Defense Risk Control Strategy

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Defense risk control strategy attempts to prevent the exploitation of a vulnerability. In this lesson, we'll talk more about this strategy and the three common approaches to implementing it successfully.

Avoid, Avoid!

We've all been there: You're cruising down the aisle at the grocery store on Sunday morning, probably wearing the same ratty sweats you've been lounging in all weekend (so vulnerable!) - when it happens. You spot that one person you absolutely don't want to run into at the other end of the store. But you're in no mood for that person right now (and then having to waste time pretending you're happy to see them). You just want to grab your potato chips and get back to your house. Do you:

A. Sigh and make a beeline for the person, and just face up to your worst scenario?

B. Hold your breath, save yourself the hassle, and hightail it the other way before it's too late?

OK, so maybe I've been confronted with this situation a time or 12, but we've all been there. You know the feeling - when we just want to get in and get out without running into THAT person. We become masters of avoidance, peeking down aisles to see where they are, slipping away just before they see us, even checking out prematurely with something we had no intention of buying - just to get out of there.

Businesses can't exactly hide from impending circumstances the way people can, but when it comes to information security, businesses can certainly try to avoid them. What do I mean? Read on.

Risk Control

Part of doing business is understanding there are risks that go along with it. Certainly businesses must face more than their fair share of risks where technology and information security are concerned. What sort of risks? Unnecessary risks can be as uncontrollable and common as weak passwords, malware, hackers, theft, computer crashes ... and the list goes on.

Most security departments have some type of risk management process that typically includes identifying the risks they're faced with, and then ranked them from most to least risky. From there, companies have to decide how to handle the risks they've identified and ranked. Do they transfer the risk to an outside vendor? What about mitigating the risk to reduce its potential impact? Maybe they've decided to accept the risk and keep their fingers crossed?

Or, perhaps they go on the defensive - with a defense risk control strategy, that is.

What is Defense Risk Control Strategy?

Defense risk control strategy occurs when a department or business tries to avoid the risk altogether by preventing the vulnerability that has been identified from being exploited. For example, the security team may opt to add an extra layer of password protection, restrict data access to those who really need access, or even install anti-virus/anti-malware software to better safeguard everything.

A healthcare provider, for instance, is responsible for a lot of sensitive patient data. And, they regularly have to transmit this data to specialists, medical transcriptionists, insurance companies, and other vendors. In an effort to avoid the risk of data being intercepted or leaked, the healthcare provider might opt to utilize encryption technology to keep the risks associated with transporting data from being exploited.

If you think about it, you probably engage in many defensive risk control strategies, even at home: a password to safeguard your network, anti-virus software to prevent malware from wrecking your devices, and updates to your operating systems to make sure all the security patches are up to date. At the simplest level, these are defensive maneuvers we do every day in an attempt to eliminate or reduce the chance that unnecessary risk will enter the picture.

Three Types of Risk Defense

When we think about risk defense, we're looking at three primary approaches:

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