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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Managing Risk of Information Systems Security Incidents

Dr. Fariborz Farahmand - Purdue University/CERIAS

Sep 28, 2005


The Internet and information systems have enabled businesses to reduce costs, attain greater market reach, and develop closer business partnerships along with improved customer relationships. However, using the Internet has led to new risks and concerns. This research provides a management perspective on the issues confronting CIOs and IT managers. It develops a model for classification of threats and control measures. It also develops a scheme for probabilistic evaluation of the impact of security threats with some illustrative examples. It involves assessment of information assets and probabilities of success of attacks on those assets in organizations and evaluates the expected damages of these attacks. The research outlines some suggested control measures and presents some cost models for quantifying damages from these attacks and compares the tangible and intangible costs of these attacks. This research also proposes a risk management system for information systems security incidents in five stages: 1- Resource and application value analysis, 2- Vulnerability and risk analysis, 3- Computation of losses due to threats and benefits of control measures, 4- Selection of control measures, and 5- Implementation of alternatives. We are currently developing a formal methodology to estimate the effectiveness of control measures on one or different threats. We are considering parameters for control measures measurements such as, cost, level, and the effectiveness and the tradeoff among these parameters.

About the Speaker

Fariborz Farahmand received his Ph.D. from the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Management at the Krannert School of Management and CERIAS at Purdue University, and a Fellow of I3P, Institution for Information Infrastructure Protection. His research interests are in the security of information systems and databases, vulnerability and risk assessment of information systems, and cost-benefit analysis of information technology investments, particularly in the context of security and control measures.

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