What Role Does OPSEC Play In Risk Management?

Author : Nilesh Parashar | Published On : 14 Jan 2022

The operations security (OPSEC) strategy and methodology classify data and highlight what must be protected and ensure it does not fall into the wrong hands to be secure. Information technology (IT) and security managers can use OPSEC to see their operations and systems through the eyes of possible attackers. Analytical processes and activities including social media monitoring, behavior tracking, and security best practices are all part of OPSEC.

During the Vietnam War, U.S. Navy Admiral Ulysses S. Grant Sharp, commander in chief of the United States Pacific Command, established the Purple Dragon team to investigate how the enemy received knowledge on military actions before they took place. Countermeasures are used by OPSEC to minimize or remove enemy exploitation. OPSEC is a risk management analytical method and approach that identifies information that can be malicious script and collects vital information that could jeopardize an organization's objectives or reputation.

Purpose of OPSEC:

Various chunks of information that can be combined to generate a larger image are protected by OPSEC. As a result of the OPSEC process, technological and non-technical methods to mitigate cybersecurity risk, computer viruses, first-party risk, third-party risk, and fourth-party risk have been developed. While OPSEC is primarily concerned with preventing the aggregation of non-sensitive data, it frequently employs sophisticated countermeasures that are also utilized to secure sensitive data. Protection against malware like the WannaCry ransomware, vulnerabilities, email spoofing, phishing, domain hijacking, and other cyber threats that lead to data breaches and leaks are all common technical remedies. Check out the diploma in cyber security to learn more about this.


5 Steps in OPSEC

1. Determine What Information is Critical

The very first step is to figure out what information would be most destructive to the company if it fell into the wrong hands. This involves intellectual property, personally identifying information about employees or customers, financial documents, credit card data, and product research.

2. Examine the Dangers

The next stage is to determine who poses a threat to the institution's sensitive data. There could be a variety of enemies pursuing different types of data, and businesses must evaluate any rivals or cybercriminals who might be interested in the data.

3. Examine Your Weaknesses:

The organization analyses potential gaps among the measures in place to protect sensitive information during the vulnerability analysis phase and determines which ones leave it susceptible. This step entails identifying any potential flaws in physical and digital processes intended to guard against predetermined threats, as well as locations where an absence of adequate awareness training exposes data to attack. 

4. Evaluate the Dangers

The next step is to assess the threat level connected with each of the discovered flaws. Companies rate risks depending on criteria such as the likelihood of a certain assault occurring and the impact such an incident would have on operations. The more dangerous the situation, the more urgent it is to implement risk management.

5. Take the Necessary Countermeasures

The final step is to implement an OPSEC plan to mitigate the risks. Starting with the hazards that pose the greatest threat to operations is the best place to start. Implementing extra hardware and training, as well as building new information governance, are all possible security upgrades. Learn more about this course by choosing information security courses.


Security Recommended Practices for Operations:

These best practices should be followed by organizations establishing and executing an end-to-end activities security program:

  • Change-Management Processes:

When network security changes are implemented, companies must implement change-management processes for employees to follow.

  • Restrict Device Access:

Organizations should only enable devices that need access to their networks to do so, and network device authentication should be used.

  • Implement Least-Privileged Access:

Companies must give employees the bare minimum of network, data, and resource access they require to do their tasks well. The notion of least privilege assures that systems, applications, processes, and users have only the access they require to perform their tasks.



OPSEC urges managers to look at their operations and initiatives from the outside in, as if they were competitors or enemies, in order to spot flaws. If an organization can readily retrieve its own data while posing as an outsider, outside opponents are likely to be able to do so as well. Regular risk assessments are essential for spotting weaknesses. The online cyber security degree can help you better understand the concept.