Business Risk Assessment Processes and Procedures

Business risk assessment is the key to effective information risk management

How confident are you that your company’s intellectual property, employee records and customer data are safe and secure? Do you think you are secure because you have all the right compliance reports? Today’s business headlines are filled with companies that have experienced data breaches that have all the right certifications and compliance reports. The inconvenient truth is that compliance reports cannot serve as a proxy for a company’s ongoing, enterprise-wide risk management.

All of the accepted compliance and assurance certifications such as PCI DSS, SOC and ISO 27001 call for a comprehensive risk assessment process. The problem is that very few companies follow risk assessment procedures properly. Most base their assessments on compliance standards, paying little attention to the specific risks to the business, it’s operations and sensitive information. Without a solid understanding of risk, it’s nearly impossible to know if you’re doing the right things to protect your information.

Risk assessment is the foundation of any effective risk management program. At Aprio, we have developed a comprehensive risk assessment procedure and methodology (leveraging proven standards such as NIST 800-30 and ISO 27005) that helps our clients fully understand the nature, scope and financial impact of the information risks they face.

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How to do risk assessment right

When done correctly, enterprise risk management enables management teams to own security and engage in information assurance initiatives with confidence. Aprio’s risk assessment process provides a solid foundation and business case on which to focus and prioritize information security investments. Our business risk assessment includes the careful analysis of the following:

  • Digital Assets: We begin with a thorough understanding of your organization’s “digital assets.” Digital assets are the critical groupings of data and processes that could harm the business if they were compromised.
  • Vulnerabilities: We analyze your information systems and security controls to determine your vulnerabilities.
  • Threats: We work to understand the threats that could exploit your vulnerabilities to compromise your data and systems.
  • Likelihood: We then factor the likelihood that these threats could occur.
  • Impact to the business: Finally, we determine how these threats could impact the business in the event of a breach. Understanding the cost of damages to operations, information, share value and reputation is an essential piece of the puzzle.

From this “value at risk” approach, we can then recommend an effective information risk management process that provides the appropriate level of protection for each digital asset in your portfolio. We start by raising baseline controls to the standards of a security protocol such as ISO 27001, then apply more advanced security controls to higher value assets. This enables our clients to focus their security dollars on the assets that represent the greatest risk.

Raise the bar on information security with a business risk assessment from Aprio

Regulators, clients trading partners and plaintiffs’ lawyers all are scrutinizing your organization’s management of information security. A check-the-box approach to compliance will not provide the assurance that these stakeholders expect, nor the defense from issues like data breaches that your business needs.

The only defensible approach is one that begins with a thorough risk assessment of the actual risks to your most valuable assets and builds on a meaningful information security framework.

To learn more about Aprio’s comprehensive risk assessment procedure, contact Dan Schroeder today.

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