Home > Articles

Why Risk Assessment

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

The Goals and Objectives of a Risk Assessment

An organization may consider many goals and objectives prior to undergoing a risk and vulnerability assessment. Some of these goals and objectives may be the result of required compliancy to new laws, mandates, and regulations for information security. Security as a process for an IT infrastructure and assets is primarily concerned with prevention, detection, and response. A sound and comprehensive security process coupled with a robust IT security architecture and framework will assist the organization in ensuring the security of the IT infrastructure and assets as per the organization’s minimum acceptable risk or exposure level.

Security Process Definition

Security as a process typically includes three key elements: prevention, detection, and response.

Prevention deals with the implementation of security controls and countermeasures or safeguards during the initial security design phase of the development life cycle. By incorporating security requirements into the design phase of the development life cycle, prevention or protection is easier to implement because it is inherent in the system’s or application’s design up front. Prevention techniques and solutions should be designed and developed into the system or application to ensure that availability, integrity, and confidentiality for the system or application are implemented.

Detection or monitoring deals with monitoring the IT infrastructure and assets. This includes monitoring log files, audit trails, intrusion detection system reporting, and reviewing vulnerability assessments reports and CVE items that are installed within the production IT infrastructure. Continuous monitoring of the IT infrastructure and assets for newly discovered risks, threats, and vulnerabilities is an ongoing process and the responsibility of information security professionals who are responsible and accountable for securing the IT infrastructure and assets.

Response is the reaction that an IT organization takes in response to a security breach or incident from a known or unknown risk, threat, or vulnerability. Response usually encompasses the following four areas:

  • Business Continuity Plan (BCP)—Organizations that have a significant amount of investment in the IT infrastructure and assets typically create, test, and validate an internal BCP plan to address how to maintain operations and functionality in the event of lost critical assets. A BCP plan typically includes a risk assessment, asset valuation or criticality assessment, and a vulnerability assessment in order for the organization to build the proper BCP plan in the event of risk, threat, or vulnerability incidents affecting the production IT infrastructure and assets.
  • Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)—Organizations that have a significant exposure to risks and threats, particularly weather related, act of God related, or war related, must have a plan for dealing with a disaster (for example, hurricane, flood, fire). A DRP plan typically requires an outsourcing solution and/or a hot site that replicates the main IT infrastructure and systems that the organization is fully dependent on to maintain its business operations.
  • Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) and Plan—Many organizations have their own internal Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) that comprises a cross-section of human resources, legal, IT, and departmental management personnel. The SIRT typically has authority to collect and conduct investigations pertaining to security breaches and/or security incidents. Because of the potential sensitivity and nature of a security breach or incident, confidentiality and maintaining the integrity of data and information used to investigate and collect the data and information must be conducted under certain rules and guidelines. This is critical if forensic data is to be used in a court of law as evidence if a criminal charge is put on the perpetrator or perpetrators for violation of access or unauthorized use of an organization’s IT infrastructure and assets.
  • Forensic Analysis Plan—Depending on the laws, mandates, regulations, and jurisdiction of the security breach and/or incident occurring, a carefully developed forensic analysis plan and computer forensic data and information collection must be followed for the data and information to be admissible in a court of law as evidence for a criminal case in the United States. The CIRT team must be properly trained and the IT security professionals who collect and retrieve data and information must abide by the forensic analysis plan where data and information collected during the security breach or incident investigation is pursued.

Depending on the organization’s compliancy requirements to new laws, mandates, and regulations, the priorities, definition of criticality or importance, and the goals and objectives that are identified for conducting a risk and vulnerability assessment will be unique to that organization.

Goals and Objectives of a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment

Some of the more common goals and objectives of conducting a risk and vulnerability assessment are as follows:

  • IT organizations can have an accurate inventory of IT assets and data assets.
  • IT organizations can have prioritized IT assets and data assets based on different measurements criteria—asset value in dollars, the importance of assets to the organization, or the criticality to the organization.
  • Risks, threats, and known vulnerabilities can be identified and documented for the IT organization’s production, infrastructure, and assets.
  • Risks, threats, and known vulnerabilities can be prioritized based on impact or criticality of the IT asset or data asset that it impacts.
  • The vulnerability window can be identified and minimized according to the organization’s minimum acceptable tolerance to being vulnerable.
  • Remediation or mitigation of the identified risks, threats, and vulnerabilities can be properly budgeted and planned according to the prioritization or criticality of IT assets and data assets.
  • Compliancy with new information security laws, mandates, and regulations can be achieved by first conducting a risk and vulnerability assessment.
  • Identification of the gaps or voids in the organization’s IT security architecture and framework can be found with specific recommendations for closing the gaps and voids.
  • A risk and vulnerability assessment identifies the exposures, risks, threats, and vulnerabilities that the organization is subject to and assists the IT organization in justifying the cost of needed security countermeasures and solutions to mitigate the identified risks, threats, and vulnerabilities.
  • A risk and vulnerability assessment provides an IT organization with an objective assessment and recommendations to the organization’s defined goals and objectives for conducting the risk and vulnerability assessment.
  • A risk and vulnerability assessment assists IT organizations with understanding the return on investment if funds are invested in IT security infrastructure.
  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020