Defining Information Security Risk Sources: Information Security Risk Management Step #1

Posted in Risk Management on December 11, 2023
Information Security Risk Sources

The possible information security risk sources used by the information security team of an organization is to identify the relevant information or cybersecurity-related risks. The information security team uses different risk sources to identify the organization’s information security or cybersecurity-related risks. 

Defining Information Security Risk Sources

Some of the important sources of risks are as follows:

  • Cybersecurity laws and regulations
  • Internal cybersecurity or information security policies and procedures
  • Internal information security breaches or incidents database
  • Media news or threats of cybersecurity
Information Security Risk Sources

Applicable cybersecurity or data protection-related laws and regulations contain provisions or guidelines an organization must comply with by implementing appropriate information security processes and controls. Those provisions or guidelines risk regulatory non-compliance if not addressed by the organization. Therefore, information security risks can also be identified from the applicable laws and regulations for risk assessment and management purposes. 

The management and employees must comply with internal information security or cybersecurity policies and procedures to ensure that the data or information of both the customers and the organization itself is protected and not misused. Therefore, information security risks can also be identified from internal policies and procedures.

Organizations also maintain information or data loss incidents database, which comprises previous loss incidents or data breaches. Such a database is used to ensure that the organization is currently exposed to the same information or data security risks assessed by checking whether appropriate controls are established to ensure that previously occurred data breaches may not occur again. Therefore, information security risks can also be identified from the internal data or information breaches database.

Negative media news related to a cyberattack on any organization may also indicate potential cybersecurity risks to which the organization is exposed. The organization may not have developed the required internal controls for that particular kind of cyberattack. Therefore, this type of media news is used as a risk identification source.

Information Security Risk Sources

Final Thoughts

The term information security risk refers to the potential harm caused by attacks on IT systems. IT risk includes a wide range of potential events, such as data breaches, regulatory enforcement actions, financial costs, reputational damage, and others. Although the terms “risk” and “threat” are frequently used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. “Risk” is a more abstract term: something that may or may not occur. A threat is a specific and present danger.`