II.A.1 Threats

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a threat is any circumstance or event with the potential to create loss.NIST SP (Special Publication) 800-30, revision 1, "Information Security: Guide for Conducting Risk Assessments," September 2012. A threat can be a natural occurrence, technology or physical failure, a person with intent to harm, or a person who unintentionally causes harm. Information about threats is available from public and private sources. Public sources include the news media, blogs, government publications and announcements, and various websites. Private sources include information security vendors and information-sharing organizations.

The threat identification process is a means to collect data on potential threats that can assist management in its identification of information security risks. Threat modeling is a structured approach that enables an institution to aggregate and quantify potential threats. Institutions should consider using threat modeling to better understand the nature, frequency, and sophistication of threats; evaluate the information security risks to the institution; and apply this knowledge to the institution's information security program. As threats evolve rapidly, however, it is understood that modeling may not account for attacks that have not previously been seen, such as zero-day attacks, but could have significant impacts.



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II.A.2 Vulnerabilities