Planned objective;

“Planned objective could be any aspect of an enterprise’s financial, strategic, operational processes, products etc.”


Sources of risks are basically the areas from where risks can occur.  

Identification of sources of risk is a very important step in risk management process. 

It gives information about possible threats, vulnerabilities and accordingly risk management strategy may be adopted.

Some of the common sources of risk are;

a. Commercial and Legal Relationships,     

b. Economic Circumstances, 

c. Human Behavior, 

d. Natural Events, 

e. Political Circumstances, 

f. Technology and Technical Issues, 

g. Management Activities and Controls, and 

h. Individual Activities.

Characteristics of Risk:

Broadly, risk has the following characteristics:

a. Potential loss: Potential loss that exists as the result of threat/vulnerability process.

b. Uncertainty of loss:  Uncertainty of loss which is expressed in terms of probability of such loss.

c. Probability/likelihood: Probability that a threat agent mounting a specific attack against a particular system.

Types of Risks

Broad categorization of risks:

A. Business Risks 

B. Technology Risk

C. Data related risks

Business Risks: 

Businesses face various kinds of risks which may be financial, strategical, and regulatory etc in nature. Various types of business risks are:

I. Strategic Risk 

II. Financial Risk

III. Regulatory Risk

IV. Operational Risk 

V. Hazard Risk

VI Residual Risk

Sr. No.

Risk type



Strategic Risk

These are the risks that would prevent an organization from accomplishing its objectives.

Example: Competitive risk: Inability to respond move of competitor.


Financial Risk

Risk that could result in a negative financial impact to the organization (waste or loss of assets).

Example: Liquidity risk, interest rates, credit risk, market risk etc.


Regulatory Risk

It is also called as compliance risk. It is risk that could expose the organization to fines and penalties from government due to non-compliance with laws and regulations.

Example: GST violation.



Operational Risk

Risk that could prevent the organization from operating in the most effective and efficient manner or be disruptive to other operations due to inefficiencies or breakdown in internal processes, people and systems.

Example: Lack of or faulty BCP.


Hazard Risk

Risks those are insurable.

Example: Natural disasters, Insurable liabilities, terrorism etc.



Residual Risk

It refers to the risk remaining even after the counter measures are analyzed and implemented.


Management of risk focuses on reducing the impact what organization would face otherwise when safeguard is lacking. An organization’s management of risk should consider these two areas:

a. Acceptance of residual risk and

b. Selection of safeguards.

100% elimination of risk is not possible and even after implementation of safeguard some residual risks remain. Here management needs to have clear focus on keeping residual risk at an acceptable level so to manage it.


B. Technology Risk

In modern world technology is a key enabler of business. 

It is used in business process automation which also raises certain challenges.

With continuous innovation in technology, increased complexity, dependence on vendors etc., the business processes and standards adapted by enterprises should consider various new set of IT risks and challenges like:

Sr. No.




Downtime due to technology failure

®    In case any equipment, server, machine etc., fails then information system facilities become unavailable called as downtime. It’s very important to keep up-time high and down-time as low as possible.



Frequent changes or obsolescence of technology

®    If anything that doesn’t change then that is change it-self.

®    Technology is changing continuously and everyday new things are being introduced and existing is becoming obsolete quickly.

®    Ever changing technology brings in challenge to select technology in a properly planned way and keeping future in mind so to avoid loss.


Multiplicity and complexity of systems

®    Companies now days are using multiple digital platforms like we see in case of banking system which makes it quite complex.

®    This requires both personnel and vendors involvement.

®    The personnel should have knowledge about requisite technology skills or the management of the technology could be outsourced to a company having the relevant skill set or combination may be used.


Different types of controls for different types of technologies/systems

®    There comes need to apply different types of controls as per the kind of technology or system deployed.


Proper alignment with business objectives and legal/regulatory requirements

®    A system is designed, developed and deployed considering objectives to be achieved but at the same time it should also comply with legal requirements.

®    Creating a proper alignment between business requirements and legal requirements is a challenge for business.


Dependence on vendors due to outsourcing of IT services

®    In an automated environment organization needs to highly qualified employees with specialized domain skills to manage systems and IT resources and the problem is organization usually lacks it which results into outsourcing it to vendor.

®    Outsourcing results into over dependence on vendor which gives rise to vendor risk.


Vendor related concentration risk

®    Organization depends on multiple vendors for different types of services like network, system software, application software and hardware etc.

®    This results in higher risks due to heavy dependence on vendors.



Segregation of Duties (SoD)

®    SoD is basically splitting of tasks with clearly defined roles, authority and responsibility.

®    Like in case of banking transaction It doesn’t allow a single employee to initiate, authorize and disburse a loan, the possibility of misuse cannot be ignored.


External threats leading to cyber frauds/ crime

®    Technology and online systems has its own disadvantages as well like cyber-crime and frauds.


Higher impact due to intentional or unintentional acts of internal employees

®    End users are not very security conscious and employees in a technology environment are the weakest link in an enterprise.


New social engineering techniques employed to acquire confidential credentials

®    Fraudsters use new social engineering techniques such as socializing with employees and extracting information which is used unauthorized to commit frauds.


Need for governance processes to manage technology and information security

®    Security can’t exists in vacuum and must be part of a larger risk management strategy driven by company’s goals and vision.

®    And hence we say controls should be implemented from business perspective and not just from technology and function perspective.

®    The senior management should be involved in directing how technology is deployed in and approve appropriate policies.


Need to ensure business continuity in the event of major exigencies

®    A well-documented BCP should be planned, implemented and monitored to ensure resilience.

C. Data related risks: These include Physical access of data and Electronic access of data.

Risk Management and Related Terms

Various terminologies relating to risk management are:

Sr. No.




Risk Management

®    It refers to the process of assessing risk, taking steps to reduce risk to an acceptable level and maintaining that level of risk.



®    Asset can be defined as something of value to the organization.

®    Assets may include hardware, software, facilities, employees etc

®    Irrespective the nature of the assets they all have one or more of the following characteristics;

a.            Recognized to be of value to organization.

b.            Not easily replaceable without cost, skill, time,   resources or a combination.

c.             Form a part of the organization’s corporate identity.

d.            Their   data classification would normally be Proprietary, Highly confidential or even Top Secret.




®    Vulnerability is the weakness in the system safeguards that renders the system susceptible to attack.

®    Vulnerabilities potentially “allow” a threat to harm or exploit the system.

®    Some examples of vulnerabilities are;

a.            Poor physical access control.

b.            Short and weak passwords.

r Vulnerability is a state in a computing system (or set of systems), which must have at least one condition, out of the following:


a.              Allows an attacker to execute commands as another user


b.              Allows an attacker to access data that is contrary to the specified access restrictions for that data


c.               Allows an attacker to pose as another entity


d.        Allows an attacker to conduct a denial of  service.



®    Threat can be any entity, circumstances, an action, event or condition which cause harm or have potential to harm system or it’s components.

®    It effects quality and have ability to inflict harm to the organization.

®    Threat has capability to attack on a system with intent to harm.



®    An exposure is the extent of loss the enterprise has to face when a risk materializes.



®    It is the estimation of the probability that the threat will succeed in achieving an undesirable event.



®    An attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to the system’s services.

®    It is a set of actions designed to compromise CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity or Availability), or any other desired feature of an information system.

®    It is the act of trying to defeat Information Systems safeguards.


Counter Measure

®    An action, device, procedure, technique or other measure that reduces the vulnerability of a component or system is referred as Counter Measure.

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