How to implement risk mitigation strategies

It is very common that we always find it very easy to come up or rather develop risk mitigation strategies. This tends to be an easy activity since it does not have much inclination to other people apart from the developers. However, the problem comes in during implementation. This is because for a strategy to be successfully implemented there has to be the inclusion of some third party individuals. This therefore makes the whole implementation process difficult since some resistance may be experienced.



Change management

Change is something that is ironically viewed to be constant. However, that is very true when it comes to security systems since a lot of changes are normally done. This may include upgrading of software, changing firewall configurations and probably changing switch ports. It is of much importance that prior to any changes in a system, there has to be proper planning so that the change does not later result into some unwanted and undesired security issues.


The change management process is one that is considered a great risk in an enterprise. This is due to the fact that it is an activity whose occurrence is very frequent and the results or outcome of the change may not be as desired. It is therefore very important that such changes are brought to the attention of the employees so that in case the change fails, then the whole process can be repeated again.


Overlooking the change management process can also expose one to some potential risks in the future. When changes are being implemented, there needs to be some tracking so that in case of a problem, it will be very easy for an individual to track back the whole process and establish where the problem occurred. It is for this reason that there has to be some proper planning so as to avoid such cases.


It is also important to have clear policies stipulating how often the changes should be made. Some of these policies could give the frequency in which the changes can be done, the duration in which they can be affected, the installation process to be followed and also the appropriate feedback procedures just in case the changes do not result as expected.


As much as one must have the permissions to effect change in one's organization or business, it should be categorical that such changes should not affect the running of the business at all costs. This therefore calls for some balancing act especially in a case where one is working in an environment where implementation of the change is quite difficult. For instance, if an organization has never had a policy, it becomes very difficult to implement a change since the organization tends to stick to its cultures. In such a case, there has to be a mutual agreement to proceed with the change implementation process.



Incident management

Security incidences such as a database hack, theft of a laptop or even a water pipe burst will always occur in an organization but the point of concern becomes how to handle them. When such incidences occur, it becomes a security issue.


The first step towards management of such is determining whom to contact either in the organization or outside the organization. If it's a financial organization, one might need to contact a government agency and inform them about the security breach even before the organization's manager.


It is also important to be conversant with the individual responsible for the occurrence of a particular problem. If it is in a data centre, the responsibility might lay on the database administrators or the security personnel. If one is conversant with the people responsible, then one can easily consult them and come up with a resolution for the problem. One might also decide to come up with an expert list that will involve people from outside the organization whom one will contact. For instance, some security breaches may require the intervention of forensic scientists who might not be present in a data centre. This therefore means that one may require assistance from outside


Another method of incidence management can be through taking the necessary technical steps for the handling of systems and preservation of evidence. Making such decisions can be quite difficult with the involvement of many people. For instance, if one's email server is stolen, one might consider unplugging it from the internet but on the other hand people may not access their emails. This therefore calls for a great balancing act so that one are able to rebuild all the necessary pieces of evidence without interfering with the activities of other people.


In such a case, it is also very important to determine what will be documented or rather reported. Information on security breaches can be very important in the future when one want to track back to what could have caused the incidence. This information can also be important in a case where one want to prosecute the individual involved with the whole breach and it is therefore important that one have a good record of the incidence. Documentation must not necessarily involve writing but it can also involve taking of pictures and videos to serve as evidence.



User rights and permissions reviews

When dealing with issues of data loss and theft, it is very important that we carry out user rights and permission reviews. This is due to the fact that there are times where data theft and loss is normally as a result of the violation of user rights and permissions. Some users may be limited to a specific category of data but they may end up gaining access to data due to falsification of their credentials. It is therefore important that a review of these permissions is done so as to ensure that only people with administrator permissions can log in as administrators and those with guest permissions can log in as guests.


At times, a review of the user rights and permissions can also help in the prevention of hackers. In this case, all the login certificates can be encrypted in such a manner that they can only be accessed by authorized people.



Perform routine audits

Security audits are very important in case of a security breach since they help us get down and identify what is really going on. This is an aspect of double checking that is very important in one's security policy. At times, one might have to bring a third party to look at all what one have done and ensure that all the things one have put in place are going to work properly making one's network far much more secure and one might want to have the rights and permissions set the way they are supposed to be.


With the rapid manner in which things can change, it is one's responsibility to ensure that the routine is scheduled because within a very short time period, there can be very rapid changes. One have to ensure that one allocate some time specifically meant for the checking of what has been going on with matters of security.


Routine security audits should also be considered as a tool for log analysis. Through them, some actions might be automatically identified. For instance, some unauthorized administrator access may happen in a certain period of time and it is therefore important that one have systems that can automatically identify the occurrence of some unwanted activities.


There are some different areas of auditing that one must make sure one focus on. One is Privilege Auditing. This is an area that involves ensuring that different people have the appropriate permissions and rights when accessing some information. With this, one can ensure that the different administrators on one's network have been configured properly.


There is also Usage Auditing. This is used to determine whether people are using the resources the resources at their disposal in the appropriate way. With this auditing, one is able to determine whether one's systems and applications on a network are secure from illegal access.


Escalation auditing is also another activity that is very important in instances where we want to carry out some disaster recovery. With this, one is able to determine whether one have the appropriate technology and equipment to deal with disaster management.


Finally, there is administrative auditing. This is a form of auditing that is responsible for determination of whether we are documenting all the items that require documentation. This therefore means that there should be no information loop holes and we should therefore ensure that we are capturing as much information as possible since we might use it in the future.


Enforce policies and procedures to prevent data loss or theft

Loss of data and resources is a challenge that is associated with risk mitigation. From the physical perspective of it, data loss can be easily combated by making sure that one implements some of the easiest physical policies. This means that access of information should involve some set processes and procedures. For instance, if there is a visitor, some procedures may be implemented such as ensuring that he or she has a visitors badge or card. One can also go ahead and make sure that there is a security escort accompanying the visitor.


From the database perspective, it can be very difficult to implement some of the most common data policies. This is because; it is possible to carry large amounts of data all around using one's laptop or some external storage media.


Data theft and loss can also be prevented by enhancing protection everywhere both inside of the building and outside. Concentrating on one side can be a very insecure practise since data threats are everywhere. This means that data access policies should not only be set for people we don't know but also for people in the organization whom we might trust so much.


Data loss and theft is becoming a very big threat in our daily activities since we put a lot of data in our systems and networks. It is therefore very important that we have the most appropriate policies and rules to deal with access of such data.



Enforce technology controls

Enforcement of technology controls can also be another way through which risk mitigation can be implemented. This type of control generally means that any new technological implementations being made in organizations must undergo some scrutiny before approval. For instance, if an organization wants to install new server software, it is the responsibility of the IT experts to ensure that the software is fit to run on the server and not malicious software meant to weaken the organization's security system.


In addition, technology should not be fully relied on for the monitoring of security owing to the fact that most of the high-tech security systems are also developed by human beings who might have made some errors.



Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Data Loss Prevention can be easily enacted through the implementation of highly streamlined policies that cover every aspect of data including data storage, access, deletion and even disposal. Through proper policies, some formalities are set which must be strictly followed before any action is done on a particular set of data. Basically, data loss prevention is a policy or strategy that should also be integrated in an organization's security system since most of the data in an organization is normally lost in incidences of security breaches.



As a matter of fact, it is evident and quite true that the implementation of risk mitigation strategies is not just an easy undertaking. Some specific procedures and processes must be followed so as to ensure that the implementation of all the strategies is done to the fullest without omitting any bit. If it is in an organization, the implementation process should not be left on the hands of specific people but should be a joint effort activity since it serves every individual in the organization


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