Feasibility studies-risk management, Computer Network Security

Feasibility Studies

Before deciding on strategy, all information of economic or non economic consequences of vulnerability of information asset should be explored. A number of ways exist to determine the advantage of a specific control.

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)

The common approach for information security controls is economic feasibility of implementation. CBA is begun by evaluating the worth of assets which are to be protected and the loss in value if those assets are compromised. The formal manner to document this is called as cost benefit analysis or economic feasibility study. Items which impact cost of a control or safeguard include: cost of development; implementation cost; service costs; training fees; cost of maintenance.

Benefit is the value an organization realizes by using controls to avoid losses associated with vulnerability. Asset valuation is the process of assigning financial value or worth to every information asset; there are several components to asset valuation.

Once worth of various assets is anticipated, potential loss from exploitation of vulnerability is examined. Process results in approximation of potential loss per risk. Expected loss per risk stated in equation given below:

Annualized loss expectancy (ALE) equals Single loss expectancy (SLE) TIMES Annualized rate of occurrence (ARO)

Here SLE is equal to asset value times exposure factor (that is EF).

  The Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) Formula

CBA determines that whether the control alternative being evaluated is worth cost incurred to control vulnerability or not. CBA easily calculated by using ALE from earlier assessments, before implementation of control proposed:


-CBA = ALE (prior) – ALE (post) – ACS
-ALE (prior) is annualized loss expectancy of risk before implementation of control
-ALE (post) is estimated ALE based on control being in place for the period of time
-ACS is annualized cost of safeguard.

 Benchmarking

An alternative approach to risk management is Benchmarking. It is process of seeking out and studying practices in other organizations which one’s own organization desires to duplicate. One of three measures characteristically used to compare practices:

a) Metrics based measures

b) Process based measures

Metrics based measures are comparisons which are based on numerical standards, such as

- The numbers of successful attacks

- Staff hours which are spent on systems protection

- The dollars which are spent on protection

- Numbers spent on protection

- Estimated value in dollars of information lost in successful attacks

- Lose in productivity hours associated with the successful attacks

Process-based measures are less focused on numbers and more strategic than Metrics based measures. It enables organization to examine activities an individual company performs in pursuit of its goals instead of the specific of how goals are attained. There are several legal reasons. They are:

Standard of due care: when adopting levels of security for the legal defense, organization shows it has done what any prudent organization would do in same circumstances.

Due diligence: demonstration that organization is diligent in ensuring which implemented standards continue to provide needed level of protection. Failure to support standard of care or diligence can leave organization open to legal liability.

Best business practices: security efforts which provide a superior level protection of information.

While considering best practices for adoption in an organization, consider:

•    Does organization resembles identified target with best practice?

•    Are resources at hand similar?

•    Is organization in a alike threat environment?

Posted Date: 10/8/2012 6:51:31 AM | Location : United States







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