2nd Edition

The Security Risk Assessment Handbook
A Complete Guide for Performing Security Risk Assessments, Second Edition

ISBN 9781439821480
Published May 20, 2011 by CRC Press
495 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

USD $105.00

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Book Description

Conducted properly, information security risk assessments provide managers with the feedback needed to understand threats to corporate assets, determine vulnerabilities of current controls, and select appropriate safeguards. Performed incorrectly, they can provide the false sense of security that allows potential threats to develop into disastrous losses of proprietary information, capital, and corporate value.

Picking up where its bestselling predecessor left off, The Security Risk Assessment Handbook: A Complete Guide for Performing Security Risk Assessments, Second Edition gives you detailed instruction on how to conduct a risk assessment effectively and efficiently. Supplying wide-ranging coverage that includes security risk analysis, mitigation, and risk assessment reporting, this updated edition provides the tools needed to solicit and review the scope and rigor of risk assessment proposals with competence and confidence.

Trusted to assess security for leading organizations and government agencies, including the CIA, NSA, and NATO, Douglas Landoll unveils the little-known tips, tricks, and techniques used by savvy security professionals in the field. He details time-tested methods to help you:

  • Better negotiate the scope and rigor of security assessments
  • Effectively interface with security assessment teams
  • Gain an improved understanding of final report recommendations
  • Deliver insightful comments on draft reports

The book includes charts, checklists, and sample reports to help you speed up the data gathering, analysis, and document development process. Walking you through the process of conducting an effective security assessment, it provides the tools and up-to-date understanding you need to select the security measures best suited to your organization.

Table of Contents

The Need for an Information Security Program
Elements of an Information Security Program
Common Core Information Security Practices
Security Risk Assessment
Related Activities
The Need for This Book
Who Is This Book For?

Information Security Risk Assessment Basics
Phase 1: Project Definition
Phase 2: Project Preparation
Phase 3: Data Gathering
Phase 4: Risk Analysis
Phase 5: Risk Mitigation
Phase 6: Risk Reporting and Resolution

Project Definition
Ensuring Project Success
Project Description

Security Risk Assessment Preparation
Introduce the Team
Review Business Mission
Identify Critical Systems
Identify Assets
Identifying Threats
Determine Expected Controls

Data Gathering
The RIIOT Method of Data Gathering

Administrative Data Gathering
Threats and Safeguards
The RIIOT Method: Administrative Data Gathering

Technical Data Gathering
Technical Threats and Safeguards
The RIIOT Method: Technical Data Gathering

Physical Data Gathering
Physical Threats and Safeguards
The RIIOT Method: Physical Data Gathering

Security Risk Analysis
Determining Security Risk
Creating Security Risk Statements
Team Review of Security Risk Statements

Security Risk Mitigation
Selecting Safeguards
Safeguard Solution Sets
Establishing Security Risk Parameters
Document Review Methodology: Create the Report Using a Top-Down Approach
Assessment Brief
Action Plan

Security Risk Assessment Reporting
Cautions in Reporting
Pointers in Reporting
Report Structure

Security Risk Assessment Project Management
Project Planning
Project Tracking
Taking Corrective Measures
Project Status Reporting
Project Conclusion and Wrap-Up

Security Risk Assessment Approaches
Quantitative vs. Qualitative Analysis Tools
Security Risk Assessment Methods


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Douglas Landoll has nearly two decades of information security experience. He has led security risk assessments and established security programs for top corporations and government agencies. He is an expert in security risk assessment, security risk management, security criteria, and building corporate security programs. His background includes evaluating security at the National Security Agency (NSA), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and other government agencies; co-founding the Arca Common Criteria Testing Laboratory, co-authoring the systems security engineering capability maturity model (SSE-CMM); teaching at NSA’s National Cryptologic School; and running the southwest security services division for Exodus Communications.

Mr. Landoll is currently the president of Veridyn, a provider of network security solutions. He is a certified information systems security professional (CISSP) and certified information systems auditor (CISA). He holds a BS degree from James Madison University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He has published numerous information security articles, speaks regularly at conferences, and serves as an advisor for several high-tech companies.


… this book, now in its second edition, covers a lot of ground for its 450 or so pages: information security, physical and environmental exposures, personnel risk and business continuity. Its author, a one-time senior analyst at the NSA, is clearly highly experienced in managing very large-scale risk assessment exercises. … a valuable guide for those commissioning or planning risk assessment exercises.
— Michael Barwise, BSc, CEng, CITP, MBCS, in InfoSec Reviews, July 2011