Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Risk Management Guide for Information Technology Systems



G Stoneburner, Alice Y. Goguen, Alexis Feringa


[Superseded by SP 800-30 Revision 1 (September 2012):] Risk Management is the process of identifying risk, assessing risk, and taking steps to reduce risk to an acceptable level. Organizations use risk assessment, the first step in the risk management methodology, to determine the extent of the potential threat, vulnerabilities, and the risk associated with an information technology (IT) system. The output of this process helps to identify appropriate controls for reducing or eliminating risk during the risk mitigation process, the second step of risk management, which involves prioritizing, evaluating, and implementing the appropriate risk-reducing controls recommended from the risk assessment process. This guide provides a foundation for the development of an effective risk management program, containing both the definitions and the practical guidance necessary for assessing and mitigating risks identified within IT systems throughout their system development life cycle (SDLC). The ultimate goal is to help organizations to better manage IT-related mission risks.Organizations may choose to expand or abbreviate the comprehensive processes and steps suggested in this guide and tailor them to their site environment in managing IT-related mission risks. In addition, this guide provides information on the selection of cost-effective security controls. These controls can be used to mitigate risk for the better protection of mission-critical information and the IT systems that process, store, and carry this information.The third step in the process is continual evaluation and assessment.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-30
Report Number


cost-benefit analysis, residual risk, risk, risk assessment, risk management, risk mitigation, security controls, threat, vulnerability


Stoneburner, G. , Goguen, A. and Feringa, A. (2002), Risk Management Guide for Information Technology Systems, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 1, 2002, Updated November 10, 2018