No organization has complete protection against today’s sophisticated and fast cyber-threats. To maximize the security posture of your enterprise, you need to evaluate the risks in an effective manner, in addition to the various other security measures. The report in which you describe all the risks – coined as “Security Risk Analysis Report” – has utmost importance for the effectiveness of the overall Risk Management Program. This analysis will identify all the threats and risks associated with these threats.
Writing a Security Risk Analysis Report does not require very technical skills. The only hardest part of this report is sifting through all the test results. Identifying the vulnerabilities based on their priorities is crucial. It is the only required and most critical skill you need to write a security analysis report.
Aside from creating effective security plans and drafting policies, security risk analysis reports are likely one of the most important documents that you’ll ever be required to create as part of your information security career.
Another important thing is how you present your report. No one wants to see a distracted and scattered security report; it needs to be organized and presentable. There are some key elements of a good security analysis report; here we will discuss those elements and their importance in any Security Analysis report.
The Importance of Security Risk Analysis Report
The results of a Penetration Testing (PT) or Incident Response Process (IRP) relies heavily on security risk reports. Once the Penetration Testing is performed successfully, the analysts would create a report based on the findings of the test. After that, the security risk report would demonstrate what was discovered and what recommendations were provided, as well as ensuring that the risks were mitigated or eliminated altogether and findings of IP or IRP were conclusive.
The incorrect or misleading information in the report can have devastating consequences for the organization’s information security posture. For example, missing important facts in the report can create oversights and distraction of some future threats. It can further lead to litigation and compliance issues. Moreover, such a report will result in frustrating and expensive losses in terms of data breaches and reputational damage.
Technical Details of Security Risk Analysis Report
It is worth mentioning to ask what technical details should be included in the report. Below is the list of some technical details that must be a part of an effective Security Risk Analysis Report.
- The levels of vulnerability
- The use environment
- Applicable threats and their frequency
- System connectivity
- The levels of data sensitivity
- The calculations of detailed Annual Loss Expectancy (ALE)
- Residual risks
Methodologies Used for Security Risk Analysis Report
Three types of methodologies are available for the Security Risk Analysis Report. These are listed below:
- Hybrid Methodology
- Quantitative Methodology
- Qualitative Methodology
In addition to the methodologies, it is also crucial to make sure that whether the process should be automated or manual. The purpose of “process” of any Security Risk Analysis Report is to accurately determine the risk to the information assets. If an amount of risk is expressed as a calculated metric, then the Quantitative methodology is used. If the amount of risk is expressed as a high/low; bad/good, then the Qualitative methodology is utilized. However, the Hybrid methodology is employed in the event of the combination of both Quantitative and Qualitative methodologies.
Major Elements of a Security Risk Analysis Report
The report must be properly formatted and given in a sequential manner. Below are the format and steps which are also major elements of a Security Risk Analysis Report.
- Cover Page
- Table of Contents
- An Executive Summary
- Positive Information Security Findings
- Prioritized List of Findings
In this article, we have gained an insight into the importance and major elements of a Security Risk Analysis Report. This report is vital to identify threats and then taking proactive measures to prevent the occurrence of these threats in the future. We also see the technical details and methodologies used for this report. An effective report will present the true picture of the Penetration Testing results. Based on these results, the organization can enhance its IT security posture.