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What the FUD? How to Avoid the “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt” Trap

by John A. Wheeler  |  November 13, 2013  |  2 Comments

Are your board members and senior executives concerned about the risk of a major data breach or targeted cyber-attack? Chances are very good that they are alarmed by all of the bad press, misinformation, and general hysteria over IT risks and their potential to wreak havoc on a company’s business operations. This creates an overriding focus on what Gartner analysts typically label as FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. While some of this concern may be warranted and can serve to heighten the profile of IT risk and security professionals, it can obfuscate the real risks that have a more direct impact on a company.

According to our recently published 2013 Global Risk Management Survey, 54% of boards are not effectively utilizing risk management data to inform their decision making. So, what is informing their decision making? FUD, of course. However, focusing on FUD generally leads to an over-emphasis IT risks that may have a limited impact on your business. It also typically leads to highly reactionary, emotion-driven decisions that are usually very costly and not all that effective.

How do you avoid this FUD trap? The best way is to focus squarely on the uncertainty around achieving your own company’s strategic objectives and desired business outcomes. Using key risk indicators that are linked to corporate performance targets will lead to more proactive, data-driven decision making. Gartner’s Risk-Adjusted Value Management (RVM) methodology and Business Risk Model will help strengthen your company’s use of risk data. As a result, the associated fear and doubt will dissipate and the focus will remain on what is most important – making the business successful.

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Category: enterprise-risk-management  it-risk-management  

Tags: gartner-2013-global-risk-management-survey  it-risk  it-security-and-risk  risk-management  

John A. Wheeler
Global Research Leader - Risk Management Technology
9 years at Gartner
30 years IT Industry

John A. Wheeler is global research leader for risk management technology solutions and professional services. His areas of specialty include integrated risk management, executive leadership and corporate governance. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAWheeler Read Full Bio


Thoughts on What the FUD? How to Avoid the “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt” Trap


  1. […] FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) as a tactic to get Ops and Devs involved with security will not go over well. What is required of […]

  2. longchamp says:

    Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks



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