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Information worth knowing about Security Consulting


Security consulting involves threat and risk assessments, which are ways to determine how much danger there is for an asset: a particular object, location, or anything in between. While they may sound similar, threat and risk assessments are not the same and the distinction is important. There are different types of threat and risk assessments for different situations, and there are strategies to go about conducting them.

The Difference between Threat and Risk Assessments

In the world of security, threats and risks are not synonymous. Threats are what have the potential to cause harm. They can be natural or man-made, people or actions, and they can affect lives, information, property, and more. Risks are the potential for an undesirable outcome based on how likely it is to happen and the consequences that come with it. To mitigate, to lessen the severity of, a threat would involve having to take counter measures against the subject that would be causing harm. To mitigate a risk would involve taking preventative measures against the possible situations that could prove risky.

Often assessed with threats and risks are vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are characteristics of a subject open to being taken advantage or susceptible to danger. How much a subject is at risk depends on the threats to it as well as its vulnerabilities. A subject is most at risk when it has numerous threats to it and multiple vulnerabilities. On the other hand, if it has either no threats or vulnerabilities, then it is at little to no risk.

Types of Threat and Risk Assessments

Threat and risk assessments are valuable in many fields because of the security they offer. Whether it be people, places, brand reputation, or information, everyone wants to be able to protect what is of high value to them. Most threat and risk assessments can be sorted into categories based on what they typically deal with.

  • Location Based Threat and Risk Assessment

This type of threat and risk assessment involves reviewing the possible threats and risks at a given location. Types of threats range from natural disasters to criminals to even dangerous accidents. Different responses are needed for each unique threat, and not only must all types of threats be identified, but the risk of them happening must also be evaluated. Places where this type of threat and risk assessment could prove useful include office workplaces, airports, and important facilities. After learning about the vulnerabilities and possible dangers, to their assets those who requested the threat and risk assessment are capable of implementing protective measures.

  • Cyber-security Threat and Risk Assessment

As technology continues to grow in power and importance, cyber-security threat and risk assessments become increasingly necessary. Cyber-security threat and risk assessments work by determining the type of system at risk, figuring out what possess a threat to the system, figuring out how great the risks and their potential impacts are, reviewing threat protection and mitigation, determining the likeliness of a threat striking based on the current system, and finally calculating a risk rating. After that process has been completed, the involved parties can look into improving their system’s controls based on the acquired information. This type of threat and risk assessment would be useful for potentially vulnerable information systems and companies that heavily rely on tech.

  • Threat and Risk Assessment for Violence

Violent people are dangerous enough to warrant their own category of threat and risk assessment. One of the most dangerous types of violence is instrumental violence, which involves a weapon such as a gun. Those with violent intentions are a danger to public spaces and they should be dealt with before they can inflict any irreversible damage. This type of threat and risk assessment generally involves evaluating how dangerous a specific individual committing a specific act of violence may be. For cases where there may be someone who is an active threat, further observation of an individual is required. It is worth noting that while threat assessments may be made by an assortment of personnel, risk assessments for violence are usually made by experienced clinicians.

Conducting Threat and Risk Assessments

Threat and risk assessments, depending on the importance of the asset, can be conducted by professionals. That would involve security consulting. Security consulting can provide experts performing a comprehensive threat and risk assessment based on an asset and its vulnerabilities and giving their recommendations as to what can be done to further mitigate threats and risks.

When the stakes are not extremely high, threat and risk assessments can be conducted by oneself and others. The basic premise is to identify all possible dangers, determine who might be harmed by the aforementioned dangers and how that might happen, figure out the risk of those situations actually occurring, and recording the finds and implementing preventative and reactionary measures based on them.

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