Risk Assessment (29th November 2022)

Ref# T2022_24 | Date: Nov 29th 2022

Why your organization needs Risk Assessment 

It is impossible to protect against hazards in any area of business if you are unaware of what they are. So that your organization is aware of the threats it confronts, the creation of a risk assessment is a must for a security strategy. This makes it possible for you to manage them in the most rational, effective, and economical way possible. 

A risk assessment is made to distinguish between distinct assets based on their worth, which can range from being business-critical to being of little or no importance. 

Impact Analysis  

You will get the knowledge necessary to create a business impact study outlining the risks and potential outcomes, whether they pertain to finances, people, logistics, or reputation. 

By choosing and defending the best countermeasures as part of your information security strategy, you are then able to manage those risks in the way that is most suited for your organization. Analyzing the cost of the countermeasure in relation to the impact of the threat it is intended to alleviate will be part of this. Putting appropriate safeguards in place might not guarantee that an unauthorized party won”t obtain information of interest to them if they are motivated and determined enough. 

Criteria for Assessment of Information Assets 

Make a value judgment about the risks associated with the information being compromised based on confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of the information and the seriousness of the repercussions while evaluating the information.  

Information assets in the organization should be assessed against the following Criteria: 

  • Confidentiality 
    Confidentiality is about controlling access to data so that only authorized users can access or modify it. No matter what industry a business is in, its that businesss responsibility to keep their data and their clients/customers data out of the hands of those who would misuse it. 

  • Integrity 
    Integrity emphasizes maintaining the data”s purity and untaintedness during both its upload and storage. This entails ensuring that only those who are permitted to edit it do so. 

  • Availability 
    Availability ensures that a permitted person can access information easily when they need it. 

You can improve your Data security infrastructure, but you cannot eliminate all risks. When a disaster happens, you fix what happened, investigate why it happened, and try to prevent it from happening again, or at least make the consequences less harmful. 

How to do a Risk Assessment 

Basic risk assessment involves only two factors: how probable the threat is, and the impact of the vulnerability. Using those factors, you can assess the risk. Although risk assessment is about logical constructs, not numbers, it is useful to represent it as a formula: 

Risk = Threat Probability * Vulnerability Impact. 

Here are some steps your organization can follow to begin a risk assessment: 

  1. Find all priceless assets within the organization that can lead to financial loss as a result of threats. Here are a few instances: 
    Client contact information 
    Partner documents 
    Trade secrets 
    Customer credit card data 

  1. Determine any possible repercussions. Calculate the organization”s potential financial losses if a specific asset is harmed. The following are some of the effects to be concerned about: 
    Data loss 
    System or application downtime 
    Legal consequences 

  1. Determine the magnitude of the threat. Anything that has the potential to compromise your security and hurt your assets constitutes a threat. Here are a few typical threats: 
    Natural disasters 
    System failure 
    Accidental human interference 
    Malicious human actions (interference, interception or impersonation) 

  1. Determine any weaknesses and evaluate the possibility of exploitation. A weakness is a flaw in your defenses that enables a threat to get past them and damage an asset. Consider how your systems are protected from a certain attack. If it materializes, how likely are you to experience asset damage? Physical weaknesses (such as outdated hardware), issues with the design or configuration of software (such as excessive access permissions or unpatched workstations), or human factors are all examples of weaknesses (such as untrained or careless staff members). 

  1. Evaluate risks. Risk is the possibility that a specific threat will take advantage of environmental weaknesses and damage one or more assets, resulting in monetary loss. The risk is evaluated using the aforementioned logical method, and a value of high, moderate, or low is assigned. Next, provide a remedy for each high and moderate risk along with a cost projection. 

  1. Create a risk management plan using the data collected. 

  1. Create a strategy for IT infrastructure enhancements to mitigate the most important vulnerabilities and get management sign-off. 

  1. Define the mitigation techniques. Although you can make improvements to your IT security architecture, not all threats can be taken away. When an asset is compromised, you fix the compromise, figure out why it occurred, and either stop it from happening again or reduce the impact of the compromise.  
    It is possible that measures put in place to manage risks may not be impactful against certain threats, but the risk assessment will make the organization aware of the repercussions. 

Risk assessments should be conducted on a regular basis to reflect changes in the types of information kept, the organizational structure of the business, and the threat environment. 

The Guyana National CIRT recommends that users and administrators review this tip and implement them where necessary.   

PDF Download: Risk Assessment.pdf