How can you optimize your information security risk assessment?
The Essense of Information Security Risk Assessment
Information Security Risk Assessments are crucial in an organization’s compliance with ISO 27001. How the assessment goes shall define how the system will operate. In other words, ISRA affects Information Security Management System (ISMS).
This, not only affects your system’s privacy. But it also greatly impacts how your organization complies with federal regulations.
7-Step Guide in Conducting Information Security Risk Assessment
Knowing the necessity and weight of ISRA should compel organizations to optimize their procedures. Consider this 7-step guide that should help you do just so.
1. Carefully Define Your Methods
Considering ISO 27001, there is no clear cut of protocols. Since organizations vary in procedures, and so do in risks.
So to carefully define your methods, gain a holistic view of your existing system.
- Organization’s stand with privacy. Review your regulatory, legal, and contractual obligations. Also, review how your organization regards information security. Including how the stakeholders take their stand.
- Define risk criteria. How should you measure a ‘risk’? For instance, you can gauge a risk according to its likelihood to happen. Also, consider the weight of its impact.
- Risk acceptance. Risk is a business nature. You cannot fully set these aside from the picture. But you can tolerate a measure of it. So be clear with that ‘acceptable level’.
2. Identify and List All Your Information Assets
ISO 27001 recommends evaluating risk on an asset-based approach. So, identify all your information assets. Then, list them.
The following may be your guide in identifying them:
- Physical copies of documents
- Electronic files
- Flash drives or Removable media
- Mobile devices
3. Evaluate for Threats & Vulnerabilities
After gaining a list of your assets, proceed with another evaluation. Identify threats and vulnerabilities connected with these information assets.
For instance, consider:
- The probability of losing corporate devices
- The vulnerability of exposing corporate data through remote access
- Also, the likelihood of a breach through missing links
4. Examine the Risks
‘Examination’ should mean the ‘weighing’ of risks. So after you recognize the possibilities, now weigh the impact.
Remember the risk criteria in step 1? These criteria should guide you through examination. In addition, the following criteria allow consistency in the process.
You can rate scores on each risk. In this regard, there is no fix rule of rating. What should matter is the prioritizing of risks.
5. Mitigate Risks
You can lessen risks in 4 ways. You can modify, retain, avoid, or transfer the risk. Either you will choose, what matters is the procedure of lessening the impact.
6. Document Risk Reports
Documentation is necessary for both audit and certification purposes. The following are the most crucial reports to document, for instance.
- Risk Treatment Plan (RTP)
- Statement of Applicability (SOA)
7. Review & Monitor
Periodically, an organization should conduct risk assessments. This is because security landscapes change. What may prove effective today, may not be tomorrow.
In addition, this complies with ISO 27001. Which says that continuous monitoring should be done even after assessments. By doing so, you will save your organization from any information mishandling.