Methods Used In The Risk Management Process – A Comparative Approach

Abstract

According to the Business Dictionary ( Web Finance Inc., 2017 ), risk management is the process of identification, analysis, assessment, control and avoidance, minimization or elimination of unacceptable risks. In order to avoid risks, an organization should choose a suitable method for its risk management (it should include all types of risks). A risk is presented as the possibility of an event occurring at a certain period of time. The existence of risks can have a negative impact on the organizational achievement of its objectives. There are many types of risks that an organization can face such as human resources risks, operational risks, network security risks, IT risks and financial risks. To handle the risks, organizations can use a risk management approach that identifies, assesses, manages and controls potential negative events. Among other things, the goal of effective risk management is to ensure that each risk is identified, documented, prioritized, and mitigated whenever possible ( The Institute of Internal Auditors, 2017 ). Since all organizations face risks, whether positive (i.e., opportunities) or negative (i.e., events that hinder company processes), the challenge for auditors is to know when risks will occur and the impact these will have on the organization ( The Institute of Internal Auditors, 2017 ). This article presents an exploratory research based on a comparative study regarding the risk management methods in an organization. The risk management methods were identified and analysed in detail through a template. This comparative study is based on representative common criterions and data obtained from different specialized sources.

Keywords: Organizational risksrisk management methods

Introduction

As per the International Standards Organization (ISO), risk relates to the uncertainty arising from

any known or unknown sources. In order to manage the risk, it is useful to understand how the

organization/ the system works. A system is said to be a set of tangible and intangible components

working together to achieve a common goal (Bright Hub Inc, 2017).According to (E.N.I.S.A Technical

Department, 2006), the management of risks consists of:

• Definition of the scope and framework for the management of risks;

• Assessment of the security risks;

• Treatment of security risks;

• Communication of risks ;

• Monitoring and reviewing;

• Acceptance of risks (the decision of accepting a risk by the top management).

There are a lot of methods / methodologies to manage the risk (all type of risks) in an organization,

an analysis of these can be found in the chapters listed below.

Typically, risk management plans have the following objectives:

1.To eliminate negative situations/events.

2.To reduce risks to an acceptable level, if these risks cannot be removed. This implies that there will

be a risk level the company can accept, making sure that optimal controls are in place to keep risks

within an acceptable range - based on (The Institute of Internal Auditors, 2017).

3.To transfer the risks from a company to another one – for example using a third-party

provider/vendor to install network equipment so that the provider/vendor is made responsible for the

installation's failure or success; or to transfer risks by means of insurance – for example the insuring

company assets for destruction or theft, for example fire damage or hurricane - based on (The

Institute of Internal Auditors, 2017).

Problem Statement

There are a lot of general tools and methodologies used for risk management such as - based on

(Clarizen Inc., 2017):

�Brainstorming;

�Delphi technique;

�Interviewing;

�Checklist analysis;

�Risk probability and impact assessment;

�Probability and impact matrix / Risk categorization;

�Quantitative risk analysis & modelling techniques;

�Expected Monetary Value analysis (EMV) ;

�Cost risk analysis;

But, in addition to these general methodologies, there are methods used for risk management with

special characteristics which refer to:

compatibility with the software tools (tools which support the method)

consultancy support,

target organization,

geographical spread,

certification possibility.

It is useful to have a descriptive view of these methods used in the risk management process in an

organization. In the next sections, a comparative analysis of the risk management methods is presented,

with the mention that this analysis is based on some certain criterions.

Research Questions

1.Which are the most commonly used methods for risk management in an organization?

2.Which are the main characteristics of each method used for risk management?

3.Which is the most suitable method of risk management taking into consideration the following

criterions: compatibility with tools, consultancy support, skills needed to introduce/use/

maintain, target organization, geographical spread, certification possibility?

Purpose of the Study

The research is an exploratory study, having as the main scope, a comparative presentation of

various methods used for risk management in an organization.

The main objectives of the research are listed down below:

To present in a descriptive manner some methods used for risk management: Ebios, It-Grundschutz, Marion, Mehari, ISO 27001

To undertake a comparative study regarding some risk management methods based on some criterions, such as: compatibility with tools, consultancy support, skills needed to introduce/use/maintain, target organization, geographical spread, certification possibility etc. This comparative presentation represents the main objective of the paper.

To develop some conclusions (useful for organization’s management) based on the research findings on a topic that is both timely and important, that is risk management in an organization.

Research Methods

The research methods and tools used in this paper consist of:

�Bibliographical research;

�Comparative analysis;

�Exploratory study;

�Descriptive approach;

Every method has been analysed using a set of criterions: compatibility with tools, consultancy

support, skills needed to introduce/use/maintain, target organization, geographical spread, certification

possibility etc.

The descriptive approach represents the presentation of the main characteristics of each method.

Findings

6.1 The methods – a descriptive approach

It is useful to have a descriptive view of the above mentioned methods used in risk management

process. This non-exhaustive study presents, based on some bibliographic sources (E.N.I.S.A, 2006) and

the authors’ experience, five methods.

6.1.1. Ebios - Expression des Besoins et Identification des Objectifs de Sécurité is a widespread

method (a set of guides supports the software tool) for risk management. It originates from France,

but now the method is managed by a club of experts from different countries. The method helps

managers to reach a global and coherent vision, plus it is useful when it comes to supporting the

process of decision making in an organization regarding its security policies, business continuity

planning etc. EBIOS consists of 5 stages (Ţigănoaia, 2012):

Stage 1: Context analysis, global business process dependency on the information system:

perimeter definition, decomposition into information flows, etc;

Stage 2 and 3: Threats and security necessities analysis;

Stage 4 and 5: Risk analysis (it also includes the residual risks) and the proposals for increased

security measures.

More information about the method in Tables 1-6.

6.1.2. It-Grundschutz – In order to implement an ISMS – Information Security Management

System

in an organization, IT- GRUNDSCHUTZ provides a method. The method consists of:

generic recommendations regarding IT security;

technical recommendations to obtain the optimal IT level for a specific field.

The IT security process suggested by IT-Grundschutz consists of the following steps (ENISA ITGrundschutz,

2017):

Initialization of the process:

Definition of IT security goals and business environment;

Establishment of an organizational structure for IT security;

Provision of the necessary resources;

Creation of the IT Security Concept:

IT-Structure Analysis;

Assessment of protection requirements;

Modelling;

IT Security Checks;

Supplementary Security Analysis;

Implementation planning and fulfilment;

Maintenance, monitoring and improvement of the process;

IT-Grundschutz Certification (optional).

IT-Grundschutz:

provides a framework for IT security management;

lists the relevant threats and required countermeasures - these elements can be adapted according

to the needs of the organization.

More information about this method can be found in Tables from 1 to 6.

6.1.3. Marion – Methodology of Analysis of Computer Risks Directed by Levels

Methodology of audit for estimating the level of IT security risks of an organization (for which have

been used questionnaires);

For the estimation of the security level there are used 27 indicators (each of them assigns a grade

between 0 and 4) and it’s categorized in 6 main domains;

Level 3 is the level which is considered as “correct” for an organization;

The objectives of MARION are:

- to estimate the security level of a company in comparison with level 3 – level considered as “correct”;

- to compare the security level of the organization with other companies which have answered to the same

questionnaire;

Finally, a more detailed risk analysis is needed in order to identify threats and vulnerabilities of a

company.

Note: The CLUSIF does not sponsor this method anymore, as MARION has been replaced by MEHARI.

However, MARION is still used by various companies (E.N.I.S.A. Marion, 2017). More information

about this method can be found in Tables from 1 to 6.

6.1.4. Mehari 2010 – is a method that ( ENISA Mehari, 2017):

provides a complete risk management model compliant to ISO 27005 requirements;

includes the classification of assets, the likelihood of the threats and it also measures the

vulnerabilities through audit;

analyzes a generic list of risk situations and provides seriousness levels for each scenario;

bases its analysis on formulas and parameters;

allows an optimal selection of corrective actions;

can be considered also as an RA/RM tool by the automatic use of formulas.

More information about this method can be found in Tables from 1 to 6.

6.1.5. I.S.O. 27001 – This standard is dedicated to the process of certification. It enables the

comparison of an Information Security Management System through a series of controls. This standard

does not cover risk analysis or certification of the risk management (E.N.I.S.A. Inventory of Risk

Management, 2017). ISO/IEC 27001 is the best-known standard in the family providing requirements for

an information security management system (ISMS). Like any other ISO management system standards,

certification to ISO/IEC 27001 is possible but not mandatory. Some organizations choose to implement

the standard in order to benefit from the best practice it contains while others decide they also want to get

certified to reassure customers and clients that its recommendations have been followed ( Sennewald &

Baillie, 2016 ).

More information about the method can be found in Tables from 1 to 6.

6.2. The methods - A Comparative Approach

It is useful to have a comparative view of these methods based on some common criterions. Using

a template, each method is analysed, the data is from (E.N.I.S.A Technical Department, 2006) and

(E.N.I.S.A. Inventory of Risk Management, 2017). The comparison can be found below, tables from 1 to

6.

Figure 1: Table 01. Preliminary data
Table 01. Preliminary data
See Full Size >
Figure 2: Table 02. Available in European languages, Price, Possibility of certification
Table 02. Available in European languages, Price, Possibility of certification
See Full Size >
Figure 3: Table 03. Target organizations
Table 03. Target organizations
See Full Size >
Figure 4: Table 04. M/T/O: Management - M, Operational - O, Technical - T; Geographical spread
Table 04. M/T/O: Management - M, Operational - O, Technical - T; Geographical spread
See Full Size >
Figure 5: Table 05. Skills needed to introduce / use / maintain; Consultancy support
Table 05. Skills needed to introduce / use / maintain; Consultancy support
See Full Size >
Figure 6: Table 06. International standards, Compatibility with tools
Table 06. International standards, Compatibility with tools
See Full Size >

Conclusion

It is useful to have a look at the methods used for identification, evaluation and treatment of risks.

The paper presents, in a comparative manner, various methods used for risk management in an

organization. The results can be used by both the academic and industrial sector. Industry demands more

than just “talking about risks”, especially hazardous ones, where very large private investments are at

stake and critical consequences are lurking (Oboni, 2013).

Instead of a conclusion, as a result of studying the international literature, the risk assessment

process encompasses the following steps (Oboni, 2013):

Defining the context and boundaries of the system;

Describing the system in terms of elements and links;

Identifying the hazards and fundamental failure modes;

Evaluation of the probability of hazards and fundamental and compound failure

modes occurring;

Evaluation of potential targets and costs of failure;

Determination of tolerable versus intolerable risks;

Present Risk and Decision Making based on risk prioritization.

A risk can be acceptable for an organization, while the same risk can be unacceptable for another

one. As future opened issues, the concepts of risk tolerance and interoperability of methods can be

analysed.

Acknowledgments

This work has been funded by University Politehnica of Bucharest, through the “Excellence

Research Grants” Program, UPB – GEX. Identifier: UPB–EXCELENȚĂ–2016, Contract number

11/30.09.2016.

References

  1. Bright Hub Inc. (2017). The Basics of Risk Management, Retrieved from http://www.brighthubpm.com/risk-management/71742-the-basics-of-risk-management/
  2. Clarizen Inc. (2017). Risk Management - Useful Tools and Techniques,. Retrieved from
  3. https://success.clarizen.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/203996208-Risk-Management-Useful-Tools-and-
  4. Techniques
  5. E.N.I.S.A (Technical Department). (2006). Risk Management: Implementation principles and Inventories for Risk Management/Risk Assessment methods and tools, Retrieved from http://www.enisa.europa.eu E.N.I.S.A. (2017). Inventory of Risk Management / Risk Assessment Methods, Retrieved fromhttps://www.enisa.europa.eu/topics/threat-risk-management/risk-management/current-risk/riskmanagement-inventory/rm-ra-methods E.N.I.S.A. (2017). IT-Grundschutz, Retrieved from https://www.enisa.europa.eu/topics/threat-risk-management/risk-management/current-risk/risk-management-inventory/rm-ramethods/m_it_grundschutz.html E.N.I.S.A. (2017). Marion, Retrieved from https://www.enisa.europa.eu/topics/threat-risk-management/risk-management/current-risk/risk-management-inventory/rm-ramethods/m_marion.html E.N.I.S.A. (2017). Mehari, Retrieved from https://www.enisa.europa.eu/topics/threat-risk-management/risk-management/current-risk/risk-management-inventory/rm-ramethods/m_mehari.html E.N.I.S.A. (2017).Inventory of Risk Management / Risk Assessment Methods and Tools, Retrieved fromhttps://www.enisa.europa.eu/topics/threat-risk-management/risk-management/current-risk/riskmanagement-inventory Oboni, F., Oboni, C., (2013). What You Need to Know About Risk Management Methods, Riskope International.
  6. Sennewald, C. A., Baillie, C., (2016). Chapter 21 – International Security Standards, Effective Security Management Sixth Edition, (pp. 205–212).
  7. The Institute of Internal Auditors. (2017. )Understanding the Risk Management Process,Retrieved from https://iaonline.theiia.org/understanding-the-risk-management-process Ţigănoaia,B. (2012). “Comparative study regarding the methods used for security risk management”, Nic. Bal. La. For. Acad. Sci. Bull., XVII, No. 2 (34), 149.
  8. Web Finance Inc. (2017). Business Dictionary, Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/risk-management.html

Copyright information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

About this article

Publication Date

18 December 2019

eBook ISBN

978-1-80296-024-2

Publisher

Future Academy

Volume

25

Print ISBN (optional)

-

Edition Number

1st Edition

Pages

1-74

Subjects

Education, design learning, educational technology

Cite this article as:

Tiganoaia*, B., & Cercel, C. (2019). Methods Used In The Risk Management Process – A Comparative Approach. In Z. Bekirogullari, M. Y. Minas, & R. X. Thambusamy (Eds.), Living the Future: Technology, Engineering, Education & Computer, vol 25. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 48-56). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.07.5