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For organizations with an outdated.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
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3051
Published: 2014-10-29
The Internet Service Monitor (ISM) agent in IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager (ITCAM) for Transactions 7.1 and 7.2 before 7.2.0.3 IF28, 7.3 before 7.3.0.1 IF30, and 7.4 before 7.4.0.0 IF18 does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof s...

CVE-2014-3668
Published: 2014-10-29
Buffer overflow in the date_from_ISO8601 function in the mkgmtime implementation in libxmlrpc/xmlrpc.c in the XMLRPC extension in PHP before 5.4.34, 5.5.x before 5.5.18, and 5.6.x before 5.6.2 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) via (1) a crafted first argument t...

CVE-2014-3669
Published: 2014-10-29
Integer overflow in the object_custom function in ext/standard/var_unserializer.c in PHP before 5.4.34, 5.5.x before 5.5.18, and 5.6.x before 5.6.2 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via an argument to the unserialize function ...

CVE-2014-3670
Published: 2014-10-29
The exif_ifd_make_value function in exif.c in the EXIF extension in PHP before 5.4.34, 5.5.x before 5.5.18, and 5.6.x before 5.6.2 operates on floating-point arrays incorrectly, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (heap memory corruption and application crash) or possibly exec...

CVE-2014-3694
Published: 2014-10-29
The (1) bundled GnuTLS SSL/TLS plugin and the (2) bundled OpenSSL SSL/TLS plugin in libpurple in Pidgin before 2.10.10 do not properly consider the Basic Constraints extension during verification of X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and ob...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.