R006. Identify threats to assets


Threats to information assets must be identified and documented


The organization must model a representative structure that includes all the information that impacts the assets' integrity, availability and confidentiality. Once the information is collected, organized and processed, the organization will be empowered to make informed decisions about the assets' security risks.


  1. A threat is an external factor that can take advantage of a weakness to inflict damage. When threats are known they can be monitored in order to allow for an immediate reaction in case the threat becomes a reality. In the same manner, it is possible to identify possible weaknesses or vulnerabilities that can be leveraged by the threat and define controls to mitigate it.

  2. The existing threats are usually divided according to their scope of action:

    • Environmental threats (Physical Security).

    • System threats (Logical Security).

    • Network threats (Communications).

    • Human threats (Internal personnel and External).

The identification of threats is done for each of the previously identified assets. The organization can identify threats by first evaluating the historical record of incidents and deciding which were the external causes that were established and put the asset’s integrity at risk. After identifying the causes, it is highly recommended to document them in a threat catalog.

It is recommended that threats be classified according to the types of assets in such a way that the catalog can be easily used to identify risks.

It is important that the threat catalog be kept updated so it can be used in the risks assessment.


Diagram 1


  • Consulting - Learn Basic Risk Theory

  • ISO 27005 - Risk management for an ISMS with ISO 27005

Abuse Cases

An anonymous person or employee executes actions that attempt against the security of any of the organization’s information assets. Due to this situation the controls that were put in place for their protection are not effective since the current threat was not previously identified.


  • Layer: Resource layer

  • Asset: Information assets

  • Scope: Adherence

  • Phase: Analysis

  • Type of control: Procedure

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