion

The majority of small and medium enterprises do ignore risks that are associated with information security. This, however, has been one of the drawbacks towards achieving their objectives in one way or the other. Therefore, they need to invest in the sector if they need an improvement. With the above-stipulated strategies, the small and medium enterprises stand a better chance for effective information security and assured risk management for their operations.

Reference

Coleman, M.E. and Marks, H.M., 1999. Qualitative and quantitative risk assessment. Food             Control, 10(4),            pp.289-297.

Han, Z.Y. and Weng, W.G., 2010. An integrated quantitative risk analysis method for natural gas      pipeline           network. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 23(3),        pp.428-436.

Love, P.E., Irani, Z., Standing, C., Lin, C. and Burn, J.M., 2005. The enigma of evaluation:             benefits, costs             and risks of IT in Australian small–medium-sized enterprises. Information         & Management, 42(7),           pp.947-964.

Nilsson, R., 2008. A qualitative and quantitative risk assessment of snuff dipping. Regulatory    Toxicology      and Pharmacology, 28(1), pp.1-16.

Smit, Y. and Watkins, J.A., 2012. A literature review of small and medium enterprises (SME)             risk management practices in South Africa. African Journal of Business             Management, 6(21), p.6324.

Steinbach, S., Hummel, T., Böhner, C., Berktold, S., Hundt, W., Kriner, M., Heinrich, P.,             Sommer, H.,   Hanusch, C., Prechtl, A. and Schmidt, B., 2009. Qualitative and             quantitative assessment of taste        and smell changes in patients undergoing             chemotherapy for breast cancer or gynecologic malignancies. Journal of Clinical           Oncology, 27(11), pp.1899-1905.

Yonas, H., Pindzola, R.R., Meltzer, C.C., Meltzer, C.C. and Sasser, H., 1998.             Qualitative      versus quantitative assessment of cerebrovascular             reserves. Neurosurgery, 42(5), pp.1005-1010.

Finch, P., 2004. Supply chain risk management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 9(2), pp.183-196.

Anderson R. why information security is hard an economic perspective for small business. In computer security applications conference,2001.  Acsac 2001.proceedings 17th annual             (pp. 358-365). IEEE.

Catteddu, D., 2010. Cloud computing: benefits, risks and recommendations for information security. In web application security (pp. 17). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Haimes, Y.Y., 2015. Risk modeling, assessment, and management. John Wiley & Sons.

Klipper, S., 2011. Information Security Risk Management. Verlag Vieweg+ Teubner. Wiesbaden.

Peltier, T.R., 2005. Information security risk analysis. CRC press.

Von Solms, B. and Von Solms, R.,2005. From information security to business security? Computers and security, 24(4), pp.271-273.

Zhang, X., Wuwong, N., Li, H. and Zhang, X., 2010, June. Information security risk management   framework for the cloud computing environments. InComputer and Information Technology (CIT), 2010 IEEE 10th International Conference on (pp. 1328-1334). IEEE.

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