Risk
3/28/2013
02:13 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
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For organizations with an outdated.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
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-6117
Published: 2014-07-11
Dahua DVR 2.608.0000.0 and 2.608.GV00.0 allows remote attackers to bypass authentication and obtain sensitive information including user credentials, change user passwords, clear log files, and perform other actions via a request to TCP port 37777.

CVE-2014-0174
Published: 2014-07-11
Cumin (aka MRG Management Console), as used in Red Hat Enterprise MRG 2.5, does not include the HTTPOnly flag in a Set-Cookie header for the session cookie, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain potentially sensitive information via script access to this cookie.

CVE-2014-3485
Published: 2014-07-11
The REST API in the ovirt-engine in oVirt, as used in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (rhevm) 3.4, allows remote authenticated users to read arbitrary files and have other unspecified impact via unknown vectors, related to an XML External Entity (XXE) issue.

CVE-2014-3499
Published: 2014-07-11
Docker 1.0.0 uses world-readable and world-writable permissions on the management socket, which allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-3503
Published: 2014-07-11
Apache Syncope 1.1.x before 1.1.8 uses weak random values to generate passwords, which makes it easier for remote attackers to guess the password via a brute force attack.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Marilyn Cohodas and her guests look at the evolving nature of the relationship between CIO and CSO.