"Nist Risk Assessment Template"

What Is NIST Risk Assessment?

A NIST Risk Assessment refers to a system of evaluating the security of your company following the regulations established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Obligatory for all government contractors and entities that have business deals with the government, this analysis will help you recognize the risks you may face any day of work and prepare your management to deal with security and privacy threats.

Alternate Name:

  • NIST Security Risk Assessment.

You can download a printable NIST Risk Assessment template through the link below. You will be able to discover the most vulnerable points in your security system, determine a timeline to collect evidence and find which improvements are possible and affordable, mitigate the negative consequences of any issue the company may encounter, and monitor the safety of the entity in the future.

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How to Perform a NIST Risk Assessment?

Go through the NIST Risk Assessment Checklist to identify hazards and assess risks in accordance with the NIST standards and practices:

  1. Indicate the date the assessment takes place. State the name of the employee in charge of the risk assessment.
  2. Write down the purpose of the procedure - your goal is to understand how big is the security risk to your company and learn what information technology will minimize the risk to your business, its mission, and day-to-day activities.
  3. Describe the scope of the evaluation - for example, you can list all the valuable assets the organization possesses that can be harmed by cyberattacks and lead to monetary loss.
  4. Outline the threats to your entity - harmful human actions, accidental human errors, system failure, etc. You may use a scale to indicate the level of risk - from very low to very high.
  5. Find out about the vulnerabilities of your organization. Are you ready to confront threats right away? If not, you might need to purchase new equipment that can withstand the attacks better, limit access to the most sensitive data your organization keeps in digital form and hard copy, and train personnel to teach them how to identify flaws of the system and protect the interests of the business.
  6. Conduct interviews with employees responsible for cybersecurity. They will tell you about their experience of dealing with software and confidential information on a daily basis - this way, you will learn about potential issues first-hand. Record their observations and assess them to find out what measures you are ready to take to avoid more problems in the future.
  7. List uncertainties you have faced during the evaluation and explain how they will affect your decisions from now on.
  8. Add tables and graphs that will let the company management see the potential risks - for instance, the likelihood of a cyberattack in case all employees have the same level of access to confidential data.
  9. Make a list of references to relevant NIST regulations you have used during the evaluation. Name employees who conducted the risk assessment and add their contact details.

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NIST Risk Assessment
The first step in the risk assessment process is to prepare for the assessment. The
objective of this step is to establish a context for the risk assessment. This context is
established and informed by the results from the risk framing step of the risk management
process. Risk framing identifies, for example, organizational information regarding
policies and requirements for conducting risk assessments, specific assessment
methodologies to be employed, procedures for selecting risk factors to be considered, the
scope of the assessments, the rigor of analyses, the degree of formality, and the
requirements that facilitate consistent and repeatable risk determinations across the
organization. Organizations use the risk management strategy to the extent practicable to
obtain information to prepare for the risk assessment.
Preparing for a risk assessment includes the following tasks:
● Identify the purpose of the assessment;
● Identify the scope of the assessment;
● Identify the assumptions and constraints associated with the assessment;
● Identify the sources of information to be used as inputs to the assessment; and
● Identify the risk model and analytic approaches (i.e., assessment and analysis
approaches) to be employed during the assessment.
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NIST Risk Assessment
The first step in the risk assessment process is to prepare for the assessment. The
objective of this step is to establish a context for the risk assessment. This context is
established and informed by the results from the risk framing step of the risk management
process. Risk framing identifies, for example, organizational information regarding
policies and requirements for conducting risk assessments, specific assessment
methodologies to be employed, procedures for selecting risk factors to be considered, the
scope of the assessments, the rigor of analyses, the degree of formality, and the
requirements that facilitate consistent and repeatable risk determinations across the
organization. Organizations use the risk management strategy to the extent practicable to
obtain information to prepare for the risk assessment.
Preparing for a risk assessment includes the following tasks:
● Identify the purpose of the assessment;
● Identify the scope of the assessment;
● Identify the assumptions and constraints associated with the assessment;
● Identify the sources of information to be used as inputs to the assessment; and
● Identify the risk model and analytic approaches (i.e., assessment and analysis
approaches) to be employed during the assessment.
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TEMPLATEROLLER.COM
Conducting the Risk Assessment
The second step in the risk assessment process is to conduct the assessment. The
objective of this step is to produce a list of information security risks that can be
prioritized by risk level and used to inform risk response decisions. To accomplish this
objective, organizations analyze threats and vulnerabilities, impacts and likelihood, and
the uncertainty associated with the risk assessment process.
This step also includes the gathering of essential information as a part of each task and is
conducted in accordance with the assessment context established in the Prepare step of
the risk assessment process. The expectation for risk assessments is to adequately cover
the entire threat space in accordance with the specific definitions, guidance, and direction
established during the Prepare step. However, in practice, adequate coverage within
available resources may dictate generalizing threat sources, threat events, and
vulnerabilities to ensure full coverage and assessing specific, detailed sources, events,
and vulnerabilities only as necessary to accomplish risk assessment objectives.
Conducting risk assessments includes the following specific tasks:
● Identify threat sources that are relevant to organizations;
● Identify threat events that could be produced by those sources;
● Identify vulnerabilities within organizations that could be exploited by threat
sources through specific threat events and the predisposing conditions that could
affect successful exploitation;
● Determine the likelihood that the identified threat sources would initiate specific
threat events and the likelihood that the threat events would be successful;
● Determine the adverse impacts to organizational operations and assets, individuals,
other organizations, and the Nation resulting from the exploitation of
vulnerabilities by threat sources (through specific threat events); and
● Determine information security risks as a combination of the likelihood of threat
exploitation of vulnerabilities and the impact of such exploitation, including any
uncertainties associated with the risk determinations.
The specific tasks are presented in a sequential manner for clarity. However, in practice,
some iteration among the tasks is both necessary and expected. Depending on the purpose
of the risk assessment, organizations may find reordering the tasks advantageous.
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Step 1 - Identifying Threat Sources
Identify and characterize threat sources of concern, including capability, intent, and
targeting characteristics for adversarial threats and range of effects for non-adversarial
threats.
Table A-1 provides a set of exemplary inputs to the threat source identification task:
Provided To
Description
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
From Tier 1 (organization level):
● Sources of threat information deemed to be credible
(e.g., open-source and/or classified threat reports,
previous risk/threat assessments);
● Threat source information and guidance specific to
Tier 1 (e.g., threats related to organizational
governance, core missions/business functions,
management/operational policies, procedures, and
Yes, if not
structures, external mission/business relationships);
No
Yes
provided by
● Taxonomy of threat sources, annotated by the
Tier 2
organization, if necessary;
● Assessment scales for assessing adversary
capability, intent, and targeting, annotated by the
organization, if necessary;
● Assessment scale for assessing the range of effects,
annotated by the organization, if necessary;
● Threat sources identified in previous risk
assessments, if appropriate.
From Tier 2 (mission/business process level):
Yes (via Risk
● Threat source information and guidance specific to
Assessment
Yes (via peer
Yes
Tier 2;
Report
sharing)
(RAR))
● Mission/business process-specific characterization
of adversarial and non-adversarial threat sources.
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From Tier 3 (information system level):
● Threat source information and guidance specific to
Tier 3 (e.g., threats related to information systems,
Yes (via
Yes (via
Yes (via peer
information technologies, information system
RAR)
RAR)
sharing)
components, applications, networks, environments
of operation);
● Information system-specific characterization of
adversarial and non-adversarial threat sources.
Table A-2 provides an exemplary taxonomy that can be used to identify and characterize
threat sources:
Type of Threat
Source Description
Characteristics
Adversarial.
1. Individual:
○ Outsider;
○ Insider;
○ Trusted Insider;
Individuals, groups, organizations, or
○ Privileged
states that seek to exploit the
Insider.
organization’s dependence on cyber
2. Group:
resources (i.e., information in
electronic form, information and
Capability, Intent, Targeting
○ Ad hoc;
communications technologies, and the
communications and
○ Established.
information-handling capabilities
3. Organization:
provided by those technologies).
○ Competitor;
○ Supplier;
○ Partner;
○ Customer.
4. Nation-State.
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Accidental:
Erroneous actions taken by individuals
1. User.
in the course of executing their
Range of effects
everyday responsibilities.
2. Privileged
User/Administrator.
Structural.
1. Information Technology
(IT) Equipment:
○ Storage;
○ Processing;
○ Communications;
○ Display;
○ Sensor;
○ Controller.
Failures of equipment, environmental
controls, or software due to aging,
2. Environmental Controls:
resource depletion, or other
Range of effects
circumstances which exceed expected
○ Temperature
control;
operating parameters.
○ Power supply.
3. Software:
○ Operating
system;
○ Networking;
○ General-purpose
application;
○ Mission-specific
application.
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