Risk Management in Information Security

Introduction

Information security is a significant topic in modern industries, particularly those that deal with sensitive personal information, such as banks or aviation companies. As the primary purpose of information security is to prevent data from being obtained by unauthorized individuals who attempt to access it, risk management is central to the field. As such, it is necessary to determine the primary factors that influence it and formulate a framework for the procedures.

Risk Analysis Methods

The management of risks involves the analysis and estimation of the dangers that the company should expect. However, according to Agrawal (2015), current evaluation methods are not compatible with each other as they do not have sufficient amounts of common properties. As such, an organization needs to select the most suitable approach for its situation, which can be a challenging task. Making the correct choice is vital for the security of the company, as risk management requires an accurate representation of the issues that have to be addressed.

Different risk assessment methods can vary widely in their principles, scopes, and goals. Agrawal (2015) identifies the primary comparison criteria as methodology, purpose, input, effort, outcomes, scalability, and other pros and cons. The research concludes that of the four investigated methods, two would not be suitable if IT standards were strictly followed. An understanding of the needs of the company and the characteristics of the available risk analysis approaches can help the management make the correct decision with regards to the choice.

Information Security Framework

The company’s response to information security concerns should be unified, with all of its systems implementing the necessary defensive measures. Achieving this systemic approach is a challenging task that should be resolved through the use of a company-wide information security framework. A company-wide set of regulations and policies on a topic can significantly enhance the efficiency and speed of risk identification and elimination. Furthermore, a unified approach can allow information about the vulnerabilities discovered by a branch of the company to spread to all departments, improving awareness and allowing for the creation of an effective global solution.

An information security framework includes a variety of steps, including information collection, risk assessment, solution development, awareness spreading, and process improvement. Haufe, Colomo-Palacios, Dzombeta, Brandis, and Stantchev (2016) propose an approach that concentrates on the processes of information security. They note that a framework usually cannot be applied to an organization as is, but serves as a useful point of reference and can be tailored to the specific needs of the users.

Proactive Measures

The nature of information security reduces the viability of traditional, reactive approaches to security. In the modern environment, would-be information thieves can access data without ever being detected if they find a vulnerability in a system, and even if they fail, locating the criminals and retaliating is virtually impossible. Proactive methods become necessary as a result of this weakness. Examples of proactive measures include continuously stress-testing the information systems of a company to discover and remove vulnerabilities before malicious parties can abuse them.

Other approaches to proactive security methods involve actively conducting cyberspace attacks in response to ill-intentioned access attempts. According to Griffor (2017), early response systems are one of the primary digital resilience factors. The policy is challenging to implement, as it requires the company to employ highly qualified specialists and unify the network to enable a quick response to attacks on any parts of the system. However, the change, while significant, will introduce fundamental changes to the company’s business model that will improve efficiency and facilitate further improvement.

Management Commitment

People tend to treat cyberspace attacks as events that happen to others and are featured on the news. Furthermore, the implementation of information security measures is a challenging task that does not appear to result in noticeable benefits. Therefore, as with most significant operational transformations, the commitment and active participation of the higher echelons of the staff is vital to the success of the endeavor. Significant alterations require a leader to conduct them and oversee their development, and managers should take on that role in a business.

Furthermore, people with a broad overview of the company are the only ones who can evaluate the progress and effectiveness of the changes. According to Zammani and Razali (2016), “top management is accountable for ensuring the policy, procedures, processes, and controls are established, implemented and complied” (p. 908). Without their commitment, the changes are likely to be less effective or fail outright due to the lack of direction. Therefore, managers should be closely involved in all steps of information security risk management.

Conclusion

Information security is a highly relevant issue for companies that work with sensitive data, and risk management is central to the concept. A successful information management strategy involves the choice of the correct risk assessment method, the implementation of an appropriate security framework, the use of proactive defensive measures, and the commitment of the management. Creating a well-defended system that covers the entire company is a challenging task, but it is a vital part of success for modern companies.

References

Agrawal, V. (2017). A comparative study on information security risk analysis methods. Journal of Computers, 12(1), 57-67.

Griffor, E. (Ed.). (2017). Handbook of system safety and security. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.

Haufe, K., Colomo-Palacios, R., Dzombeta, S., Brandis, K., & Stantchev, V. (2016). A process framework for information security management. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management, 4(4), 27-47.

Zammani, M., & Razali, R. (2016). An empirical study of information security management success factors. International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, 6(6), 904-913.