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The Risk Management Framework consists of five fundamental activity stages:
1. Understand the business context: During this stage, the analyst must extract and describe business goals, priorities, and circumstances in order to understand what kinds of software risks to care about and which business goals are paramount. The purpose of this stage is to gather data to answer all of the important questions.
2. Identify the business and technical risks: The purpose of this stage is identifying risks to help clarify and quantify the possibility that certain events will directly impact business goals. The severity of a business risk should be expressed in financial or project management terms. Business risk identification helps to define and steer use of particular technical methods for extracting, measuring, and mitigating software risk given various software artifacts. It is also important to recognize technical risks. Technical risk identification is supported by the software security touch points.
3. Synthesize and prioritize the risks, producing a ranked set: This stage prioritizes the risks. The prioritization process must take into account which business goals are the most important to the organization, which goals are immediately threatened and how likely technical risks are to manifest themselves in a way that impacts the business. This stage creates as its output lists of all the risks and their appropriate weighting for resolution.
4. Define the risk mitigation strategy: This stage creates a coherent strategy for mitigating the risks in a cost-effective manner. Any mitigation activities must be constrained by the business context and should consider what the organization can afford, integrate and understand. The strategy must also directly identify validation techniques that can be used to demonstrate that risks are properly mitigated.
5. Carry out requried fixes and validate that they are correct: This stage involves carrying out the validation techniques previously identified. The validation stage proves whether the risks have been properly mitigated through artifact improvement and that the risk mitigation strategy is working. Typical metrics during this stage include artifact quality metrics as well as levels of risk mitigation effectiveness.
This Risk Management Framework restarts continuously so that newly arising business and technical risks can be identified and the status of existing risks currently undergoing mitigation can be kept up.
McGraw, G. (2006). Software Security: Building Security In. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley.