Information security in an organization is designed to protect the integrity, confidentiality and availability of the computer system data or information from those who have malicious intentions of altering records, stealing confidential information, bringing down the network and many more. Information risk management is, therefore, very important. It covers information infrastructure in the organization, identifies information to be protected and the level of protection required to align the organization’s tolerance in case of risk. It helps the IT personnel in the organization to identify the weaknesses and vulnerabilities that their systems have and in turn device ways of countering them, either reactively of proactively.
Every organization depends on information because it is a hugely valuable asset like other business assets. Therefore, it should be protected by all means for the smooth running of a business. Information management is extremely beneficial to this organization because it is in an interconnected business environment. Also, the company’s crucial information may be exposed to the wide and growing variety of vulnerabilities and threats. Many causes of damage such as computer hacking, denial of service attacks and malicious codes have become more ambitious, increasingly sophisticated and more common than never before.
Risk management in an organization is hugely prominent because it helps in ensuring that all the critical information is secure from any attack or intrusion. With proper management of the risks, the organization will give its customers the confidence in the organization because their information like credit cards numbers financial record is kept secure. It also helps in making the organizations activities run smoothly without any interruption from any attack.
The consequences of neglecting risk management are severe. If the company’s financial details are compromised in any way, it may lead to a great loss. When the information systems are not well managed, service delivery to the customers will be extremely poor. This is because, if, in any case, a problem arises from the systems used, the IT people, who are responsible for the maintenance, may not be able to pinpoint the cause of the problem immediately. This will take quite a long time to be corrected as a result of this wasting a lot of valuable time.
There are some risk management techniques that can be used by the company. One of them is identifying likely attack methods, techniques and tools. Listing all the threats that the organization faces which will help the security administrator identify the various techniques, tools and methods that can be used in the attack. There are several methods of attack which range from passwords, worms to viruses and email cracking. It is exceedingly mandatory that the administrator be familiar of this area continuously this is because new tools, techniques and methods for circumventing security measures are devised constantly.
Another technique is by establishing reactive and proactive strategies. In each method, therefore, the security plan should comprise of reactive strategy as well as the proactive strategy. The proactive strategy is a set of steps that can help in minimizing vulnerabilities of existing security policy and developing a contingency plan. In order to develop a proactive strategy, the damage that an attack can cause on the system and vulnerabilities and weaknesses that are exploited during an attack are determined. Reactive strategy helps the personnel to assess the damage caused. They also help the personnel to, either quickly recovery from damage, or to implement a contingency plan that will aid to get business functions in place running.
The third method is testing. It involves performing attacks that are simulated on the organizations systems with the aim of assessing where the vulnerabilities exist. It will then help in adjusting controls and security policies accordingly. This test should not be done on live production systems. This is because its outcomes can be disastrous. All the scenarios of attacks should be tested physically, and documented. This is done so that it can be used to determine the best security policies and controls that should be implemented. Testing should be revised and evaluated periodically because it is an interactive process.
If an adverse event occurs in an organization, like loss of data or information, which is extremely critical to the organization, and there was no backup done, the organization will suffer a significant loss. This loss will, adversely, affect all the functions and activities in the organization. For example if all the financial records are lost, the organization will run into a considerable loses financially because they will not be able to track their financial records and transactions.
Since the organization covers a large geographical area, the different locations are interconnected by a network. If in case this connection if interfered with or disconnected by attackers, it will be devilishly hard for the IT technicians to pinpoint the cause of the problem and find a solution. If this network disconnection is not resolved quickly, there will be no link between the stations, therefore, all the activities of the organization will be stalled, and, as a result, no transaction will occur, hence, gargantuan losses and time wastage will be experienced.
If a hacker gains accesses to the company’s confidential information especially finance records, he or she may do anything with this information including altering the figures in the financial database or even deleting them. In this case, the organization’s financial officers will not be able to give the real figures. The organization will be in substantial problems because its records will never reconcile leading to mistrust and eventually bringing down the business.
The results of the risk identification include the following. The organization should employ competent IT personnel who will be able to put into consideration the security of the information in the organization's network. Also, the organization should create awareness to its employee on the different basic security measures. This will, in return, make the work of the IT personnel easy hence smooth running of activities.
Therefore, Information Security Risk Management is extremely crucial in the organization's risk awareness. Protection and information security are critical to the organization, but it cannot guarantee success. In order to facilitate effective information protection, risk management approach that will balance the need of information security against all the organizations needs enables the organization to be successful and efficient in its activities. For a long time information have been associated with value but recently motivated and capable adversaries have exploited this value. So the organization need to make information risk management its priority if it needs to keep its data secure, upstanding reputation and gain the competitive advantage and finally all these will bring the organization success in all aspects of its operation.