Mastering uncertainty: Why you should have a risk management matrix

by Natasha Consolie March 21, 2024

A risk management matrix is a tool organisations use to identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks associated with their online presence.

Online environments are dynamic and crises can escalate quickly — causing significant impacts on organisational reputation.

A matrix encourages a proactive approach by anticipating potential risks instead of responding to them after they have already taken place. Quiip categorises online risk into 3 main areas; legal, brand or reputation and user.

Legal risks can include things like copyright, discrimination and privacy. While brand risks are defamation, premeditated attacks, and leaking of confidential information, to name a few. User risks cover things like bullying and trolling, doxxing, disclosures and duty of care.  

The risks outlined above are just some of the ways a community may be at risk. Identifying these types of risks is the first step in managing them effectively.

Risk matrices also take into account the severity and likelihood of a particular risk occurring. For example, something might be high risk but low probability or low risk but high probability. In online communities, it can be particularly helpful to identify the things that are high risk and high probability and invest in the processes and procedures to address those risks..  

The development of a risk matrix involves assessing associated risks — pinpointing high-priority risks that require immediate attention — enabling decision-makers to make well-informed choices. Basically, it’s a chance to play devil’s advocate around all the things that could possibly go wrong, and have a predetermined escalation process to address them if they do. 

The matrix can then guide moderation processes, providing actions and timing for when tricky situations arise. 

Moderation processes can include:

  1. A moderation flow chart: a visual step-by-step process of moderation
  2. An escalation plan: when to escalate and who to contact
  3. A response guide: selection of predetermined responses, from low to high risk

Proactively managing and mitigating risks can maximise the benefits of having an online presence. A risk management matrix is an essential tool for organisations to navigate an increasingly complex and dynamic online landscape.

Interested in our Risk & Governance Workshop or learning more about managing organisational risks online? Get in touch — we are always happy to have a chat!