The Purpose of IT Risk Assessment
Assessing risks and potential threats is an important part of running any organization, but risk assessment is especially important for IT departments that have control over networks and data. The purpose of IT risk assessment is to help IT professionals identify any events that could negatively affect their organization.
Performing an IT Risk Assessment
IT risk assessments are the next step after performing a business impact analysis (BIA). Once you've performed a BIA on your organization and have analyzed critical business functions and identified the impact a loss of those functions could have on your organization, you can begin your IT risk assessment.
The first thing you should do when performing a risk assessment is gather information about possible threats to your organization. This can include:
- System-related information, such as information about hardware, software and data
- Business-related information, such as company records, experience of vendors doing business with the firm and experience of key stakeholder organizations
- Natural-related information, such as national weather service historical data and U.S geological survey maps
Next, you should identify any threats that could affect your organization based on your list. Common threat sources include natural threats, such as floods and earthquakes; human threats, such as inadvertent data entry; and environmental threats, such as long-term power failure and pollution. Once you've identified potential threats, you can assess weaknesses in your IT system that could allow these potential threats to turn into disasters.
After assessing threats and weaknesses, the next step is to perform a risk analysis that will tell you the likelihood one of these events will occur and the severity of its consequences.
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