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  • Julian Talbot

Improve Your Risk Management Strategy with the CASE Risk Identification Methodology

Risk assessment is an important part of managing potential threats to your organization. However, a common problem in risk assessment is the inability to articulate the risk clearly. This can lead to confusion and disagreement among stakeholders when trying to assess and mitigate the risk.

Without clear, specific risk statements, stakeholders may interpret the risk differently and how it should be managed. This can lead to confusion and disagreement, hindering the risk assessment and preventing effective risk mitigation.


For example, if a risk statement is "cybersecurity," it is too broad and vague to provide meaningful information about the risk. This could lead to misunderstandings and differing opinions about the severity and likelihood of the risk, as well as the appropriate controls and mitigation strategies.


On the other hand, if the risk statement is more specific and clearly outlines the potential consequences, it will be easier for stakeholders to understand and agree on the risk and how to manage it. This can help to streamline the risk assessment process and ensure that risks are effectively identified and mitigated.


One way to improve the clarity of risk statements is to use the CASE methodology, which stands for Consequence, Asset, Source, and Event.

This method considers four key elements of a risk statement. The likely impact (consequence) of risk on specific assets, the source of the risk, and the specific event that could trigger the risk. By being specific and thorough in your risk statements, you can better ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page and can effectively manage the risk.


Here are some examples of well-written risk statements using the CASE methodology:

  • "A cyber attack resulting from a successful phishing attempt could have severe consequences on our company's reputation and financial assets. The source of this risk is cyber criminals, and the triggering event is an employee clicking on a malicious link in a phishing email. We have existing controls, such as network security protocols and employee training, to prevent this event from occurring."

  • "The risk of storm damage to our manufacturing facility could significantly impact our production capabilities and revenue. The source of this risk is the weather, and the triggering event is a natural disaster such as a major storm or hurricane. The severity of this risk is moderate, and we have existing controls such as emergency response plans and backup systems in place to minimize the impact of this event."

  • "The risk of an employee accidentally spilling hazardous chemicals could have a major impact on our health and safety objectives. The source of this risk is inadequate competence (training), and the triggering event is an employee mishandling hazardous materials. The severity of this risk is high, but the likelihood is low. We have existing controls such as safety systems, personal protective equipment, storage protocols, and training to prevent this event from occurring."

By following the CASE methodology and providing specific, thorough risk statements, you can more effectively communicate and manage risks within your organization.

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