As businesses become increasingly reliant on technology, they must have a robust information security risk register. This document should list all of the potential risks to the business's information security and the mitigation measures in place. By having this document, companies can ensure that they are prepared for any eventuality. An information security risk register is an organisation tool to identify, assess, and track information security risks. The ISO/IEC 27001 standard requires that organisations have an Information Security Risk Register as part of their ISMS.
Importance of Risk Register
- Risk registers are excellent tools for capturing data: They assist senior leaders and operators in understanding the entire scope of their organisation's key risks and how to best manage those risks to achieve organisational goals. As a result, any firm that wishes to keep its risk management process strong should not overlook the crucial step of building a risk register.
- Organisations should utilise the risk register to track and disseminate risk information for all of these phases throughout the company. It's a crucial piece of information for risk managers to consider.
- A risk registry can be incorporated into any risk management strategy employed by your company. Many resources detail Enterprise Risk Management frameworks and processes, including well-known frameworks from the Committee of Sponsoring Organisations (COSO), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars, and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
Steps to Maintain a Risk Register
- Once you've placed the information into a risk register, you may start looking for patterns in threats and system failures that result in negative consequences.
- When you decide to use a risk register, you must first collect all relevant parties and agree on a uniform scale for quantifying risks across diverse business divisions.
- Company leaders will have more confidence in their risk response decisions, as the answers are informed by the correct context, including specific risk information, corporate objectives, and budgetary advice.
- Risk owners must record accurate risk answers for hazards they "own" in a risk register. To do so, risk owners must verify that risks have been reduced to the extent they believe they have: Check to see if particular rules are up to date and if current controls meant to reduce hazards are functioning correctly.
- Risk owners will consult with their compliance or internal audit teams to determine where risk management and compliance overlap. These procedures are crucial because they enable decision-makers to understand their possible exposure to meet strategic, operational, reporting, and compliance goals.
- If your company has a severe incident, keeping a risk register allows you to prepare enterprise-level risk disclosures for mandatory filings and hearings and formal reports as needed.
How to Create an Information Security Risk Register?
- Identify the risks - The first step in creating a risk register is to identify the organisation's threats and classify them according to their sensitivity. Once the register has been created, it should be reviewed regularly and updated as necessary to reflect changes in the organization's assets, threats, and mitigation strategies.
- List potential risks- Once you have identified your critical data and systems, you can start to list the potential risks that could threaten them. These risks could come from various sources, such as cyber-attacks, natural disasters, human error, or theft. To help you brainstorm potential risks, you can use a threat modelling tool like ATAAPT (Attack Tree Analysis and Probabilistic Threat) or STRIDE (Spoofing, Tampering, Repudiation, Information Disclosure, Denial of Service).
- Risk Criteria- First, you must assess the potential downside of the risk. If the possible adverse outcomes are more severe than the possible positive outcomes, the risk is not worth taking. Second, you must consider your likelihood of success. If the odds of success are low, the risk is not worth taking. Finally, it would be best to assess your risk tolerance. If you are unwilling to take even a negligible risk, you should not take the risk.
- Include stakeholders- Make sure to include all relevant stakeholders in the process. This will help ensure that the risk register is comprehensive and that everyone is on the same page regarding responding to risks.
- Risk statement- A risk statement is a statement that identifies potential risks to an organisation. It includes a description of the event or circumstance, the possible consequences, and the likelihood of the event occurring. A risk statement should be specific, measurable, and actionable.
- Be specific- Be as specific as possible when detailing risks. Incomplete information is of little use when it comes time to respond to risk.
- Update risk register- Update the risk register regularly. As new risks arise or as responses to existing risks change, the risk register should be updated accordingly.
- Make it relevant- Keep the risk register accessible to all appropriate parties. This will make it easier for everyone to stay updated on the latest information regarding information security risks.