Risk Assessment: The Crucial Element of a Successful Security Implementation Program

The advancement of technology leaves no room for negligence when it comes to data protection. Organizations, understanding the urgency of the matter, are putting strong cybersecurity practices in place, but can the right amount of resources dedicated to the security program provide complete assurance?

Have you ever wondered which assets and information systems are likely to be the most vulnerable? And has it ever occurred to you to calculate the potential financial costs you would incur if the systems failed? In this highly uncertain cyber risk environment, all organizations need to answer these questions.

What is risk assessment?

Risk assessment identifies cyber threats that intimidate a company’s IT infrastructure and assesses the likely consequences that could occur in the event of a data breach. It helps organizations investigate and control incidents harming their sensitive data by detecting exploitable vulnerabilities that a cybercriminal could take advantage of or system errors made by their employees.

The assessment should be carried out on a regular basis or whenever a major change occurs in the organization, such as when implementing new technology or when the working environment changes from office work to indoor work. distance.

Some computer security frameworks, such as ISO 27001, require the performance of regular risk assessments in order to certify an organization, making risk assessment a crucial part of a successful security program. Not only does risk assessment protect the organization from data breaches, but it also provides insight into a company’s ever-changing risks and vulnerabilities so that appropriate measures can be installed in response to security threats. .

Why should you perform an IT risk assessment?

For some companies, the idea of ​​dedicating an entire team of people to establishing security plans may seem futile, but risk assessment is something that cannot be ignored. It serves many important purposes including –

  1. Development of the risk profile

Identifying risks and ranking them in order of threat level is key to allocating resources to them appropriately. A risk profile presents the characteristics of likely risks in detail, such as:

  • Source of potential threat (external or internal)
  • Reason for this threat
  • Probability of threat occurrence
  • Threat impact

This can allow organizations to take care of high-impact, high-probability risks first, and then tackle less impactful and less damaging threats in a security emergency.

  1. Detect and rectify vulnerabilities

A gap-focused approach can be helpful when it comes to identifying and mitigating exposable vulnerabilities in an organization’s IT ecosystem. Safety tests like Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) uses the perspective of a potential attacker to ensure thorough testing of security controls and protocols.

Comparing the risk profile to the performance of an IT infrastructure during such assessments can help determine the best methods that can be implemented to improve an organization’s IT security.

  1. Cost mitigation

Through regular risk assessments, an organization can eliminate unnecessary spending on security. Accurate risk estimation helps to balance the costs against the benefits, i.e. through risk assessment, one can easily identify the most catastrophic risks and use security resources for them, instead of wasting them on less damaging ones.

  1. Safety Awareness

Periodic risk assessment creates a better awareness among the organization’s stakeholders and employees of all vulnerable information assets and processes present in their IT environment so that they can properly prioritize them in the event of a breach of data.

  1. Adhere to legal requirements

To conduct business globally, organizations must comply with the privacy and data security requirements of various countries. Companies doing business with European countries must comply with GDPR, healthcare organizations must comply with HIPAA, the payment industry must adhere to PCI-DSS regulationsand much more.

Risk assessment methodology

Initially, the legal, regulatory and contractual obligations, the information security objectives, the requirements and the expectations of the stakeholders are anticipated. Once this is done, the risk criteria are defined. This established risk assessment process often considers both the potential of existing threats and the likelihood of them occurring.

Then, a risk acceptance criterion is also defined, in which the organization is required to determine the amount of residual risk that can be neglected since not all risks can be eliminated.

Evaluation

When the list of information assets is created, the risk associated with them is determined. Some risks may be more severe than others, so analyzing their level of intensity filters out threats that basically need to be addressed. This is where the risk criteria are set in motion.

Developing a risk criterion provides a guide to comparing risks by assigning a score to them according to their probability of occurrence and the damage they cause. The security risks threatening an organization can be assessed in a consistent and comparable way by evaluating the risks through this criterion.

Mitigation

The four ways risks can be mitigated –

  1. Edit – Modify the risk by implementing security measures to reduce the occurrence of the risk or the damage caused by the threats.
  1. To hold onto – Keep risk within established risk acceptance criteria.
  1. Avoid – Avoid risk by modifying the circumstances that cause it.
  1. To share – Share the risk with an external partner who can manage the risk, such as an insurance company or another party.

Risks are classified according to their impact on an organization’s business processes. To maintain operational resilience and business continuity during or after a business disruption due to a security incident, Business Impact Analysis (BIA) can be used to assess the criticality of business activities and their resource needs. Also, a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) effectively helps a business recover from a data breach.

Assess your organization’s risks with Kratikal

When developing your company’s IT security management plan, it is essential to determine foolproof methodologies when assessing risk. Knowing the risks associated with your business and their impact will allow you to mitigate the impact in the event of a security emergency.

Like a CERT-In incorporated organization, Kratikal can help you better inform yourself about these risks with the help of our VAPT servicesmanual and automated, which identify, detect and analyze the vulnerabilities present in your IT infrastructure.

We also offer security audits for Compliancesuch as ISO/IEC 27001, GDPR, PCI DSS and many more, to help your organization comply with laws and regulations set by various governments.

The risk assessment describes all current vulnerabilities and risks that come with your organization’s security assets and processes to prevent a data breach in the future.

Can you think of other benefits offered by risk assessment? Comment below to share your thoughts!

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*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of Kratikal Blogs written by Ishita. Read the original post at: https://www.kratikal.com/blog/risk-assessment-the-crucial-element-of-a-successful-security-implementation-program/

Ryan H. Bowman