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Risk modeling

(also cyber risk modeling)

Risk modeling definition

Risk modeling is a technique used in cybersecurity to predict and assess potential threats and vulnerabilities that a system or network might face. It utilizes mathematical and statistical methods to evaluate the likelihood and impact of various security incidents, allowing organizations to develop informed, proactive strategies for risk management.

See also: internet security, network security protocols

Baseline configuration examples

  • Cybersecurity risk assessments: Companies regularly employ risk modeling to identify areas of vulnerability within their network and develop strategies to mitigate potential breaches.
  • Incident response planning: Risk modeling can be used to anticipate likely attack scenarios and craft appropriate incident response strategies.
  • Business continuity planning: By modeling different risk scenarios, businesses can create robust continuity plans that factor in various potential disruptions to operations.

Advantages and disadvantages of risk modeling


  • Proactive approach: Risk modeling allows organizations to identify and address potential threats before they become issues rather than reacting after an incident has occurred.
  • Prioritization: By assigning potential risks a likelihood and impact value, companies can prioritize their security efforts, focusing on the most significant threats.


  • Predictive limitations: While risk modeling can provide an idea of potential threats, it can't predict all possible risks, particularly those that are novel or unforeseen.
  • Resource intensive: Comprehensive risk modeling requires significant time, skill, and resources to be carried out effectively.

Using risk modeling

  • Regularly update your risk models to account for evolving threat landscapes.
  • Ensure that risk modeling is integrated with other cybersecurity initiatives, such as incident response and business continuity planning.