Risk identification is perhaps the most important task your organisation can undertake through its ISMS to improve the visibility, management, and reporting of risk.

Risk identification is a complex issue – but the following steps can shed some light on how it can be done to prevent security incidents and data breaches before they occur.

1. Follow the ISO 27001 Compliance Guidelines

ISO 27001 is the auditable international standard for best security practices in an ISMS. This certification is essential to demonstrate world-class information security standards to customers and potential clients.

Risk identification is an integral part of the standard’s correct implementation. ISO 27001 focuses on defining potential security incidents threatening organisations and avoiding such threats through effective prevention and treatment of risks.

Becoming ISO 27001-compliant sets the foundations for information security and exposes your business to a vast array of potential risks that need to be seriously taken into account. This way, by being aware of all risks, your company can focus on the most important ones.

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2. Define Your Risk Assessment Rules

Risk identification starts with a clear definition of what constitutes risk assessment within the organisation. Define the risk methodology e.g. quantitative versus qualitative and the levels of acceptable risks.

An ISMS can provide the transparency and consistency the organisation needs to define and assess security risks so that all departments in the organisation sit on the same page when identifying potential threats.

Defining the rules of the game will better assist your team in finding out all vulnerabilities and threat to the company’s assets, assess the impact and likelihood of each combination, and calculate the level of risk in each warranted situation.

3. Prepare an ISMS Risk Report

A risk report includes a comprehensive list of cyber threats and other such vulnerabilities, risk assessment procedures, and the identification of the most urgent and unavoidable risks for the organisation.

It is recommended to document everything for auditing purposes. Your ISO 27001-compliant ISMS should be able to provide, automate and analyse vital information concerning major security risks identification, its proper management and implementation of risk treatment options.

Therefore a little bit of setup effort and solid ISO 27001 compliance guidelines will make the risk identification journey easier and more systematic for all parties involved in the process.

MSX Cyber, part of the XGRC product range, assists organizations to drive performance and compliance with its integrated information security management system built on the ISO 9001 Quality and ISO 27001 Information Security framework.