How Do You Adjust Your Risk Strategy in Response to An Emerging Threat?

How Do You Adjust Your Risk Strategy in Response to An Emerging Threat?

In the dynamic landscape of risk management, professionals often face the challenge of adapting their strategies to emerging threats. From diversifying marketing strategies against ad blockers to focusing on cybersecurity for blockchain investments, we've compiled the diverse experiences of eight risk professionals, including CEOs and Founders, to share their pivotal moments of adjustment.

  • Diversified Marketing Strategy Against Ad Blockers
  • Enhanced Product Features to Counter Competition
  • Scalability and Security for Pandemic-Driven Demand
  • Stress Testing Portfolios During Financial Crisis
  • Geopolitical Risk Mitigation Through Business Diversification
  • Pivoted to Takeout Model Amid COVID-19
  • Adjusted ICT Risk Strategy for Regulatory Compliance
  • Cybersecurity Focus for Blockchain Investment

Diversified Marketing Strategy Against Ad Blockers

Ad blockers became a significant concern for many digital marketers a few years back. These tools made traditional display advertising invisible to a growing number of users. Our initial risk strategy relied heavily on display ads for some clients, which posed a significant threat to our business model.

We recognized this issue and proactively adjusted our strategy. First, we diversified our service offerings, incorporating content marketing and social media campaigns. Next, we focused on delivering measurable results, using data analytics to track and improve performance. Finally, we emphasized transparency and user experience, creating less intrusive and more engaging ads. This approach mitigated the risk posed by ad blockers and strengthened our overall business resilience.

Shane McEvoy
Shane McEvoyMD, Flycast Media

Enhanced Product Features to Counter Competition

As the CEO of Startup House, I once faced a situation where a new competitor entered the market with a similar product at a lower price point. Instead of panicking, we adjusted our risk strategy by focusing on enhancing our product's unique features and providing exceptional customer service. By staying true to our strengths and differentiating ourselves from the competition, we were able to maintain our market share and even attract new customers who valued quality over price. This experience taught me the importance of staying agile and adaptable in the face of emerging threats, always keeping the customer at the center of our decision-making process.

Alex Stasiak
Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House

Scalability and Security for Pandemic-Driven Demand

Back in 2020, as the founder of eLearning Industry Inc., I faced an unforeseen threat that pushed our risk management strategies to the limit: the global shift to remote learning due to the pandemic. The demand for digital education tools surged overnight, and our platform, hosting over 150 articles monthly across various categories, had to swiftly adapt to this exponential increase in traffic and user engagement.

We revised our risk strategy to focus on scalability and data security, pivotal areas that could have faltered under the sudden load. Enhancing our server capacities and strengthening our cybersecurity measures ensured a seamless user experience, safeguarding our content and the community's trust. This proactive adjustment helped us manage the crisis and positioned us as a reliable educational resource during critical times.

Christopher Pappas
Christopher PappasFounder, eLearning Industry Inc

Stress Testing Portfolios During Financial Crisis

At BlueSky Wealth Advisors, we had to adjust our risk strategy significantly in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Our initial approach involved a diversified investment strategy across stocks and bonds. However, as the crisis unfolded, we saw unprecedented market volatility and realized we needed a more resilient strategy.

We incorporated stress testing for our clients' portfolios to simulate severe market downturns regularly. For example, we accounted for events like a two-year bear market or another Great Recession. By doing so, we could ensure that our clients' portfolios were structured to withstand significant financial shocks while still aiming to meet their long-term goals. This proactive measure enabled us to preemptively adjust asset allocations and enhance risk management.

Moreover, we began using the Finnemetric risk profiling system to continuously gauge clients' risk tolerance. This system allowed us to reassess and adjust portfolios based on changing risk tolerances, especially when clients displayed signs of discomfort during volatile periods. This dynamic adjustment was crucial in maintaining client confidence and protecting their investments during uncertain times.

David Blain, CFA
David Blain, CFAChief Executive Officer, BlueSky Wealth Advisors

Geopolitical Risk Mitigation Through Business Diversification

When geopolitical tensions suddenly intensified in a region of critical business interest, we had to shift our risk strategy to deal with a new threat. First, we mapped the risks to our business regarding vulnerabilities and potential impacts.

From this, we diversified our business and assets and reduced our exposure to the unstable area. We increased our monitoring of geopolitical events and likely changes in the area to be proactive. We honed our crisis management protocols to respond quickly and effectively if and when disruptions occur.

These risk-hedging signals indicated that we were taking preemptive steps to mitigate risk, keep the business steady and competitive, and protect our capital. We had weathered uncertain times before and would continue to do so.

Mark McShane
Mark McShaneFounder, Cupid Digital PR

Pivoted to Takeout Model Amid COVID-19

During the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, our restaurant faced an unprecedented threat to our business model. Dine-in services were halted, and our revenue streams dwindled overnight. To mitigate this risk, we had to rapidly adjust our strategy and pivot to a takeout and delivery model. This required a complete overhaul of our operations, from menu redesign to implementing contactless payment and delivery protocols.

We also ramped up our social media presence, engaging with our community and offering special promotions to incentivize online orders. We even partnered with local delivery platforms to expand our reach and cater to a broader audience.

While the transition was challenging, it ultimately proved to be a lifeline for our business. By adapting to the changing landscape and embracing new technologies, we were able to maintain a steady stream of revenue, retain our loyal customers, and even attract new ones who were eager for a taste of normalcy during a time of uncertainty. This experience taught me the importance of agility, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace change in the face of adversity.

Alex Cornici
Alex CorniciDirector of Marketing, Awesome Hibachi

Adjusted ICT Risk Strategy for Regulatory Compliance

In my experience at the Swiss Institute for Data Protection and Data Security (SIDD), I had to adjust our risk strategy significantly when the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) came into play. This regulation focused heavily on ICT risk management, which was paramount for our financial sector clients. To address this emerging threat, we implemented continuous monitoring of access and usage patterns for critical data. This allowed us to detect and respond to potential breaches in real time.

We leveraged AI tools to identify suspicious activity early on, significantly reducing the impact of cyber-attacks. For instance, we implemented immutable storage systems to ensure tamper-proof recovery from ransomware attacks, which was crucial for maintaining operational resilience. This proactive measure not only helped in meeting regulatory requirements but also fortified our clients' cybersecurity posture.

Moreover, we conducted comprehensive IT security workshops for SMEs, educating them on best practices and compliance requirements. This included performing vulnerability scans and penetration tests to identify and mitigate potential risks. These workshops also involved creating detailed action plans to improve their IT security, thus enabling businesses to adapt quickly to the evolving threat landscape. By continually refining these strategies, we ensured our clients stayed ahead of new and emerging cyber threats.

Philipp Staiger
Philipp StaigerFounder, Swiss Institute for Data Protection and Data Security

Cybersecurity Focus for Blockchain Investment

We had invested in a promising fintech company that was gaining traction rapidly. Their model was heavily reliant on blockchain technology, which, at the time, was becoming increasingly popular. However, soon after our investment, there was a surge in cybersecurity threats specifically targeting blockchain platforms. This emerging threat posed a significant risk to our investment.

We had to swiftly adjust our risk strategy to address this. Our first step was to conduct a thorough risk assessment focused on cybersecurity. We brought in external cybersecurity consultants to evaluate the fintech company’s vulnerabilities and recommended immediate enhancements to their security protocols.

Simultaneously, we pushed for a more robust risk mitigation plan within the company, which included regular security audits, improved encryption methods, and comprehensive employee training on cybersecurity best practices. On our end, we also re-evaluated the risk exposure of other similar investments and adjusted our portfolio to reduce reliance on blockchain-heavy ventures.

This proactive approach not only safeguarded our investment but also positioned the fintech company as a leader in security within its market. This experience highlighted the necessity of being proactive and adaptive in our risk management strategies to effectively handle unforeseen threats.

Jon Morgan
Jon MorganCEO, Venture Smarter

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