information security risk

Information Security Risk: An Overview

What is an information security risk? And how can you prevent it?

Read on to learn more!

What is an information security risk?

The information security risk refers to the damage of an IT system attack. It is defined in two terms:

  1. Monetary terms – the loss of financial aspects of an organization due to the breach.
  2. Non-monetary terms – the damage to the reputation and legality of an organization.

Risk is often used interchangeably with “threat.” But they are different.

Risk is something that may or may not happen. On the other hand, the threat is the actual danger.

We will cite a daily life example. When crossing a street, there is a risk of being hit by a car. We can prevent that risk if we look both ways before crossing.

Meanwhile, a threat happens when the car is already going in our way as we cross. It is out of our control. Thus, it is more dangerous.

What is information security risk management?

There are so many risks in the infosec field. Information security risk management is the action that controls the risks and their impact. 

Unprotected information can result in great damage. Things like payment card data, names, addresses are valuable. So, we must do our part to protect it from criminals.

What are the components of ISRM?

ISRM means evaluating the risks There are several components of information security risk management. It includes:

  • threat factor
  • vulnerability
  • outcome
  • impact
  • assets

Why is risk management important in information security?

ISRM identifies the risk so you can avoid them. It also makes sure that your company’s services are achieved.

Moreover, doing this allows you to run a better business. You will know how to avoid risks. Thus, you can clear up the security uncertainties.

Also, risk management is insurance for your information security. You can avoid a data breach. And you do not have to suffer from data theft.

What are the stages of Information Security Risk Management?

There are four stages of ISRM. It is the identification, assessment, treatment, and communication.


It refers to identifying the following areas of information:

  1. assets – your company’s “crown jewels” like the social security numbers and business plans
  2. vulnerabilities – weaknesses of your systems and networks
  3. threats – physical or cyber, like hacktivists
  4. controls – your “safety net” like compensating actions of a breach


It refers to the process of combining your collected information of the above areas. One example is making a formula analogy of solving an issue.


It refers to the actions you do during an information security incident. It may be one of the following:

  • Remedy – like applying a patch for a vulnerable server
  • Mitigate – like putting up a firewall on your server
  • Transfer – passing the risk to another entity


It refers to relaying the decisions to the people in your company. These should be defined clearly to your stakeholders and teams. Thus, you can ensure that you understand the risks and responsibilities.

Moreover, regular monitoring of actions is vital within an organization. Thus, you can ensure that your information is always safe.

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