Risk assessment in information technology (IT) is an examination of the system that seeks to identify any vulnerability attackers may take advantage of, know the extent of a breach, or see the areas affected. This is done to identify any cause of alarm and to work on them before they cause more harm to your IT system.
Risk assessment doesn’t necessarily have to be internal as other external factors such as your supply chain can pose a risk. Before conducting a risk assessment in your business, it’s important to be objective on what processes you’ll assess and what kind of threats you’re looking for. Another option of conducting your risk assessment is through asking a third party such as www.berylliuminfosec.com and others for clarification. That way, you’ll be able to design the proper steps needed.
Risk Assessment Steps
For you to get the best of risk assessment, there are steps you should follow. You’re not supposed to leave anything behind from what you want to handle, so the process is crucial.
When conducting a risk assessment, you need to know what assets in your IT system you want to assess. These consist of servers, information, and other IT infrastructure that may be at risk. After identifying, you need to collect information such as the software provider, hardware, information protocols, and users.
After making a list of all the assets, arrange them in order of priority using their monetary value and importance to the organization. You can then arrange them as critical, major, or minor, then start your assessment. The critical assets are to be given priority due to their value and the severity that an attack can cause.
Assess Threats And Vulnerabilities
Threats in your IT system range can be in the form of malware attacks, software and hardware failure, human interference, and data interception. These threats are anything that can be used to cause harm to your organization.
Vulnerabilities are any weaknesses hackers can use to launch attacks on your system. These also range from loopholes in your system to employees who can steal data from your company and other physical disasters such as fire and floods. There are techniques used to identify threats and vulnerabilities, but the simple way is to ask your employees about any system failure they experienced before.
More advanced techniques such as threat detention logs, penetration testing, and big data analytics can be used to identify complicated hazards.
Analyze Risk Controls
Identifying threats doesn’t necessarily mean your security system is weak. There are cases when your system will be reliable enough to protect against any threats, and there won’t be a reason to overhaul the current system. But because of this, you need to analyze the risk control that’s in your organization.
The control can be technical such as using artificial intelligence to prevent breaching and multifactor authentication from preventing unauthorized logins. There are also non-technical controls such as company policies on data privacy. These are used to detect threats on different levels. By analyzing them, you’d understand how prepared your system is against any risk.
Determine Likelihood And Impact Of A Threat
After identifying the vulnerabilities in your system and analyzing how your security system can prevent them, you can easily determine the likelihood of an attack on your operations. The likelihood is usually rated as high, medium, or low, though other organizations can use numerical scales.
You can also assess the impact of these threats and the consequences these can incur in your organization. The impact could be financial repercussions or lower customer confidence in your organization. Like threats, the impact is also categorized as high, medium, or low.
After you’ve identified the likelihood of threats that can happen and their effects on the organization, you can then recommend control to be put in place to curb these threats. If the existing control is reliable, any new control can be an upgrade rather than an overhaul.
You should consider the organization’s budget, the reliability of the new system, and the policies when recommending new controls. The control measures should be implemented in order of priority, from high to low.
Conducting risk assessment in your business is essential as it helps boost your cybersecurity efforts, protecting your business and your customers. Even when you’re letting a third party conduct the assessment, due process should always be followed, so that no stone is left unturned.
After completing the assessment, you should document every step and generate a detailed report that can help in any future assessment.