FAIR Risk Assessment


fair risk assessment

What is Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR)?

The Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR) framework helps organizations understand, measure, and analyze cybersecurity risk. The FAIR risk assessment methodology aids companies in making well-timed and informed decisions on how to prevent and remediate various forms of cyber attacks on critical data and systems.

The Factor Analysis of Information methodology first enables you to inventory, categorize, and quantify the specific assets at risk in your organization. The most powerful aspect of the FAIR methodology is that it quantifies various forms of risk with a monetary or dollar value. This helps businesses translate cyber risk into making actionable, financially-sound decisions.

Conducting a FAIR risk analysis won’t just tell you where your weak points are. You’ll be able to prioritize your cyber defense activities, choose cost-effective solutions, and raise the ROI of your cybersecurity tools.

Who Can Adopt a FAIR Model?

Any company looking to understand the scope of risks to its cybersecurity framework can adopt a FAIR model. A FAIR risk assessment is essential to quantifying the level of risk to an organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure and initiating a swift and appropriate mitigation response. 

Schedule A Consultation for A FAIR Cyber Risk Assessment

Why Does FAIR Exist?

The Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR) assessment was designed to quantify risks and define the chances of those risks becoming serious threats. A FAIR risk assessment helps companies minimize all possible chances of risks by identifying the factors contributing to them. 

How Does the FAIR Methodology Work?

A FAIR methodology risk assessment systematically evaluates security risks by:

  • Categorizing the system at risk of threats
  • Identifying the various threats a system may face
  • Rating the level of impact for each risk category
  • Evaluating the control environment
  • Calculating a risk rating

Any organization looking to conduct risk assessments with a high degree of accuracy and precision can rely on the FAIR risk methodology to do so. 

The Four Stages of FAIR Risk Analysis

Factor Analysis of Information Risk analysis takes place in four stages. Completing the four stages of the FAIR framework consists of ten steps as follows:


Stage 1 –
Identify scenario components

  • Identify the asset at risk
  • Identify the threat community under consideration

Stage 2 –
Evaluate Loss Event Frequency (LEF)

  • Estimate the probable Threat Event Frequency (TEF)
  • Estimate the Threat Capability (TCap)
  • Estimate Control strength (CS)
  • Derive Vulnerability (Vuln)
  • Derive Loss Event Frequency (LEF)

Stage 3 –
Evaluate Probable Loss Magnitude (PLM)

  • Estimate worst-case loss
  • Estimate probable loss

Stage 4 –
Derive and Articulate
the Risks

  • Derive and articulate the risks

Completing all four stages of the FAIR risk methodology gives organizations a clear picture of where they’re vulnerable, potential costs of cyberattacks, and which attack vectors to potentially shore up.


Benefits of FAIR Risk Management

The FAIR factor analysis of information risk framework translates cybersecurity risk into the language of business. There’s even a specific FAIR taxonomy that provides clear, actionable descriptions of cybersecurity risk for business users and executives. Here are some of the main benefits of conducting a FAIR assessment with RSI Security

Threat Protection

Use FAIR threat modeling to construct models and analyze complex cyber threat scenarios.

Growth Enablement

The FAIR framework allows fast-growth companies adjust to cyber threats at any give stage.

Business Flexibility

FAIR is an adaptable framework that gives users insights into different ways to prevent attacks.

Cost Efficiency

Understand the financial impact and ROI of each measure and make cost-effective decisions.


Why Work with RSI Security for FAIR Cyber Risk Assessment?

With over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and compliance, RSI Security will help you navigate the FAIR framework, no matter what industry you’re in. RSI Security will systematically guide you through a FAIR assessment, take a portfolio view of your entire organizational risk, and present cyber risk to key stakeholders in a language everyone can understand.

RSI Security will work with your compliance, technology, and executive teams in an open FAIR assessment approach. We’ll help utilize FAIR risk assessment tools that help build advanced risk-based models and understand how time and money spent on various cybersecurity activities will impact your overall risk profile.

A Factor Analysis for Information Risk assessment with RSI Security means you’ll receive personalized, white-glove treatment at a reasonable cost. By tying financial impact to cyber-risk, RSI Security helps businesses and organizations make the right cybersecurity investments.


Download our FAIR Risk Assessment Data Sheet Here

FAIR Cyber Risk Assessment FAQs

Quantifying cyber risks helps organizations become more certain of the potential impact the risks may have on business continuity. Risk quantification comes down to making accurate decisions about potential threat risks and ensuring any potentially compromising vulnerabilities are remediated promptly.

The cost of cybersecurity assessments depends on a range of factors such as the scope of the assessment, the size of your company, and your security needs. 

Cybersecurity assessments may also vary by security standards or regulatory frameworks. Some require more comprehensive control assessments, which increase the overall time spent and costs of evaluation. Ultimately, you should consult with a FAIR risk assessment specialist if you’re looking to conduct an assessment of your cybersecurity infrastructure.

Although FAIR is designed to be accurate and precise, its risk assessments involve significant estimation. Additionally, FAIR does not use numerical data but instead quantifies risk as low, moderate, or high, making it difficult to fully quantify risk.

The NIST CSF is considered one of the most comprehensive security frameworks. However, most organizations that adopt the NIST CSF or other NIST frameworks (SP 800-53, SP 800-171, etc.) face challenges navigating their broad and complex scope. 

FAIR provides a much easier way to quantify security risks and, as such, becomes a useful add-on for NIST compliance. Organizations can use FAIR to understand their security risks relative to the NIST CSF and other related regulations (e.g., CMMC).


Organizations that trust RSI Security

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