Steps In A Security Risk Management Process

As threats become imminent and risks are spreading like fake news, organizations must employ a security risk management initiative. Doing so means following guidelines to effectively create one.

We will discuss the steps in the security risk management process. 

Risk Identification

The first step in the risk management process is to identify the risk.  The source of the risk may be from an information asset, related to an internal/external issue (e.g. associated with a process, the business plan, etc) or an interested party/stakeholder-related risk.

Risk Analysis

Once you know the risks, you need to consider the likelihood and impact. As a result, it allows you to identify between low likelihood and low influence, versus higher ones.

Risk Evaluation

After analyzing the risk, you can then prioritize investments that are needed the most, and conduct reviews based on the LI positioning. You have to document what each position means so that it can be applied by anyone following the method.

The criteria include a range from very low to very high for likelihood. Impact criteria range from very low with insignificant consequences and costs, all the way up to very high being almost certain death of the business. You get the picture. It’s not hard just needs clarity and documenting; otherwise, my 3×4 might be different from yours and we end up back where we started at the top of the page.

Risk Treatment

Treatment of the risk, which is also known as ‘risk response planning’ must include the evidence behind the risk treatment.

Moreover, risk treatment can be work that you are doing internally. That is to control and tolerate the risk.

Also, it could mean the steps you are taking to transfer the risk. Moreover, it could be to eradicate the risk completely.

ISO 27001 is great here too because the Standard also gives you an Annex A set of control objectives to consider in that treatment. As a result, it will form the backbone of your Statement of Applicability.

Monitor And Review The Risk

The initial part of the monitor and review stage of the risk management process is to define your processes for monitoring and review.

This can be separated into the following areas:

Staff Engagement And Awareness

Get appropriate staff involved in the process regularly and have a forum to give and receive feedback.

Management Reviews

Your management reviews have to be at least annual. However, they might not be long enough to drill into each risk.

As such we also recommend a process where the risk owner is tasked to review the review based on its grid position.

For example, a monthly review for a very high probability and very high collision hazard. Whereas annually is fine for reviewing a very low likelihood and very low impact risk.

Then, you can show your auditor that those risk reviews are realistic, based on the impact and likelihood, which they like.

Improvement

Internal audits and the use of the other mechanisms in clause around development can be nicely associated with the more decisive risk review process too.

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