Gartner Research

Risk Management: Concepts and Frameworks

Published: 05 September 2007

ID: G00203354

Analyst(s): Bob Blakley


In this overview, Principal Analyst Bob Blakley discusses approaches to risk management for information technologies. This overview reviews and codifies the existing body of knowledge and experience and presents an overview of tools and techniques available to support and document the decision-making process. It suggests an approach to risk management of increasing rigor when threats and consequences justify the effort, provides some straightforward decision guidelines, and identifies common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Table Of Contents



  • Poor Risk Management Leads to Losses
  • Security Changes Accompany Business and IT Changes
  • Risk Management Isn't Just About Technology
  • The Structure of IT Security Risk and Risk Management
  • Choosing the Form of Risk Management
  • Selecting a Risk Management Approach
  • Threats and Consequences
  • Reassessing Risks and Risk Management Decisions
  • Common Errors and Mitigation Strategies
  • A Map of the Risk Mitigation Space
  • Risk Management in the Enterprise IT Project
  • A Conceptual Framework

The Details

  • Organizational Processes and Motivation for Risk Management Processes
  • Failure of Quantitative Analysis
  • Foundations of IT-Related Risks
    • Threats
    • Vulnerabilities
    • Consequences
    • An Example
    • Risks
  • Risk Management Strategies
    • Risk Transfer
    • Risk Avoidance
    • Risk Reduction
    • Risk Acceptance
  • Limitations on Risk Management
    • Excessive or Inappropriate Grouping of Risk Components
    • Overestimating the Capabilities of Threats
    • Habituation
    • Neglect of Effective Protection
    • Misinterpretation of Statistical Data
    • Basis for Decisions Not Carried Forward
    • Effects of Time Are Ignored
    • Incremental Changes Underestimated
    • Interdependencies and Complexity Underestimated
    • Reactive Approaches Fail
    • Excessive Trust in Insiders and Business Partners
    • Lack of Attention to Business Risks and Inadequate High-Level Focus
    • Error Summary
  • Approaches to Risk Analysis
    • Due Diligence Approaches
    • Probabilistic Risk Analysis
    • Expert-Facilitated Risk Assessment
    • Scenario-Based Risk Assessment
    • Covering Approaches to Analyzing Protection
    • Game Theoretic Approaches
    • Systems Analysis
    • Protection Posture Assessments
    • Risk Management Approaches Summary
  • A Model-Based Approach
    • IT Risk Modeling
    • Evaluating These Models
  • The Basis for Analysis
    • Modeling Techniques and Classification Schemes
    • The Limited Ability to Understand Outcomes
  • Choosing a Risk Mitigation Approach
  • When to Choose Which Risk Management Process
  • Dynamics of Risk and Risk Management
  • Supporting Tools and Consulting
    • Typical Tools
    • Assistance
  • Further Reading


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