Risk
3/28/2013
02:13 PM
50%
50%

5 Steps To Strengthen Information Risk Profiles

Make sure you include the right employees and business processes when developing risk management strategy.

9 Bandwidth Hogs: Reality Vs. Myth
9 Bandwidth Hogs: Reality Vs. Myth
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Consider the phrase "information risk profile." It sounds serious, important. It sounds like something most companies should have in the information age. Yet it's risk-management strategy that's easy to put off or ignore altogether.

For organizations with an outdated. insufficient or altogether nonexistent information risk profile, it helps to start with a basic question: Just what the heck is one?

"I look at it as conversation that discusses the organization's tolerance for loss, disruption or availability issues regarding their data assets," IP Architects president John Pironti said in an interview. "When does it hurt when they lose something?

Having that conversation, as it were, can help companies define and prioritize smarter approaches to securing and safeguarding their information, no matter what that information might be. This is turn helps minimize the potential pain when things go wrong: Financial loss, PR embarrassment, productivity drains and similar downsides.

[ Are passwords passé? Read Kill Passwords: Hassle-Free Substitute Wanted. ]

Among the many reasons an information risk profile is an important tool in the digital age: A comprehensive one can help organizations clarify what is actually important versus what is perceived to be important. Failing to make that distinction often leads to wasted resources, ineffective strategies and poor decision making.

Pironti, who will chair the Information Security and Risk Management track at Interop, offered this advice on building effective, efficient information risk profiles.

1. Heed The Difference Between "Risk" And "Threat."

Pironti noted a common misconception about information risk: "I think security professionals, myself included, spend too much time thinking that they know 'risk' when they really know 'threat,'" he said. Although "threat" might apply to areas such as malware or phishing scams, "risk" should include a much broader view of data loss, corruption or downtime, no matter the cause.

Comprehensive profiles address not just targeted or indiscriminate security attacks, but risk of all kinds: Employee error, technology failure, vendor mistakes and so on. "At the end of the day, they have the same business impact," Pironti said.

2. Company Should 'Own' The Profile.

"You're looking for the business leadership to really help to understand: What should we care about and why?" Pironti said. This can be easier said than done, Pironti added, because executives and managers are often paid to take risks. But Pironti's view is shared by others in the security and privacy field.

Although information security pros should lead the process, the end result should be owned and maintained by the business. "If security guys just go around and give their perspectives and look for a rubber stamp from the business, it probably won't be embraced [or] viewed as something that's credible," he said. "It's probably not going to make it to the senior leadership or to the board level because it's going to be viewed as an operational review rather than a business-level review."

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-5084
Published: 2015-08-02
The Siemens SIMATIC WinCC Sm@rtClient and Sm@rtClient Lite applications before 01.00.01.00 for Android do not properly store passwords, which allows physically approximate attackers to obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5352
Published: 2015-08-02
The x11_open_helper function in channels.c in ssh in OpenSSH before 6.9, when ForwardX11Trusted mode is not used, lacks a check of the refusal deadline for X connections, which makes it easier for remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via a connection outside of the permitted time ...

CVE-2015-5537
Published: 2015-08-02
The SSL layer of the HTTPS service in Siemens RuggedCom ROS before 4.2.0 and ROX II does not properly implement CBC padding, which makes it easier for man-in-the-middle attackers to obtain cleartext data via a padding-oracle attack, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-3566.

CVE-2015-5600
Published: 2015-08-02
The kbdint_next_device function in auth2-chall.c in sshd in OpenSSH through 6.9 does not properly restrict the processing of keyboard-interactive devices within a single connection, which makes it easier for remote attackers to conduct brute-force attacks or cause a denial of service (CPU consumptio...

CVE-2015-1009
Published: 2015-07-31
Schneider Electric InduSoft Web Studio before 7.1.3.5 Patch 5 and Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition through 7.1 SP3 Patch 4 use cleartext for project-window password storage, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading a file.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What’s the future of the venerable firewall? We’ve invited two security industry leaders to make their case: Join us and bring your questions and opinions!