Information security risk assessment is an independent audit of the current state of the company's information system that determines the level of its compliance with specific security criteria.
A comprehensive security analysis allows you to get the most complete and objective evaluation of the security level of your information systems, isolate existing problems and develop an effective structure for building an organization's IS system.
Performing an information security assessment is a necessary measure for any company that strives for development and prosperous business activities. These companies use corporate networks, have their own website, operate Internet payment technologies, collect and process personal data, etc. this procedure is recommended for the vast majority of companies and organizations.
Information Security Risk Assessment is helpful for:
Why you need Information Security Risk Assessment:
Regardless of business activity, all enterprises have some confidential information, the illegitimate usage of which can cause direct or indirect financial losses. The introduction of information technologies in business processes leads to digitizing of almost all the enterprise’s assets. Therefore, the notion of “information security” is widely used in the modern world.
The risk assessment mechanism is a process through which it is possible to clearly define the main tasks of information security management and analyze the main factors that have a destructive effect on significant business processes of the enterprise. Also, it allows the development of balanced, accurate, and efficient solutions for the coordination or minimization of negative factors.
Stages of the information security risk assessment
The essence of any risk management process lies in investigating the characteristics of the risk and making specific appropriate decisions on its processing. Risk exposure factors are the essential characteristics that are used in the risk assessment process:
- control system;
- the amount of the loss;
- repayment of investment funds.
The methods of studying and evaluating these criteria are determined by the risk analysis methodology used at the enterprise.
In general, the information security risk assessment contains several stages:
- preparation for the implementation of an information security risk analysis (identification and analysis of the information about key business processes and the architecture of the information system);
- research and analysis of scenarios of potential information security incidents;
- designation of the degree of danger in all categories and a selection of proposals for regulating information security risks;
- identification and investigation of the motives of intruders in the implementation of threats.
At the stage of risk analysis, it is advisable to assess hackers’ motives during the breach. In this regard, an attacker does not mean an abstract external hacker, but a person interested in misappropriating the assets by breaching the security of funds.
Methods of information security risk assessment
All template actions such as identification and analysis of assets, detection of the method of the violator and the scheme of threats, the discovery of vulnerabilities have to be described in different versions of the risk analysis strategy. Such actions, as mentioned above, can be implemented with various quality and detail levels. At the same time, it is essential to understand what can be done and how to operate a large amount of collected data and formalized schemes.
Quantitative methods of IS risk analysis
While implementing quantitative risk analysis methods, numeric values are set to certain risks and risks for the object as a whole, the potential damage is defined, and the estimated cost is valued. As a result, a set of actions to reduce risks and calculate their cost equivalent should be indicated.
The most well-known quantitative methods of analyzing IS risks include:
- risk assessment table (a method that is based on a table that defines the scheme of connection between threats, vulnerabilities, and resources);
- hierarchy analysis (conducts research of completely different problem systems by pairwise comparisons of the components of the given mechanism);
- the method of analyzing information security risks is based on expert assessments (a set of logical tactics, procedures for evaluating the results of a survey of a group of specialists in the field of information security, and the results of the investigation are the primary source of reliable information);
- a method of analyzing information security risks based on the assessment of anticipated losses.
Information security risk assessment is based on an information security audit. A quantitative assessment of information security risks can be combined with an audit on the compliance of the information security policy and the recommendations that reflect the most effective IS management technology.
Qualitative analysis of information security risks
An alternative to the methods mentioned above is a qualitative method of analyzing information security risks. It is a risk assessment mechanism based on scenarios of information security incidents and the interpretation of the impact of the incident on assets.
Information security risk assessment is initially a stage that is part of the complex continuous information protection mechanism. It is important to emphasize that the main element is the risk management regulation, which is self-sufficient and can affect information security risks and may be integrated with the general risk management mechanism in the enterprise.
Indeed, it’s better not to rely only on the methodology of risk analysis, along with a unique tool resource for the study and assessment of information security risks. The most important elements include the mechanisms of asset recognition, the formulation of the assets’ importance, the construction of schemes of hackers and ways of threats, the recognition of vulnerabilities, and the typology of risks. At different enterprises, all the above actions can vary dramatically. The mission and significance of implementing information analysis influence the requirements for further risk analysis.