Gartner Research

Comparing Methodologies for IT Risk Assessment and Analysis

Published: 30 January 2014

ID: G00256964

Analyst(s): Anne Elizabeth Robins, Ben Tomhave, Erik Heidt


Technical professionals are often asked to research, recommend, implement and execute IT risk assessment and analysis processes. Here we compare and contrast common methodologies, highlighting attributes that readily integrate with risk management programs, as well as scale and evolve over time.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • "Q" Type, Ramp-Up Time and Cycle Time
  • Cultural Fit: The True Differentiator


  • Overall IT Risk Management Process Context
    • Process Presence and Alignment Are Critical
    • Risk Assessment vs. Risk Analysis
    • Meaningful Output Is Essential to Success
    • Scale and Continuous Improvement
    • Centralized vs. Decentralized Approaches
  • Formal vs. Informal Methods: The Case for Triaging
  • Common Errors and Misconceptions
  • Context and Process Are Essential
  • Start Somewhere, and Then Operationalize It
  • Employ a Two-Tier Approach
  • Find Your Inner Quant
  • Good Tools Enable Good Practices

The Details

  • Noteworthy Excluded Methods
  • In-Scope Methods
    • FAIR
    • ISF IRAM
    • ISO/IEC 31000:2009 and 27005:2011
    • NIST Special Publication 800-30
    • OCTAVE Allegro
    • RiskSafe

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