Gartner Research

Managing Non-Quantifiable Security Risks

Published: 11 January 2007

ID: G00203260

Analyst(s): Bob Blakley

Summary

Some security exposures can be completely understood; both their probability and their consequences can be accurately estimated. Many security exposures are harder to manage: they occur rarely, their probability cannot be accurately estimated, and their consequences are severe or catastrophic. Many businesses underinvest in or overcontrol these exposures. Maximum impact analysis and game-theoretic analysis can help businesses control non-quantifiable security risks.

Table Of Contents

Synopsis

Analysis

  • Classical Risk Management Techniques Don't Handle Security Exposures Well
    • Security Risks Are Hard to Quantify
  • Allocating Resources to Mitigating Security Risk Is Hard
    • Techniques Which Do Not Depend on Probability of Occurrence Are Needed
  • Recommendations

The Details

  • Risk
    • Classical Risk
    • Security Risk
    • Non-Quantifiable Risks
  • Management Issues Arising From Non-Quantifiable Risks
    • The Fallacy of Induction
    • Skewness
    • Survivorship Bias
  • Managing Non-Quantifiable Risks
    • Management Techniques Which Do Not Require Quantification of a Risk's Probability

Conclusion

Notes

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