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Data Risk Assessment

What is data risk?

There are a number of risks to be aware of with regard to data in today’s digital climate. Businesses are going to great lengths—and for good reason—to mitigate risk and secure critical data. But what is data risk? Data risk refers to the potential negative consequences that can result from the collection, storage, use, or dissemination of data. These consequences often include financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liability.  

There are several types of data risk that organizations need to be aware of. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common.

Conducting a data risk assessment is one of the best ways that organizations can understand their level of risk. Trava’s free cyber risk assessment can give you a better idea of where you stand in terms of cybersecurity, equipping you with the information you need to enact meaningful change to better protect your data.

Secure for the known, insure for the unknown

Your destination may be achieving compliance in industry certifications such as SOC2 or ISO27001, but it doesn’t stop there. With Trava, our modern tools can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be by giving you the control to assess your risk, repair the most vulnerable areas, and transfer risk through insurance.

Data Risk Management

The term “data risk management” is thrown around a lot in the online world. But what is data risk management? In simple terms, data risk management describes the process of identifying, assessing, and responding to potential risks to data. It involves a combination of technical, administrative, and physical controls to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.

One important aspect of data risk management is identifying and classifying data based on its sensitivity and value to an organization. This allows companies to prioritize their risk management efforts and focus on protecting the most critical information. Another key element is implementing security controls to protect data. This might include technical measures such as encryption and access controls, as well as administrative controls such as employee training and incident response planning. Physical controls, such as security cameras and access cards, also play a role in protecting data.

Monitoring and incident response are important components of data risk management as well. Regularly monitoring for potential threats and vulnerabilities allows organizations to quickly detect and respond to incidents. When thinking about data risk management, businesses should also be sure to prioritize compliance with industry standards such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and GDPR. Standards like these contain crucial frameworks for cybersecurity. 

Viewing data management risk examples is a great way to learn more about managing risk. For instance, something as simple as a healthcare organization implementing technical controls to protect patient medical records from unauthorized access would be considered a type of risk management. It can also be helpful to study risk management jobs to see how professionals manage risk on a broader scale.

Data Risk Examples

As discussed previously, browsing data risk examples and performing a data risk assessment can be extremely helpful. This is especially important when developing your own data risk framework. Viewing data governance risks, personal data examples, data privacy risk examples, and everything in between is key to implementing effective security protocols. You can see what other businesses have done well, and learn from their mistakes. Data risk examples include the following:

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NIST Risk Management Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Risk Management Framework is a process for managing security and privacy risks in federal information systems. It provides a systematic, repeatable, and cost-effective approach for managing security and privacy risks, and is designed to be consistent with other NIST guidance and international standards. Understanding and complying with the NIST Risk Management Framework is crucial for businesses that are serious about data risk management.

NIST outlines some risk management framework steps that businesses should follow to achieve best results. They are:

  1. Categorize
  2. Select
  3. Implement
  4. Assess
  5. Authorize
  6. Monitor

The NIST RMF also includes a set of security controls that organizations can use to protect their information systems. These controls are grouped into three categories:

The process is flexible and can be tailored to the specific needs of an organization. It is designed to be integrated with other existing risk management processes, such as those used to manage operational risks, financial risks, and compliance risks. It also promotes continuous monitoring and improvement so that organizations can adapt to changing threat landscapes and technology advancements.

Viewing a risk management framework example, or downloading a risk management framework PDF can be helpful when learning more about NIST and determining how to incorporate it into your own business. By taking the time to understand this framework, you can improve your data security and remain compliant with critical standards and regulations. 

Data Risk Assessment Checklist

A data risk assessment checklist is a tool used to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats that could result in data breaches, data loss, and more. These checklists typically include a series of questions or prompts that guide the assessor through different areas of the organization's data management and security processes. Data risks and controls are commonly featured on checklists, as is the organization’s overall governance policies and procedures related to data.

A good checklist might also include information on a company’s data backup and recovery process. In general, it should cover data loss prevention and response. This can help organizations evaluate their current performance and determine what needs improvement. The checklist should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure that it remains relevant and effective. 

You can use the results of the assessment to develop a risk management plan that addresses any identified vulnerabilities or threats. It's important to note, however, that a cyber security risk assessment checklist is only one component of a complete risk management program. Organizations should also perform regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, and should have incident response plans in place to handle data breaches or other security incidents. By implementing robust security measures, businesses can stay on top of cybersecurity and keep their data safe at all times.

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