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How to use service mapping for risk assessment and analysis

Every business faces risks. The higher your organization’s risk, the more likely you are to experience a significant loss or disruption. Risk management is essential for every company that wants to survive and thrive over time. Enterprise risk management helps you identify potential threats and create strategies for managing them effectively. 

You can reduce your organization’s exposure to risk by taking a systematic approach that addresses all aspects of your operations, from suppliers to customers and even employees. 

Service mapping is a powerful means of analyzing the potential impacts of planned events on an IT system. Service mapping can be used to model service dependencies and as a risk analysis tool. Service mapping is particularly useful when modeling complex systems, because it enables connections and relationships between configuration items to be visualized and documented.

Ensure effective service mapping for your business.

Why do you need risk assessment and analysis for your IT assets?

An IT risk assessment is a structured process of identifying security risks and assessing the threats they pose. The ultimate purpose of IT risk assessment is to mitigate risks to prevent security incidents, protect critical data, and ensure compliance with regulations.

Risk assessment is a critical aspect of information security strategic planning in any form of business. The implementation of this process follows some general steps: Identify assets, describe and evaluate risks, assess impact and value, create mitigation plans and review regularly. Using these techniques allows an organization to determine which risks should be mitigated through investments in security measures. 

Administrators often find it challenging to give assurance for organizations on asset valuation, risk management and control implementation. As a result, they are often forced to use their own judgment system and extensive experience in order to make their assessments and conclusions, so it may be difficult for an organization to identify its potential risks and determine if the controls being implemented are adequate.

With service mapping, you can efficiently map risk management services and manage risk in your organization. It provides a practical framework that helps you to identify, assess, prioritize and mitigate risks. This knowledge base is designed to help you understand how to identify threats, utilize service mapping for risk assessment and analysis, use it as part of change management and embed it within your processes and procedures.

What is vulnerability management?

Steps of risk determination

Determining an asset’s value is a critical step when conducting a risk assessment and analysis. An asset’s value can be determined by its maximum potential loss, including the cost of recovery after a compromise occurs. The organization must be able to define what constitutes an asset and an asset’s value before performing a risk assessment and analysis.

The various steps of determining risk include: 

1. Identifying the owner and custody of assets

It is important to identify the owner and custody of assets in order to ensure that both departments have responsibility over their actions, as well as all other parties who may affect those assets.

2. Creating a list of information systems assets

Identify, list, and assess information systems assets and their vulnerabilities. This will aid in determining any risks posed to the confidentiality and integrity of those systems. Proactive methods that can be used in order to collect system information efficiently, for example, network mapping and asset profiling.

3. Conducting impact assessment

The security objectives of confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) are the most important things a company needs to consider when deploying an IT system. These objectives are often known as the CIA triad and refers to the protection of information, keeping it private and confidential; ensuring that systems do not fail or compromise security; and ensuring that data records can be retrieved as intended. 

Assets need to be assessed based on their criticality to operation of the company in order for stakeholders to understand which assets pose a risk of harm to their business

4. Determining the security category of an asset

Once the IT asset has been identified, you will then proceed to measure the risks associated with it. The category identifies what risks are most likely to be associated with this asset and the value is how much that risk would cost if an incident were to occur.

5. Determining the probability of an incident

The purpose of an IT asset risk assessment is to estimate the probability of occurrence. This can be defined as the likelihood that a threat will exploit a vulnerability, leading to an adverse impact on the organization. 

Before conducting an IT asset risk assessment, you will first need to carry out a preliminary examination of their network infrastructure. Next, potential vulnerabilities should be prioritized based on how severe or frequent their implications would be if exploited, and how critical each component of their infrastructure is for daily operations. 

Lastly, threats should be ranked according to their likelihood to become active within your organization.

Service maps for asset identification, valuation, and categorization

Assets, information systems and environments, network topologies and zones, types of connectivity (wired, wireless, etc.), networks services and specific technologies used in the organization, applications with different levels of importance to the business are all considered when identifying assets within an enterprise. 

An information asset (such as data) can be mapped to all of its critical containers. The map of information assets will be used to determine all of the information assets that reside on a specific container. In addition, the value of a container depends on the data that are processed and transported (through the network) or stored (reside) within that specific container. Security audits should look into how the data or information is processed, transferred and stored in a secured manner.

Read: Why is service mapping critical for your business?

Unplanned changes to software, hardware and infrastructure can be costly. Application dependency maps help identify critical dependencies between applications and their supporting systems, allowing organizations to better understand what could be impacted during change windows or if something could go wrong as a result of the change. Dependency maps also support business continuity planning by helping you understand how applications are connected with one another and what services need to be in place to ensure they continue operating when a disaster strikes.

Service mapping helps you discover and assess your IT infrastructure, allowing you to uncover security risks and critical issues that could affect your company’s financial stability. By analyzing all relationships, hierarchies and dependencies of your business services, you can visualize your IT infrastructure for both human and automated analysis. The resulting map will reveal who is responsible for various areas of risk, which systems support specific business processes, how much regulatory control those areas require and what security patches are missing or unapproved software installed.

Service maps display which service assets have changes pending, which have recently received them, and who to contact if a recent change appears to cause a service disruption. With ITSM integration, service maps are updated in real-time whenever changes are made to the ITIL areas for which you have configured alerts.

Manage risks efficiently with ViVID Service Mapping

Service mapping is a proven tool that has been used by many companies across industries, including software, hardware manufacturing, telecommunications, and more. 

ViVID Service Mapping by Virima is an intuitive, easy-to-use tool that helps you quickly identify, understand, and resolve risks to your IT service availability. It integrates with your systems management tools such as ITSM or other system monitoring tools to automatically display alerts that could impact service availability, before the effects are realized. 

ViVID Service Mapping helps you monitor changes in your IT infrastructure, enabling root causes of service interruptions to be identified quickly and easily.

Also read: Why ViVID Service Mapping should be your next big investment?

ViVID helps you to simplify and automate the complex process of understanding your big data environment. ViVID automatically discovers service relationships, dependencies, and critical assets and services. These are surfaced in an intuitive canvas which supports full visibility into your entire organization’s service portfolio, including external dependencies.Do all this and a lot more with ViVID Service Mapping! Reach out to Virima today and find out how service mapping can help your business.

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