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From the IT security perspective, risk management is the process of understanding and responding to factors that may lead to a failure in the confidentiality, integrity or availability of an information system. IT security risk is the harm to a process or the related information resulting from some purposeful or accidental event that negatively impacts the process or the related information. 

The principle reason for managing risk in an organization is to protect the mission and assets of the organization. Therefore, risk management must be a management function rather than a technical function.  It is vital to manage risks to systems. Understanding risk, and in particular, understanding the specific risks to a system allow the system owner to protect the information system commensurate with its value to the organization. The fact is that all organizations have limited resources and risk can never be reduced to zero. So, understanding risk, especially the magnitude of the risk, allows organizations to prioritize scarce resources. Risk is assessed by identifying threats and vulnerabilities, then determining the likelihood and impact for each risk.

Successful and effective risk management is the basis of successful and effective IT security.  Due to the reality of limited resources and nearly unlimited threats, a reasonable decision must be made concerning the allocation of resources to protect systems.