Risk Assessment Methodologies: A Comparison

I came across another interesting report from the Burton Group. This one was "Risk Assessment Methodologies: A Comparison." Here's how they describe their findings:

Bottom Line: The operating phrase for using a risk assessment methodology is a “good starting point.” Enterprises will find value in the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), Information Security Forum (ISF), or Operationally Critical Threat, Asset, and Vulnerability Evaluation (OCTAVE) risk assessment frameworks, but each will need care and feeding for apt use. If system-level assessments are the goal, NIST and ISF are good bets. If enterprise-wide IT or information risk needs consideration, then ISACA's Risk IT should receive attention. OCTAVE's flexibility makes it good for a wide variety of uses, but it comes with some steep homework. Enterprises should choose a framework that correctly targets their assessment scope, complements their chosen control framework, and helps to socialize the risk assessment effort across the organization.

I've always been curious about how the various risk assessment methodologies would compare, and it really shouldn't be too surprising that each has its own particular strengths and weaknesses. After all, if one methodology was clearly better, it would probably end up being the only one used while people would lose interest in the others. So the fact that several methodologies exist is essentially proof that each has some area in which it excels, and this report seems to be a good summary of exactly what those areas are.

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