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What Is an IT Risk?

By Troy Holmes
Updated May 16, 2024
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Modern computer systems are typically made with many types of hardware, software, and network technology. Information technology (IT) risk is a term used to describe the risk factors placed on specific parts of a computer system. This assessment is used to determine the potential impact and threats on a company if a risk is realized.

There are many types of IT-related risks in computer science. These IT-related risks are typically categorized based on whether they affect hardware, software, or security. Each risk has a specific cause, business impact, and mitigation strategy. These mitigation strategies are implemented as a way of reducing the likelihood of the risks occurring.

In the field of project management, three primary constraints can affect delivering an information technology project. These areas are divided into time, resources, and scope. An IT-related risk is typically related to mistakes made during one of these segments of a project. Mitigating this risk requires proper project management, including early identification and planned resolution of the identified risk.

A computer network is a good example of several pieces of hardware and software that can cause IT risk. The network is a critical telecommunication device that enables computers to communicate to the Internet and Intranet of an organization. Network risks typically include cyber-security attacks that can cause a network to collapse or run slower than normal. This type of IT risk is typically mitigated with special security systems that detect and remove harmful computer viruses from a network.

Most large computer systems used in retail companies have redundancy capabilities. Redundancy is identified as an IT risk when a system has limited redundant capabilities. These types of systems are more likely to experience full outages when a piece of hardware breaks.

Information security is a domain in computer science that focuses on securing computer systems. A security IT risk can have significant financial impacts on an organization. These risks include misuse or malicious use of information contained in a computer system. This information can include private data about customers and employees, which, if lost, can hurt the reputation of a company. Most organizations try to mitigate this type of risk with advanced cryptology software.

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