Information security is the priority of Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR), a system designed to manage weaknesses in an organization’s digital ecosystem. It primarily involves numbers and figures to help understand risks. To understand the quantification of risks more efficiently, we will explore Open FAIR Risk Analysis tools.
1. Open FAIR™ Risk Analysis Tool
The Open FAIR (Factor Analysis of Information Risk) Body of Knowledge is under the Open Group Security Forum management. As the organization that introduced this framework, it is only fitting to use its principles through the Open FAIR Risk Analysis Tool.
The Open Group Security Forum’s standards for this Risk Analysis Tool are vendor-neutral, official, and received its approval by consensus. Its resources are free and have accompanying information guides in whitepapers, spreadsheets, and associated publications.
Development of the Tool
The Open Group Security Forum began in 2016 to develop the Open FAIR Risk Analysis Tool (click the link to download the tool) and was created to collaborate with Probability Management and San Jose State University.
The purpose of the tool is to accelerate the global adoption of the Open FAIR Standard. For risk managers, the tool is a practical way to apply the principles of the standard. With the complexity of the computations made easier through the Open FAIR Risk Analysis Tool, it is easier to analyze perceived risks within an organization.
How the Tool Works
Adopting the Open FAIR Risk Analysis (O-RA) and the Open FAIR Risk Taxonomy (O-RT), the tool facilitates risk management by way of decomposition and critical thinking. It uses before and after scenarios when doing risk mitigation projects.
The output data can then make its way as export to various formats, including Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Word for reporting purposes.
The tool also allows the estimation and comparison of risks using a visual interface within Microsoft Excel.
Although primed for international use, the tool also has a selection of local currency units to accommodate various countries. It uses currencies because it presents risks in terms of potential financial losses to companies. Part of its effectiveness is that it gives corporate decision-makers a preview of possible economic damages to the company when risks are left unchecked.
If companies can see the potential amount of money they are set to lose because of risks, they will act on it.
The currency units are just the tip of the iceberg. The Open FAIR Risk Analysis Tool also presents a magnitude for potential financial loss such as thousands, millions, and billions.
There are embedded graphs with easy-to-use settings. As required, risk analysts can process the results to their level of granularity. It also has other data results such as the following:
- Average annual loss exposure
- User-defined percentile thresholds of loss
- Chance of exceedance of annual loss
Versatility and Other Benefits
The Open Group Security Forum designed the Risk Analysis Tool with versatility in mind.
Risk management is now more accessible and practical whether the tool’s user is a corporate risk analyst, a university professor, or a professional trainer for risk evaluation.
For additional educational resources, the Open Group[ has also published the Risk Analysis Process Guide that outlines best practices in implementing Open FAIR risk analysis.
The guide is for analysts who may be already familiar with the Open FAIR Body of Knowledge, and accordingly, the Risk Analysis (O-RA) and Risk Taxonomy (O-RT) standards.
Benefits and Features of the Tool
- Visualization of two risk states. It provides previews of both situations before and after the risk.
- Interactive design. A change in an element will affect the overall result to facilitate better risk comparisons. It is helpful for management decisions by allowing “what-if” scenarios.
- SipMath Functionality. The tool uses a statistical engine from Probability Management for the Monte Carlo simulation. This allows accuracy in risk calculations. The SipMath Modeler Tools can improve the features of the spreadsheet within the tool for advanced functions. The Open FAIR international standards are also integrated here.
- Inspectability and Transparency. The tool allows evaluation and critique for all stakeholders. Its design makes risk calculations easy to see for everyone. It also provides for maximum flexibility because users do not have to be online to utilize the tool. This tool will still be functional for areas with Internet connectivity problems or if the company needs to be offsite with clients.
- Security Built Into Microsoft Excel Platform. The tool has versatility because it works for both Windows and Mac systems since it adopts the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet system. The prevalence of Excel will enable licensing and tool suite maintenance to be better. It can also have encryption in place to protect vital corporate information.
The Open Group Standard for Risk Taxonomy (OR-T)
It is essential to study the Open Group Standard for Risk Taxonomy from the Open FAIR framework. It outlines the taxonomy of terminologies that will be vital in understanding risk management and analysis.
Under this standard, the definition of risk is a situation or factor that can cause an adverse effect, usually because of uncertainty or unpredictability.
To make the impact relatable for corporate decision-makers, risks are in terms of monetary amounts. Once a threat occurs, it will result in an economic loss that can severely hamper a company.
These are the primary purposes of the risk taxonomy or OR-T:
- Specify a complete coverage of risks.
Determine the potential interplay and linkage of risk facts that provide a holistic approach to risk analysis for Risk Management teams.
The Open Risk Analysis Technical Standard (O-RA)
This companion standard focuses on the processes that are associated with risk analysis performance. It provides a comprehensive outline of information security risk comprehension.
About the Open Group
The Open Group is a consortium that believes in creating vendor-neutral technology certifications and standards to help industries achieve their business mission and vision.
With over 625 members and established in 1996, the Open Group began with X/Open and the Open Software Foundation merger. Their services list includes technology strategy, innovation, management, research, certification, and test development.
They also provide globally recognized validation for the knowledge, skills, and expertise of IT professionals. Industries prefer job candidates with the Open Group’s accreditation because it is a vote of confidence in their professional advancement and familiarity with important frameworks such as the Open FAIR standard.
2. FAIR Privacy
FAIR Privacy is another tool that uses risk quantification based on the Open FAIR (Factors Analysis in Information Risk) standard. This tool has a PowerPoint deck with an example based on the US Census.
Its primary distinction is that it focuses on the personal privacy risks of personnel instead of organizational risks.
Additionally, FAIR Privacy has an Excel spreadsheet with a comprehensive risk calculator using the Monte Carlo Simulation.
Monte Carlo simulation
If a situation can have different outcomes and cannot yield an easy prediction because of several variables, the Monte Carlo simulation is a viable technique to help understand it.
It is essential to understand the effects of corporate risk by doing a forecasting model. The Monte Carlo simulation is a multiple probability simulation primarily used in engineering, science, finance, and supply chains.
How Calculations Are Made
The Monte Carlo simulation pre-supposes that various outcomes cannot be identified precisely because of random variables. The key is to achieve results by repeating random samples.
A Monte Carlo simulation will specify a random and unpredictable variable and assign a value to it. The risk-based model is then run repeatedly until the most recurring random value appears by doing an average of results to get the estimate.
This is typically done by integrating Microsoft Excel within a risk analysis tool. Data such as drift, variance, standard deviation, and average movement are available by mining with this tool’s help.
Additional resources for the FAIR Privacy tool are available in the PowerPoint deck. For performance improvement, the creators strongly encourage suggestions and feedback about the framework. The analysis of a statistician on the spreadsheet is also welcome.
3. NIST Privacy Risk Assessment Methodology (PRAM)
The NIST Privacy Risk Assessment Methodology or PRAM is a tool that applies the risk model from NISTIR 8032. It effectively aids corporations and organizations to assess, study and rank privacy risks as they happen. It guides decision-makers with the best way to respond to these risk situations with satisfactory solutions.
PRAM can help establish communication and collaboration among personnel and stakeholders of a company about essential aspects such as cybersecurity and data privacy.
The worksheets of the tool include the following:
- Framing Business Objectives
- Organizational Privacy Governance
- Assessing System Design
- Supporting Data Map
- Risk Priority
- Selecting Controls
- Catalog of Problematic Data Actions and Problems
The PRAM is a tool under the guidance of the NIST. The designers of the tool also strongly encourage feedback about its effectiveness.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Under the US Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the PRAM tool. Founded in 1901, NIST is one of the oldest physical science laboratories that has now adapted towards technological advancements, including the digital environment.
Whether the technology is related to energy, health, nanomaterials, computer chips, and even cybersecurity, the NIST is there to oversee the measurement and standards that these industries are using.
NISTIR 8062: Privacy Engineering
An essential document from the NIST is NISTIR 8062 or An Introduction to Privacy Engineering and Risk Management in Federal Systems.
This resource establishes the basis for a common vocabulary to understand and communicate privacy risks within information systems. As far as privacy is concerned, there are three engineering objectives:
- Manageability. There must be the capability for granular administration of sensitive data, including functionalities for altering, deleting, and selective disclosure.
- Predictability. There must be an authorization of reliable assumptions by owners and operations about data and an information system’s processing.
- Dissociability. There must also be personal information processing without associating with users or devices beyond the operating system requirements.
Expert Guidance from RSI Security
Open FAIR Risk Analysis tools facilitate the processing of information during risk management. With all the complexity of managing risk factors, this mathematical assistance is critical.
However, corporate decision-makers can’t leave anything to chance during risk analysis. It is best to have an industry expert’s guidance to get the best results out of risk analysis tools.
RSI Security fits the mold with its more than 20 years of experience in compliance and cybersecurity. If the FAIR framework is still daunting for your organization, we will help you navigate these standards no matter your industry.
Our team of experts will systematically walk you through the FAIR assessment. We will look at your portfolio and assess it for organizational risks, especially within the digital environment. We are the bridge that will help process these complex concepts into a language everyone can understand.
Our Hands-On Approach
RSI Security is adept at collaborating with your executive, technology, and compliance teams using the open FAIR assessment approach.
We will help your company utilize the risk mentioned above assessment tools to help create advanced risk-based models. This will prioritize cost efficiency in your resources because we will optimize your time and money for utmost cybersecurity protection.
With RSI Security, expect a personalized, white-glove treatment at reasonable expenses for a Factor Analysis for Information Risk assessment. We will help you make the correct cybersecurity investments by linking the financial impact of digital risks in the evaluation.