In the text below, we answer the interesting question: what is security risk assessment?
Many compliance mandates, such as HIPAA Security Rule and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services EHR Incentive Program, mandate conducting risk analyses. Before undertaking one, all stakeholders involved should understand its purpose and how it operates.
Assessing assets, threats and vulnerabilities helps identify and prioritize risks in order to safeguard your organization against attacks that could disrupt its operations.
What is a threat?
Threats refer to any event or circumstance which poses a significant danger to an organization’s assets, information systems, individuals or the nation through unauthorized access, disclosure, modification or denial of service. They can include both intentional human interference and accidental situations like clicking on malware links accidentally. Other threats include natural disasters and power outages which reduce system availability resulting in loss of service availability for critical systems.
An enterprise security risk analysis involves conducting an in-depth investigation of your organization’s networks, systems, data, confidential information, facilities and people to detect vulnerabilities. This may involve scanning networks and systems; performing penetration testing or security audits and reviews; reviewing vendor vulnerability advisories or automated scans to locate these flaws; once discovered you must make decisions on how you will address those risks that apply directly to you – for example avoidance, transference to third parties or mitigation strategies should all be explored before repeating this process to strengthen defenses further against potential threats that emerge over time – hopefully with each round this exercise, your defenses become stronger over time!
What is a vulnerability?
Vulnerabilities in your systems or processes that expose you to attacks should be found and addressed as soon as possible, to mitigate attacks before attackers do. It’s essential that vulnerabilities be discovered early so you can take preventive action; using automated scanning, penetration testing, auditing and vendor security advisories you can quickly detect vulnerabilities – these might include physical risks like keeping hard copies of sensitive information without document control policies in place; leaving electronic devices out in public places like hotel rooms poses cyber security threats as well.
To identify vulnerabilities, the first step should be creating an inventory of assets. Each department may have their own perspective as to which are most essential, so getting input from multiple people will help identify vulnerabilities more accurately. Once you know this information, identify any possible threats exploiting any weaknesses uncovered and their impacts or likelihood – this helps prioritize what needs to be done immediately.
What is a risk?
Risks are defined as the effects of threats on a company, whether their impact be revenue loss, brand reputation damage, employee injuries or theft of data. Risk assessment takes into account costs involved with mitigating risks as well.
To properly evaluate risk, companies must identify which assets are at stake and assess their criticality. This can be an arduous task; this assessment involves looking at every piece of equipment, software, server or information system in their company and identifying which risks should be prioritized first for resolution.
The second step in risk assessment involves identifying threats and vulnerabilities to assets owned by an organization, and to ascertain their acceptable residual risk levels and who is accountable for taking measures to lower unacceptably high risks.
What is a mitigation plan?
After identifying threats and vulnerabilities, mitigation plans provide the next step for mitigating risks in various ways. These could include:
Mitigating risks requires the implementation of security controls to minimize its occurrence or impact, such as installing physical and virtual security controls such as firewalls and antivirus programs, or changing policies or taking out cyber insurance.
Document everything that goes into a risk evaluation, from rating processes and compensating controls, through mitigation strategies to any remaining risk after mitigation is in place. Furthermore, make sure this data can be easily tracked and accessed when necessary – an enterprise GRC solution can assist with this by linking risk analyses with resources, incidents, vulnerabilities tracking systems as well as formal risk treatment programs and providing visibility on progress made.
Organizations may look for external assistance from providers of cyber risk assessment services to determine the state of cyber security and ensure all security measures are up-to-date and effective.