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What is Risk Analysis?

Risk analysis is the process of identifying and analyzing potential issues that could negatively affect key business initiatives or critical projects in order to help organizations avoid or mitigate those risks. The reason for performing risk assessment is to evaluate an IT system or another aspect of the organization and then ask–What are the risks to the software, hardware, data, and IT employees?

A security and risk analysis degree focuses on the technologies, education, and policies to protect people, information and other assets. A typical program looks at how to design secure systems, evaluate and measure risk, and ensure that proper levels of privacy are maintained for individual technology users, businesses, government, and other organizations. You can expect courses specific to information and cyber security included. These courses can provide you with an understanding of the theories, skills, and technologies associated with network security, cyber threat defense, information warfare, and critical infrastructure protection across multiple industries.

What are examples of classes?

With a Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis, you may have classes in technology, statistics, and subjects relevant to security. These classes may involve:

Programming:  Properties of algorithms, languages, and notations for describing algorithms; applications of a procedure-oriented language to problem-solving.

Information Security:  Provides an understanding of the overview of information security including security architecture, access control, and internet security applications.

Statistics:  Review of hypothesis testing, goodness-of-fit tests, regressions, correlation analysis, completely randomized designs, randomized complete block designs, and Latin squares. The latter is an experiment design that can be used to control the random variation of two factors. The design is arranged with an equal number of rows and columns, so that all combinations of possible values for the two variables can be tested multiple times.

Computer and Cyber Forensics:  Fundamental issues and concepts of computer forensics; aspects of computer and cyber crime; methods to uncover, protect, exploit, and document digital evidence; tools, techniques, and procedure to perform computer and cyber crime investigation.

Risk Analysis in Security:  Assessment and mitigation of security vulnerabilities for people, organizations, industry sectors, and the nation.

There is not a large selection of undergraduate programs in risk analysis. If you Google-Bachelor of Science in Risk Analysis, you will see more degrees in risk management. What is the difference between the two terms? Risk analysis is the evaluation component of the broader risk assessment process, which determines the significance of the identified risk concerns.

According to the Marquette University Risk Unit, risk management is the continuing process to identify, analyze, evaluate, and treat loss exposures and monitor risk control and financial resources to mitigate the adverse effects of loss.

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Programs in risk management as usually associated with insurance. The classes in this area will explore basic legal concepts commonly encountered by risk management coordinators. Topics might include the interpretation and construction of insurance contracts, liability insurance for companies, and claims. This major prepares graduates for careers in underwriting, loss control, claims adjusting, insurance appraisers, auditing, risk analysts, brokers/agents, personal financial planners, accounting, finance, technology, and marketing.

Risk management professionals analyze all aspects of the company – including financial, technology, and general business – to determine risk levels and opportunities to mitigate them. This involves working directly with stakeholders to determine standards and policies for analysis, litigation, investigations, and policies. The job consists mostly of activities such as user profiling, auditing, and collaboration with teams such as security operations.

Versus Risk Analysis

Risk analysis encompasses other fields associated with “risk”. In addition to risk management, there is fraud management. It refers to management and elimination of deceptive financial practices that frequently occur in various types of organizations for the purpose of material gain. This major concentrates on the financial aspect of risk analysis.

Classes for the above will focus on accounting, criminal justice, finance, risk management, legal issues, and cybersecurity studies. The program may also prepare students for the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) exam and certification. The curriculum should provide students with a strong foundation in risk identification, assessment, analysis, and management techniques.

Alternative Degree

Another option for individuals interested in risk analysis is a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Organizational Risk and Cyber Security Management (BSBA). Through targeted curriculum and electives, you will use active learning applications and case studies regarding network security, fraud examination, and ethics in business. You will also gain real-world experience in risk analysis and loss prevention, and build your knowledge in criminal and constitutional law, criminology, and investigations.

The BSBA degree includes classes in risk analysis and loss prevention, criminal law, information security, the theory of fraud examination, and cyber crimes. Graduates will have the skills to seek opportunities in the assessment/analysis of security needs and protect against theft, vandalism, natural disasters, or terrorist acts.

Additional Resources:

What Degree do I need to be a Fraud Risk Analyst?

What is the Difference between a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity Management and Cybersecurity Risk?

What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Accounting and Auditing?

What Classes Will I Have to Take for a Degree in Auditing?

What Kind of Job Can You Get With a Degree in Auditing?

What Is the Difference Between an Accounting Degree and an Auditing Degree?