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Risk Mitigation vs Risk Management 

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In today’s business world, it’s impossible to avoid risk entirely. Because the landscape is always changing, companies have to be constantly adjusting their strategies to meet new challenges. As a result, risk management has become an essential part of running a business effectively. However, it’s important for decision-makers to understand the difference between risk management and mitigation, and how to select the right approach for a given situation. Let’s compare risk mitigation vs risk management…

Many people often confuse risk mitigation with risk management, thinking that they are one and the same. However, they are two very different approaches to dealing with risk. In this article, we will investigate the discrepancies between the two, provide an overview of four different risk management approaches, and talk about how risk evaluations can assist in deciding whether particular risks should be mitigated or managed. 

What is the difference between risk management and risk mitigation? 

Risk management is a process, which includes risk identification, analysis, and mitigation, that is designed to prevent and minimize the potentially negative impacts of threats. Risk mitigation, on the other hand, is the part of risk management that is focused on limiting exposure to and reducing the potential impact of risks.   

Risk management is all about achieving the perfect balance for your business. It’s about finding a way to take advantage of opportunities while avoiding threats. Risk minimization is just one of the strategies that businesses can use to help them manage risk successfully. Companies can protect themselves from potential risks and exposures by incorporating various risk management strategies. 

While risk management and risk mitigation may seem similar, they are actually quite different. Risk management is all about identifying risks and developing plans to avoid them or lessen their impact. Risk mitigation, on the other hand, entails taking actions to reduce the probability of risks occurring in the first place. This might involve putting measures into place that mitigate the potential adverse effects of risks. The process of developing and implementing strategies that lessen the impact that unfavorable occurrences have on the goals of an organization is known as risk minimization. 

In contrast, risk mitigation is another facet of risk management. It entails taking actions to reduce the probability of risks occurring and the impact they could have by putting measures that mitigate the potential adverse effects into place. The process of developing and putting into action strategies that lessen the impact that unfavorable occurrences have on the goals of an organization is known as risk minimization. That may involve implementing different controls, such as policies, procedures, and technology, in order to prevent or reduce the likelihood of the dangers that have been discovered recurring. 

Related article: 5 Practical Ways to Improve Your Security Posture. 

The four (4) risk management approaches 

  1. Avoidance 

The practice of eradicating a particular risk by eliminating an activity or procedure that might result in the occurrence of the risk is referred to as risk avoidance. This strategy is appropriate in situations where the potential adverse effects of danger are more significant than the possible positive effects of the activity. For instance, a business may decide not to enter a new market or engage in a high-risk project if the potential repercussions of doing so are deemed to be too severe. 

  1. Reduction 

Risk reduction is the process of mitigating the effect of risk or the probability of its occurrence by implementing particular strategies, tools, or techniques. This strategy is appropriate to use in situations in which the possible benefits of an activity outnumber the risks, but the risks must still be controlled. Implementing security controls to safeguard confidential information, adopting more stringent quality assurance procedures, and providing employee training to reduce the probability of incidents or mistakes are all examples of risk reduction measures. 

  1. Transfer 

Risk transfer is when the responsibility for mitigating risk and the associated financial weight are passed on to a third party, like an insurance provider or a business partner. When an organization is either unable or reluctant to handle the risk on its own, this strategy is the appropriate course of action. Purchasing insurance policies, engaging into contracts with indemnification provisions, or transferring certain operations to a third party that is better prepared to handle the risks associated with those operations are all common instances of risk transfer. 

  1. Acceptance 

When a company acknowledges the existence of a risk but makes the decision not to take any action to control or minimize the risk, that company is said to have accepted the risk. When the potential advantages of confronting the risk do not justify the expense of doing so, when the risk is deemed insignificant, or when there is no other way to prevent it, this strategy is the one to use. In situations like these, the organization needs to have a plan to deal with the repercussions if the danger occurs. Accepting risks can involve things like allowing for minor software problems in a new product release or a certain level of employee attrition. These are both examples of risk acceptance. 

Risk Assessments Help Determine Risk Mitigation and Risk Management Approach 

Risk evaluations are important when it comes to helping organizations decide whether to minimize or handle individual risks. A risk evaluation is a process that includes recognizing potential risks, determining their probability and effect, and ranking them in order of importance based on their possible repercussions. The findings of a risk assessment can provide decision-makers with information that can help them in selecting the risk management techniques most suitable for each risk that has been discovered. 

There are a few measures that can help organizations with effective risk evaluations and making decisions about minimizing risks or handling them: 

Identify Potential Risks 

Begin by making a list of potential dangers and hazards that could affect your company’s goals. To do this, you’ll need to collect feedback from lots of stakeholders, examine historical data, and carry out an investigation into the business. Once you have all this information, you can start to assess the risks and put together a plan to mitigate them. 

Assess the Impact of Identified Risks 

For each risk that has been discovered, you need to evaluate both the possibility that it will occur and the potential repercussions that will arise if the risk comes to fruition. Because of this, you will have a better understanding of the general risk exposure and will be able to prioritize risks according to the potential effect they could have on your organization. 

Prioritize Risks to be Addressed 

Ranking risks according to their probability of occurrence and potential impact will help you focus on the most significant risks and allocate resources accordingly. 

Make an Action Plan 

Find the appropriate solution to each: Based on the prioritization, make a decision regarding whether each risk will be accepted, managed, transferred, or mitigated. This selection ought to consider a variety of variables, including the risk capacity of the organization, the resources currently accessible, and the potential benefits of confronting the risk. 

Execute Risk Management Plan 

Develop and carry out appropriate risk management strategies for each risk that has been prioritized, and then put those strategies into action. This may involve implementing risk prevention measures, transferring risks to third parties, or accepting risks and preparing for potential repercussions. Alternatively, this may involve taking risks and preparing for possible outcomes. 

Observe and Review Risk management Strategies 

It’s important to keep an eye on how well your risk management strategies are working and to look at the data to see if any changes are needed. You should also regularly review your risk assessment to ensure it’s always accurate and represents the risks faced by the organization. 


For businesses to be able to make educated decisions about how to deal with prospective risks, they need to have a solid understanding of the distinction between risk minimization and risk management. Risk management incorporates a wider variety of strategies, including prevention, diminution, transfer, and acceptance of risks, in contrast to risk mitigation, which focuses on lessening the probability of risks occurring as well as their effect. 

The performance of risk evaluations is an important stage in the process of establishing whether individual risks should be mitigated or managed. Organizations are able to make educated decisions regarding the risk management techniques that are the most appropriate for them by methodically recognizing, evaluating, and ranking the risks. Companies have a better chance of successfully navigating the unpredictability of the current business environment and accomplishing their goals if they put in place adequate risk management procedures. 

Learn more about AWA’s full range of Risk Assessment Services. 

About The Author

CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional
CEH - Certified Ethical Hacker
CISM - Certified Information Security Manager

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