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Conducting an ISO 27001 Risk Assessment

Identifying your organisation's risk is key to strengthening its defence

Conducting an ISO 27001 risk assessment- feature image

What is an ISO 27001 Risk assessment?

A risk assessment is a process of identifying and evaluating the risks that could potentially compromise the security of an organisation’s sensitive information.


It involves identifying the assets that need to be protected, the threats that could compromise those assets, and the vulnerabilities that could be exploited by those threats.


An organisation should conduct a risk assessment when implementing an ISMS (information security management system) in accordance with ISO 27001.


The risk assessment should also be conducted regularly (at least once a year) to ensure that the organisation’s ISMS remains effective at protecting information.

Why is an ISO 27001 Risk Assessment Important?

Conducting an ISO 27001 risk assessment is important for many reasons.


It helps organisations identify the risks that could compromise their information security. This includes risks related to human error, natural disasters, cyber attacks, and more.


By identifying these risks, organisations can take steps to mitigate them.


Additionally, an ISO 27001 risk assessment helps organisations comply with legal and regulatory requirements.


An ISO 27001 risk assessment can help organisations improve their overall information security posture.


Finally, by identifying and addressing potential risks, organisations can strengthen their defences against cyber attacks and other security threats. This can help organisations avoid costly data breaches, protect their reputation and make informed decisions about resource allocation, tools, and security control implementation.

How to Conduct an ISO 27001 Risk Assessment

Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Identifying assets. Gather a list of the organisation’s assets that need to be protected, and the threats and vulnerabilities that could compromise those assets. 


  • Identify the risks. This involves identifying all of the potential risks that could compromise the security of your assets. You can use different approaches to do this, which could include interviews with stakeholders, and reviewing past security incidents.


  • Evaluate the risks. Once you have identified the risks, you need to evaluate their likelihood and impact. This will help you prioritise which risks to address first.


  • Develop risk treatment plans. Based on the results of the risk evaluation, you should develop plans to address the highest-priority risks. This may involve implementing new security controls, enhancing existing controls, or transferring the risk to a third party.


  • Monitor and review the risk assessment. It’s important to regularly review and update your risk assessment to ensure that it remains relevant and accurate. This may involve making changes as needed based on new developments.


Conducting an ISO 27001 risk assessment is an essential step to identify and analyse gaps in your ISMS, which can expose vulnerabilities in your systems.


Another important aspect of conducting an ISO 27001 risk assessment is the use of effective risk management tools. These tools can streamline the risk assessment process, automate risk analysis and help organisations identify, evaluate and prioritise risks effectively.



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