What is an information security risk assessment? And what are the four key tactics you can use to be successful?
Read on to learn more.
Information Security Risk Today
As if the COVID-19 pandemic is not scary at all. Organizations have also become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Why? Primarily because most workforces are now distributed. Companies also switched to work-from-home setups.
So, no IT department can protect those working remotely. Aside from that, there are a lot of operational disruptions.
Thus, now is the time to review your information security assessment. So, you can improve information security.
What Is an Information Security Risk Assessment?
An IT security risk assessment is a part of any successful IT compliance program. But, how does it work?
It allows companies to know about their risks and vulnerabilities. So, they can prevent them. At the same time, they can apply controls.
But, why would they apply this?
For some, especially small companies may think that it’s just for big companies. After all, they need a team in place to manage information security plans.
But, this is something you can’t afford to skip over. Below are some reasons why:
- Cost justification: A risk assessment equips you with what you need to know. So, you can evolve with the infosec practices.
- Productivity: In case incidents happen, you don’t waste your time reacting to them. Instead, you can proactively fix vulnerabilities.
- Communication: Above all, it helps everyone give a share for a secured company. So, they can practice good habits.
How to Conduct an Information Security Risk Assessment: 4 Steps
The following steps will help you make a basic information security risk assessment.
Identify your information assets, threats, and vulnerabilities
The first step is to know what’s important to you. So, you can protect them.
In the assessment, you can group them into four:
- Public – marketing materials, contact information, price-lists
- Internal only – battle cards, sales playbooks, organizational charts
- Confidential – client contracts, employee reviews
- Restricted – credit card information, social security numbers
Next, you need to know the infosec threats. It includes:
- weakness in firewalls
- outdated security programs
Analyze internal controls
Next is to apply controls. So, you can protect your assets against threats and vulnerabilities.
Controls include the following:
- computer software
- encryption of information
- hacker detection
- security policies
- anti-virus apps
Determine the likelihood of an incident
Now, you can categorize how likely each of the risks will happen. Here, you can use all of the information you gathered so far.
For example, your security application is out of date. Thus, the likelihood of an incident is high. Because you don’t update and install them.
Another example is that you automate systems for private information. Plus, you test the effectiveness. So, the likelihood is low.
Finally, you should make a report of your findings. So, you will have a detailed guide in your information security risk assessment.
It will also help you create a plan to address those risks. As a result, you can avoid the consequences of those vulnerabilities.