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ERM enables management to effectively deal with uncertainty and associated risk and opportunity and thereby enhancing the capacity to build value COSO, Furthermore, according to COSO , p.


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Enhancing risk response decisions — Enterprise risk management provides the rigor to identify and select among alternative risk responses — risk avoidance, reduction, sharing, and acceptance. Reducing operational surprises and losses — Entities gain enhanced capability to identify potential events and establish responses, reducing surprises and associated costs or losses.

Identifying and managing multiple and cross-enterprise risks — Every enterprise faces a myriad of risks affecting different parts of the organization, and enterprise risk management facilitates effective response to the interrelated impacts, and integrated responses to multiple risks. Seizing opportunities — By considering a full range of potential events, management is positioned to identify and proactively realize opportunities. Improving deployment of capital — Obtaining robust risk information allows management to effectively assess overall capital needs and enhance capital allocation.

ERM deals with risks and opportunities affecting value creation or preservation.


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  5. Existing reporting systems are used to report achievement of objectives and management of identified risks. Operational — this relates to the management of risks associated with the DET business units Regions and Directorates meeting their specific objectives. Specialist Areas — to support both Strategic and Operational risk management, DET has established specific policies, procedures and guidelines to ensure effective management of risks relating to: occupational health and safety. Section 3 presents the result from the IT risk categorisation and elaborates on each risk categories and examples of situations which the risks might occur.

    Risk management basics: What exactly is it?

    From the literature analysis, we attempt to provide comprehensive IT risk factors into major IT risk categories. The findings suggest that IT risks generally originate from I technical or operational hardware, software and systems ; II data and information security; and III organisation, project, legal and human or people sides.

    This is further elaborated under each category in the following sections. Due to a large number of relevant literatures available, we only provide a non-exhaustive list of selected literature for the categorical risk example which is shown in Table 1 below. Large IT risks originate from technical or operational risks in hardware, software and systems.

    In hardware, this can be in terms of faulty or defect products that can affect other hardware and systems within the same or networked environment. Even though manufacturing warranties do cover products defects after purchases, electrical short circuit in the hardware, for instance, could pose threats to other hardware, software and systems as well as data and information. Furthermore, the complexity of our technological organisation and society has forced us to deal with coupled and interconnected systems of systems whose likelihood of failure is ever increasing.

    The dominance of IT in our business and commerce has also created an almost critical-path dependency across our interconnected IS and critical infrastructures.

    Fundamentals of Risk and Insurance

    For example, banking and finance institutions depend on the information infrastructure to operate their systems, reliable telecommunications depend on electricity and the electric utilities depend on a reliable source of energy. This networked systems and environments apply to most organisations nowadays even to small businesses with peer to peer or client-server and shared computers and peripherals.

    Therefore, computer security has become an important issue in this networked environment. The proliferation of personal computers, local area networks and distributed processing has drastically changed the way we manage and control information resources. Internal controls that were effective in the centralised, batch-oriented mainframe environment of yesteryears are inadequate in the distributed computing environment of today. Attacks on computer systems and networks are on the rise and the sophistication of these attacks continues to escalate to alarming levels.

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    As more organizations share information electronically and autonomous computer networks work their way into our everyday lives, a common understanding of what is needed and expected in securing information technology resources is required. This is because the world of computers has changed dramatically over the decades.

    Twenty years ago, most computers were centralised and managed by data centers. Computers were kept in locked rooms and staffs of people made sure they were carefully managed and physically secured. However, in the computing world of today, autonomous network communications are setting the standards on how we interact with one another in a global environment. An effective security plan can successfully provide adequate safeguards to protect an organization's vital resources and assets. An ineffective security plan increases the economic costs associated with software vulnerabilities.

    It decreases the efficiency of an organisation and does not protect the resources and assets of the organisation. Inadequate protection of system resources compromises information obtained through email, research data and configuration data, services obtained via IS and applications and equipment such as computers and networking components.

    Institute of Risk Management (IRM)

    In addition, components vital to an organisation such as confidentiality, integrity, authenticity and availability are also compromised. Hence, an effective computer security plan protects an organisation's valuable resources, such as information, hardware and software. Furthermore, it also strengthens the aforementioned vital components of an organisation.

    Through the selection and application of appropriate safeguards, a security plan helps the organization's mission by protecting its physical and financial resources, reputation, legal position, employees and other tangible and intangible assets. An effective security procedure reduces the economic costs associated with software vulnerabilities. For instance, the common threats to IS and computer networks can be classified into the Accidental, Intentional, Passive and Active categories. Accidental threats are losses due to malfunctions or errors.

    Some examples of accidental threats are power failures, hardware vulnerabilities in network switches, routers and other hardware components, software failures and natural threats such as fires and flooding. Intentional threats cause damage or corruption to computer assets. Sabotage is a type of intentional threat that uses small virus programs often propagated by unsuspecting users. Denial of Service DoS is another form of intentional threat that causes loss of availability of service.

    Some examples of DoS include e-mail spamming and network packet attacks aimed at host vulnerabilities. Passive threats do not change the state of the system.

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    They may include loss of confidentiality but not the loss of integrity or availability. An example of a passive threat is traffic analysis, a form of eavesdropping in which an analysis of traffic patterns is used to infer information that is not explicit. Another instance of a passive threat is replay which is the repetition of valid messages in order to gain unauthorised access and masquerade as another entity.

    Unlike passive threats, active threats change the state of the system. These include changes to the data and software. Some examples of active threats are Trojan horses and trapdoor software, both of which alter parts of the system to allow unauthorised access. Security threats that are common today differ from those in earlier times.

    With worldwide Internet connections, anyone can gain access into an organisation's computer system from anywhere in the world and steal passwords although the building may be physically secured. Thus, even though physical security accomplished its objective in this scenario, the network is still not secure. Viruses and worms can be passed from machine to machine.

    In this information and knowledge era, organisational and individual data and information are available in digital forms. In many instances they are available on networked environement. Thus, they are susceptible to theft, misuse, abuse, modification, improper disclosure, fraud and others. It is, therefore, important that this risk is minimised in any organisation. One important method to curb this risk is through digital certificates and signatures whereby only certified authorised names are allowed to access any particular privileged authorised data and information.

    Moreover, most organisations nowadays also impose access level security controls on their networks and enterprise resource planning or other systems such as accounting, operations, human resource, marketing and management. Data administrator levels are also controlled between higher, middle and lower level staff. Nevertheless, sophisticated hackers, spyware and other sniffing tools are always on the lookout for data and information intrusions.

    Any irregularities must be reported and taken action immediately to avoid foreseeable losses due to data and information theft and intrusions either from inside or outside the organisations. The purpose of any IT standard is, for example, to provide steps that employees must take to avoid inappropriate release of private and confidential organisational information.

    The focus of the standard is on the sensitive information that exists in a digital form, whether stored in a database, used in an application, transmitted over a network, or used in a report.

    enter Organisations and individuals information must be protected from any inappropriate sharing, releasing or use. When the information exists in a digital or electronic format, additional steps must be taken to ensure the protection of the information from loss, corruption, or inappropriate disclosure. Understanding the risks involved in handling information in digital form includes an appreciation of the greatly increased vulnerability made possible by technological conveniences that offer portability, easy copying, and wide—potentially global— distribution.

    The lack of reliable and current data often precludes precise determinations of which information security risks are the most significant and comparisons of which controls are the most cost-effective. Because of these limitations, it is important that organizations identify and employ methods that efficiently achieve the benefits of risk assessment while avoiding costly attempts to develop seemingly precise results that are of questionable reliability. Thus, all organisations and individuals information must be handled with appropriate security and access controls, and with attention to safeguarding confidentiality.


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    No information should be exposed inappropriately. Information that is not protected by law or regulation should, nonetheless, be protected against inappropriate exposure. These types of risks originate from or within the organisations, projects and people. In an organisational environment, the policies, procedures, regulations, cultures and others, if not carefully designed, can pose risks to IT environment. Building security, access controls, electrical fittings, for example, can become sources of threats to IT hardware and software. Organisational type, vertical or hierachical, sizes, structures and building occupational health and safety implementation can result in different level of risks.

    In many organisations that create a proper IT division or department, the risks are minimised by the hands of professionally-trained staff. It is important for all staff to adhere to all IT security and controls policies and guidelines imposed by the management. Therefore, many small organisations are at risk of having their computer systems, hardware and software misused, abused, fraud, improperly installed and others. On project risk, the sources of risks can originate from any sources in the project cycles or processes.

    Project panel and stakeholders must carry out due diligence exercise on feasibility of projects to reduce risks.