Threat vs Vulnerability vs Risk

Threat, vulnerability and risk management practices are meant to achieve a minimum level of protection - this equates to a reduction in the total risk due to the protections offered by implemented controls. Think of this as a "risk management ecosystem" as it pertains to your overall security & compliance efforts. These ecosystem components have unique meanings that need to be understood to reasonably protect people, processes, technology and data.

Risk Management Ecosystem

Understanding the context of how these components integrate can lead to more meaningful discussions and practical risk management activities. The diagram below is meant to show those interactions. It also helps show that compensating controls (e.g., POA&M items) are not bad, since compensating controls can help reasonably mitigate deficiencies.

You can click on the image below for a PDF version that helps visualize this risk management ecosystem, based on how these unique components interact.

 risk vs threat vs vulnerability

Contextual Definitions

Please be a good person and avoid "word crimes" since words matter in compliance:

Questions? Please contact us for clarification so that we can help you find the right solution for your cybersecurity and privacy compliance needs.

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