Manage Cybersecurity Risk with the SCF Risk Management Model

3 minute read

August 2023

The Secure Controls Framework (SCF) Risk Management Model can be a powerful tool for teams looking to catalog, assess, prioritize and mitigate the cybersecurity risks facing their organization. Where many programs are content to implement a standard control framework to tick a compliance box, this controls-based approach can leave you vulnerable to significant undetected risks. Using the SCF Risk Management Model, you can identify and prioritize these risks and ensure that your team takes the mitigation actions that make the biggest impact on your security and risk posture.  

Using the SCF Risk Management Model involves: 

1. Documenting risks, threats and controls 

Before you can target the risks facing your organization, you need to understand what those risks are. The SCF contains a catalog of 32 risks, including access control, asset management and business continuity, that are pre-mapped to the framework’s controls, enabling your team to assign ownership and collect risk data more efficiently. It’s also important to use the SCF’s catalog of threats to determine which natural and manmade forces could potentially exacerbate or initiate a risk event. Finally, your team must keep a record of controls to mitigate these risks and adhere to frameworks, regulations and standards, which can again be established using the SCF’s control framework. By tracking risks, threats and controls using the SCF, you position your team to more readily assess its ability to manage risk and identify gaps where possible. 

2. Assessing risk and performing controls gap assessment 

Once you’ve identified your risks, threats and controls, it’s time to determine what risk level is acceptable for a team at your maturity level and assess the severity of each risk at your organization. These assessments will cover cybersecurity, third party, data protection impact, business impact and privacy impact risk to provide a comprehensive picture of your risk posture. Finally, you must evaluate your controls based on the risk and threat catalogs to determine which controls might be deficient in mitigating your risks and which risks are most likely to have the greatest impact on your organization. 

3. Prioritize, document and mitigate risk 

Once you’ve assessed the risks facing your organization and the gaps in your controls, you can begin prioritizing your risks using a risk register. By assigning risk scores and weighing them against your gap analysis, you can determine which are extreme, severe, high, moderate and low risk. Finally, having determined which risks are the most critical to your business, you can identify the risk mitigation strategy that will most effectively protect your organization in this area and work to implement it. 

The SCF Risk Management Model is built into ProcessUnity for Cybersecurity Risk Management, making it easier than ever to level-up your program. Using ProcessUnity, you can implement the SCF, document and assess risk, perform control gap assessments and prioritize your mitigation efforts using a risk register. Upgrading your risk management program to identify and target specific organizational risks can be a challenge, but with the right technology, it can bring your program to the next level. 

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ProcessUnity is a leading provider of cloud-based applications for risk and compliance management. The company’s software as a service (SaaS) platform gives organizations the control to assess, measure, and mitigate risk and to ensure the optimal performance of key business processes. ProcessUnity’s flagship solution, ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management, protects companies and their brands by reducing risks from third-party vendors and suppliers. ProcessUnity helps customers effectively and efficiently assess and monitor both new and existing vendors – from initial due diligence and onboarding through termination. Headquartered outside of Boston, Massachusetts, ProcessUnity is used by the world’s leading financial service firms and commercial enterprises. For more information, visit