What is Security Risk Assessment and How Does It Work?

What is Security Risk Assessment in Business?

This is an exercise that involves assessing risks in an organization’s processes and their IT set-up. The process ensures that the risk control measures that companies put in place are effective.

It is done by a certified security risk assessor who audits the features of your company’s IT infrastructure to identify any risks in the systems. Weak IT systems can be attacked by cybercriminals who may either destroy or steal your organization data.

There are four different types of security risk assessment. They include:

i. Penetration testing (pen testing) – The risk assessor simulates cybercriminals to see how effective your company cybersecurity is.

ii. Vulnerability assessment aims to pinpoint the susceptibility of the security controls in place and how they can be improved.

iii. Risk assessment – It discovers the known risks and the possible losses that the risks can result in.

iv. Compliance assessment- This type of risk assessment is undertaken to check the level of compliance the set security measures standards set by bodies like HIPAA or PCI.

How Does it Work?

A security risk assessment’s performance will depend on the company’s size, resources available in the company, and its asset portfolio. In most cases, companies opt for a general security risk assessment when running on a tight budget. This has, however, not proved to deliver credible results.

A detailed risk assessment is essential. It will unearth the risks facing the company’s’ assets, the magnitude of the risk, and possible ways to mitigate them.

 Below are crucial steps that a successful security risk assessment exercise should undergo.

i. Identification of all the IT assets within an organization. Look out for sensitive data that these assets create, hold, and transmits. Profile each of these assets, depending on the risks they are facing.

ii. Conduct a risk assessment on the security risks that the profiled assets are facing. Next should be a plan on the effective allocation of resources to mitigate risks facing your business’s sensitive assets. A practical assessment of these assets should show the relationship between; the assets, risks they face, how vulnerable they are, and the mitigating controls.

iii. There should be mitigation measures. A structured mitigation approach that should impose security measures for the risks identified in step two.

iv. Lastly, a report on the prevention of the risks facing your company’s assets from materializing. There should be processes that will minimize the chances of the threats from occurring,

Security risk assessment is critical for every organization. Seek, listing a job description of what is involved to work for a risk assessment organisation.

Here are some of the benefits of undertaking the exercise:

i. It helps the management learn of the weak points within their systems.

ii. It allows the company to review and plan on heightening security controls.