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Information Systems

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Information System (CS507)
Risk Management
Risk Management is the process of measuring, or assessing risk and then developing strategies
to manage the risk. In general, the strategies employed include transferring the risk to another
party, avoiding the risk, reducing the negative effect of the risk, and accepting some or all of the
consequences of a particular risk. Risk management is a general concept which can encompass
various aspects or issues to be catered for. For example risk management against natural
disasters, financial risk management, knowledge risk management, relationship risk
management. No matter what aspect of risk is being covered the general approach is quite the
same. Here since we are more focused on study of information systems, we would try to relate
more to the risks related to proper working of information systems.
Managing the security risks associated with reliance on information technology is a continuing
challenge. Many private organizations, have struggled to find efficient ways to ensure that they
fully understand the information security risks affecting their operations and implement
appropriate controls to mitigate these risks. In recent years, systems have become more
susceptible to virus because computers have become more interconnected and, thus, more
interdependent and accessible to a larger number of individuals.
Incorporating Risk management in SDLC
For each phase of SDLC, the process of risk management is no different. Rather it is iterative
process which can be performed at each major phase. Every step of development has its own
risks which need to be handled and addressed separately. Hence managing risk in SDLC means
managing risk of each phase of life cycle.
36.1  Phases of Risk Management
Following are various phases of SDLC
· System Characterization
· Threat Identification
· Vulnerability Identification
· Control Analysis
· Likelihood Determination
· Impact Analysis
· Risk Identification
· Control Recommendation
· Results Documentation
· Implementation
· Monitoring
This can also be presented as a separate diagram.
Information System (CS507)
36.2  What is focal Point?
A corporate-level facilitator may serve as a focal point for assessments throughout the company,
including those pertaining to information security because of familiarity with the tools and the
reporting requirements. Each business unit in an organization may have a designated individual
responsible for the business unit's risk assessment activities. The computer hardware and
software company, may also create a team for the purpose of improving the overall risk
assessment process and reviewing results of risk assessments in the hardware and software
systems from the perspective of offering a better, reliable and risk free product.
36.3  System Characterization
In assessing risks for an IT system, the first step is to define the scope of the effort. The
resources and information that constitute the system are identified. The system related
information is documented which includes.
1. Hardware
2. Software
3. System Interface
4. Data & Information
5. People (Who support and use IT)
6. Systems Mission (Processes performed by IT system)
Additional information that may help in characterizing the system are:
Functional requirements of IT system
Users of system (technical support and application users)
System Security Policy
System Security Architecture
Information System (CS507)
As an output to this phase we would get:
1. System Boundary
2. System function
3. System and Data criticality ­ System's value to the organization
4. System and data sensitivity ­ Level of protection required to maintain system, data
integrity, confidentiality and availability.
Following methods can be used to gather information on the IT system within its operational
1. Filling up Questionnaire
2. On-site interviews
3. Document Review
4. Use of automated scanning tools
Steps in threat identification
Following steps are followed in this phase
1. Threat source identification ­ sources vary from being human to natural threats
2. Motivation and threat actions ­ Reasons why someone should instigate a threat and what
actions he can take in such instigation are discovered.
Threat Source
Threat Actions
·System intrusion
·Computer Crime
·Assault on an
Information is used as an input to determine and identify what kind of threats the system is
exposed to history of system attack, data from intelligence agencies. The out put of this phase is a
threat statement identifying and defining threats.
36.5  Vulnerability Assessment
Vulnerability is a weakness that can be accidentally triggered or intentionally exploited. This phase
helps in building up a list of weaknesses and flaws that could be exploited by the potential threat
Information System (CS507)
Threat Source
Terminated employees'
Terminated Employees
system ID's are not
removed from the system
Organization uses water
Fire, negligent persons
sprinklers to suppress fire
and tarpulins to protect
Following information is used as an input
1. Reports of prior risk assessments
2. Any audit comments
3. Security requirements
4. Security test results
The out put of this phase is a list of potential vulnerabilities.
Table of Contents:
  1. Need for information, Sources of Information: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Sources
  2. Data vs. Information, Information Quality Checklist
  3. Size of the Organization and Information Requirements
  4. Hierarchical organization, Organizational Structure, Culture of the Organization
  5. Elements of Environment: Legal, Economic, Social, Technological, Corporate social responsibility, Ethics
  6. Manual Vs Computerised Information Systems, Emerging Digital Firms
  7. Open-Loop System, Closed Loop System, Open Systems, Closed Systems, Level of Planning
  8. Components of a system, Types of Systems, Attributes of an IS/CBIS
  9. Infrastructure: Transaction Processing System, Management Information System
  10. Support Systems: Office Automation Systems, Decision Support Systems, Types of DSS
  11. Data Mart: Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), Types of Models Used in DSS
  12. Organizational Information Systems, Marketing Information Systems, Key CRM Tasks
  13. Manufacturing Information System, Inventory Sub System, Production Sub System, Quality Sub system
  14. Accounting & Financial Information Systems, Human Resource Information Systems
  15. Decision Making: Types of Problems, Type of Decisions
  16. Phases of decision-making: Intelligence Phase, Design Phase, Choice Phase, Implementation Phase
  17. Planning for System Development: Models Used for and Types of System Development Life-Cycle
  18. Project lifecycle vs. SDLC, Costs of Proposed System, Classic lifecycle Model
  19. Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD), Design of the information flow, data base, User Interface
  20. Incremental Model: Evaluation, Incremental vs. Iterative
  21. Spiral Model: Determine Objectives, Alternatives and Constraints, Prototyping
  22. System Analysis: Systems Analyst, System Design, Designing user interface
  23. System Analysis & Design Methods, Structured Analysis and Design, Flow Chart
  24. Symbols used for flow charts: Good Practices, Data Flow Diagram
  25. Rules for DFD’s: Entity Relationship Diagram
  26. Symbols: Object-Orientation, Object Oriented Analysis
  27. Object Oriented Analysis and Design: Object, Classes, Inheritance, Encapsulation, Polymorphism
  28. Critical Success Factors (CSF): CSF vs. Key Performance Indicator, Centralized vs. Distributed Processing
  29. Security of Information System: Security Issues, Objective, Scope, Policy, Program
  30. Threat Identification: Types of Threats, Control Analysis, Impact analysis, Occurrence of threat
  31. Control Adjustment: cost effective Security, Roles & Responsibility, Report Preparation
  32. Physical vs. Logical access, Viruses, Sources of Transmissions, Technical controls
  33. Antivirus software: Scanners, Active monitors, Behavior blockers, Logical intrusion, Best Password practices, Firewall
  34. Types of Controls: Access Controls, Cryptography, Biometrics
  35. Audit trails and logs: Audit trails and types of errors, IS audit, Parameters of IS audit
  36. Risk Management: Phases, focal Point, System Characterization, Vulnerability Assessment
  37. Control Analysis: Likelihood Determination, Impact Analysis, Risk Determination, Results Documentation
  38. Risk Management: Business Continuity Planning, Components, Phases of BCP, Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
  39. Web Security: Passive attacks, Active Attacks, Methods to avoid internet attacks
  40. Internet Security Controls, Firewall Security SystemsIntrusion Detection Systems, Components of IDS, Digital Certificates
  41. Commerce vs. E-Business, Business to Consumer (B2C), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), E-Government
  42. Supply Chain Management: Integrating systems, Methods, Using SCM Software
  43. Using ERP Software, Evolution of ERP, Business Objectives and IT
  44. ERP & E-commerce, ERP & CRM, ERP– Ownership and sponsor ship
  45. Ethics in IS: Threats to Privacy, Electronic Surveillance, Data Profiling, TRIPS, Workplace Monitoring