Risk Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide

Optimizing your security program doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. With Paramify, it begins with something as simple as a spreadsheet where you identify the people, places, and things that make up your environment. It ends with achieving your security goals quickly and cost-effectively with our Risk Solutions automation platform.

Sleek v2.0 public release is here

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What has changed in our latest release?

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All new features available for all public channel users

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Coding collaboration with over 200 users at once

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Building and deploying a Risk Solution framework can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and approach, it doesn't have to be. In this blog post, we'll walk you through a step-by-step guide to get started on your security program with something as basic as Google Sheets.

  1. Identify information types
  2. Pick a control framework
  3. Map “elements” to controls
  4. Collaborate
  5. Listen
  6. Distribute
  7. Iterate and improve

Identify information types

The first step in building a risk solution framework is to identify the types of data your systems touch. A framework like NIST 800-60 can be helpful in this regard. Additionally, it's important to categorize data into different types such as user info, usage data, financial data, communication data, and customer feedback. Don't forget to include third-party sources like marketing automation tools and social media.

Pick a control framework

Once you've identified the types of data your systems touch, it's time to pick a control framework. Using an existing framework like NIST 800-53, NIST 800-171, or PCI-DSS as a baseline can save time and effort. These frameworks are already well-established and have been used by many organizations. However, if you disagree and prefer to define your own controls, that's totally fine too …  maybe.

Map “elements” to Controls

Once you've picked a control framework, the next step is to map "elements" to controls. "Elements" refer to the people, places, and components that make up your security program. Determine which elements implement your selected controls. It's important to note that elements often map to many controls, and your Cloud Service Provider (CSP) may manage them.


Once you've identified the elements and controls, it's time to collaborate and build your Risk Solutions. Understand how different elements implement control requirements and document it. This step requires working with security control owners such as DevOps and HR. A spreadsheet like Google Sheets can be effectively used even at sophisticated organizations to start.


After building your Risk Solutions, it's important to listen and monitor their implementation with their owners. It's not likely that you'll get it exactly right the first time, so it's important to iterate and improve your solutions. An ideal Risk Solution should map to many control requirements and have a simple adoption mechanism. The fewer solutions, the better.


Once your Risk Solutions are in place, it's important to distribute them across all compliance activities. Team members, auditors, customers, and other stakeholders will be interested in the Risk Solution documentation as it provides solutions for audits, sales enablement, and implementing security best practices.

Iterate and Improve

Iteration and improvement are key to a successful Risk Solution framework. At first, your solutions may not be perfect, but over time and with practice, you'll be able to develop a comprehensive, flexible, and maintainable InfoSec strategy.

How do I know this works? 

I've personally used this strategy for over 15 years in my career in InfoSec, and I've yet to find an organization that hasn't benefited from implementing it. The best technology alone can't beat a comprehensive and flexible InfoSec strategy. Learn how Risk Solutions have successfully helped leading enterprises like Palo Alto Networks as well as smaller to medium-sized businesses like PopeTech and MyEducator achieve incredible results

Request Your Free Assessment Today

If you're ready to experience transformative results with the Risk Solutions methodology, just like Palo Alto Networks and so many others did, contact us today for your Free Assessment. 

The result of the free assessment will be your own:

  • FedRAMP or StateRAMP Readiness Percentage Summary
  • Risk Solution Implementation Summary
  • Risk Priority Summary
  • If applicable, a sneak peak of your SSP (System Security Plan) in DOCX and OSCAL formats, CRM (Customer Responsibility Matrix), and Inventory Workbook

Armed with a clear roadmap to certification, we’ll take the fear and uncertainty out of your security certification journey. No risk. No cost. Request your Free Assessment today.

About the author

Kenny is an accomplished leader with a 16-year tenure in Information Security and IT Audit. He's widely acknowledged in the industry and has a profound dedication to it. In addition to his technical expertise, Kenny's portfolio includes substantial experience in business strategy, investment, and programming.‍ On the personal side, Kenny is a devoted husband to Angie Scott and a proud father of five. A music enthusiast, he relishes playing the guitar and enjoys surfing when a beach is within reach.