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1 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Risk Assessment & Risk Management CSH5 Chapter 62 Risk Assessment and Risk Management Robert V. Jacobsen
2 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Topics* Definitions Objectives of Risk Assessment Limits of Questionnaires A Model of Risk Risk Mitigation Risk Assessment Techniques ____________________________________________ * Based on Robert Jacobson’s chapter in CSH5 (Bosworth, Kabay & Whyne’s Computer Security Handbook, 5 th edition – Wiley, 2009) with additions by M. E. Kabay Students should note that this Quantitative Risk Management approach is strongly rejected by many security experts, including Donn Parker in particular.
3 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Definitions Risk: possibility of suffering harm or loss Risk Management Risk assessment Risk mitigation Security management Security auditing Feedback ensures corrective actions back into process – continuous process improvement Security is a process, not a state* * Attributed to Bruce Schneier Feedback loops
4 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Objectives of Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) Help to select subset of security measures given limitations on resources Every system will have unique security requirements Risk assessment must provide appropriate information about Possible losses (costs of damage and of recovery) Estimated probability* of specific events or classes of events * Fundamental difficulty for QRA
5 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. A Model of Risk Fundamental Risk Model Two Inconsequential Risk Classes Two Significant Risk Classes Real-World Risks & the ALE
6 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Fundamental Risk Model “Jacobson’s Window” LowHigh Consequences HighOccurrences Low
7 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Two Inconsequential Risk Classes LowHigh Consequences HighOccurrences Don’t care Doesn’t happen Low
8 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Two Significant Risk Classes LowHigh Consequences HighOccurrences Major fire, long power outage, flooding, cash fraud, …. Power transient, minor sw bug, keystroke error, …. Low
9 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Real-World Risks & the ALE To compare risks, we use the annualized loss expectancy (ALE): E(x) = p i c i Where E(x) = ALE of strategy x p i = probability of occurrence i c i = cost of occurrence i = add up the products i
10 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Example of ALE Calculation Keystroke errors (Jacobson’s example with slight modifications) 100 errors per operator per hour 100 operators 2,000 hours per operator per year = 20,000,000 errors per year Detection rate 99.9% at no cost Thus p = failure rate of missed errors Errors corrected $1 each So E(X) = * 20,000,000 * $1 = $20,000
11 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Another ALE Calculation Major fire (also Jacobson’s example) Probability “p” of major fire in a year = Cost of major fire estimated at $100M Therefore E(x) = x $100M = x $10 8 = $10 4 = $10,000
12 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. ALE of an Insurance Policy Customer bets insurance company he will die this year (probability 0.1%) Bets (pays) $750 in “premium” If customer dies, insurance company pays $500,000 to beneficiary Insurance company bets that customer lives – keeps premium, pays nothing. p 1 = c 1 = -$500,000 (a gain to widow and a loss to the insurance company) p 2 = c 2 = +$750 (a loss to family and a gain to the insurance company) E(x) = p i c i = x -$500, x +$750 = +$ (a loss to the family and a gain to the company)
13 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Risk Mitigation Difficulties Applying ALE Estimates Risk Managers’ Goals Mitigating Infrequent Risks Summary of Risk- Mitigation Strategies
14 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Difficulties Applying ALE Estimates Information about information assurance risks is very poor Little or no mandatory reporting No centralized databanks Enormous variety of system configurations Therefore no actuarial statistics Jacobson’s 30-Year Law People dismiss risks not personally experienced in last 30 years Kabay’s Paradox of Security The better the security, the less direct evidence there is to support security measures in a specific organization UNLESS you have METRICS
15 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Risk Managers’ Goals Imagine wide range of risks Try to estimate consequences / costs Attempt to determine probabilities Identify risk-mitigation strategies and their costs Compute ALEs to estimate appropriate return on investment (ROI) Generally focus on loss-avoidance However, some loss-avoidance can reduce costs to such a point as to provide overall increase in profitability Also consider secondary effects such as improved customer relations, marketability, visibility in competitive marketplace….
16 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Three Risk-Management Regions
17 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Where ROI-Based Risk Mitigation is Effective Works well for high-probability, low-cost risk exposures Realistic appraisal by managers Data are credible Does not work well for low-probability, high- cost risk exposures Upper management rarely understand implications of information technology risks “Who would have thought that….” is common reaction by upper management
18 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Four Reasons for Adopting a Mitigation Strategy 1.Required by law or regulations 2.Cost trivial but significantly lowers probability of harm 3.Addresses low-probability, high-cost event with unacceptable SOL (single-occurrence loss); e.g., consequence that wipes out org. 4.Cost of mitigation is more than offset by expected reduction in ALE (i.e., positive ROI overall compared with doing nothing)
19 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Mitigating Infrequent Risks Reduce magnitude of high SOLs* Transfer risks using insurance Disperse risk exposure (e.g., multiple ops centers) Reduce vulnerability (e.g., BCP) Mitigation selection process Choose low-cost measures Ignore low risks Use insurance _______________ * Single-occurrence losses
20 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Summary of Risk-Mitigation Strategies (1)
21 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Summary of Risk-Mitigation Strategies (2) IT staff may be unable to reduce ALE of high- probability/low-consequence risks Midrange risks can be handled using mitigation measures chosen by evaluating their ROI using ALE calculations Low-probability/high-cost risks involve evaluations of SOLs and mitigation measures to reduce probabilities further or reduce costs through planning and preparation Ideally, risk management should be Performed by experts Independent of IT management Reported to senior management directly
22 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Risk Assessment Techniques Aggregating Threats and Loss Potentials Basic Risk-Assessment Algorithms Loss-Potential Risk-Event Parameters Risk Event Parameters Vulnerability Factors, ALE, SOL Estimates Sensitivity Testing Selecting Risk-Mitigation Measures
23 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Aggregating Threats and Loss Potentials Calculations of ALE can be increased in precision using aggregation of individual ALEs for specific components of systems E.g., if manufacturers provide failure rates for specific components (e.g., servers), these data can be helpful in estimating overall failure rates One useful rule: probability P of failure of a system with independent units “i” where each has probability p i of failing is P = 1 - (1-p i ) which reduces to P = 1 – (1-p) n for systems where all the units have the same p i
24 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Loss-Potential Loss potential can include costs of Property damage Liability Service interruption
25 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Risk Event Parameters Occurrence rate estimation Rates often change after problems occur Don’t count events twice; e.g., if a power failure causes a system crash, be careful not to count both of these separately Look for external source of actuarial data Outage duration affects costs Service interruption increasingly important with e-commerce growing EDI, Web purchases, multiple competitors….
26 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Vulnerability Factors, ALE, SOL Estimates Validating the estimates is important Check all the individual data and calculations before basing decisions on math Look for the risk event/loss potential pairs that generate ~80% of total ALE Check assumptions – discuss with team members Look for outliers – extraordinarily large contributors – and double- check them
27 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Sensitivity Testing Estimates of probability and costs are unlikely to be point-estimates Can use range estimates Try high, medium and low If probability distributions are available, try Monte Carlo simulation Run random trials selecting values from parameter distributions Plot range of resulting ALEs to see central tendencies Compute expected distributions Look out for chaotic systems* * System that is so sensitive to initial conditions that it is unpredictable
28 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Selecting Risk-Mitigation Measures Address intolerable SOLs Discard mitigation with negative ROIs (but remember that insurance always has a short-term negative ROI) Rank measures by descending benefits, costs, ROI
29 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Limits of Questionnaires Could a security questionnaire suffice as a risk assessment? Ask people for their opinions Collate the results Problems Ambiguities in use of words (“serious”, “expensive”…. Many questions prompt yes/no answers but need more subtle distinctions Questionnaires miss points that arise in open discussion with back-and-forth exchange of ideas Use Computer-Aided Consensus™ _5_ppt.zip _5_ppt.zip
30 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Review Questions (1) 1.What are the two main components of risk as discussed in IA management? 2.Why can’t we apply the same risk management choices to all IT systems? How come it’s not like car safety? 3.What are the major problems limiting the value of questionnaires in determining IT risks in an organization? 4.What is Jacobson’s Window? Draw it. 5.What are the two classes of risk that are simply irrelevant in managing risks? Explain why each of the two has no real-world significance for risk management. 6.What are the two classes of risk that are critically important in real-world risk management?
31 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. Review Questions (2) 7.What is the ALE for a 100-year flood (one that occurs on average once in a century) that completely destroys a $10M building? 8.What is the ALE for a meteor strike equivalent to the C- T (Cretaceous-Tertiary) extinction event that killed off 99.9% of the dinosaurs and other living things and led to a decades-long global winter 65 million years ago? Assume that such an event has an occurrence rate of 1 per 100 million years and make reasonable estimates of the global domestic product if the entire human population were to be destroyed. 9.Calculate the Expected Value E(x) for a BCP & DRP that costs $10,000 per year, is used on average only once in a century, but saves the organization $15M if it is actually used.
32 Copyright © 2013 M. E. Kabay. All rights reserved. DISCUSSION
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