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Risk is defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives (whether positive or negative). Risk management can therefore be considered the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities. Risks can come from uncertainty in financial markets, project failures, legal liabilities, credit risk, accidents, natural causes and disasters as well as deliberate attacks from an adversary. Several risk management standards have been developed including the Project Management Institute, the National Institute of Science and Technology, actuarial societies, and ISO standards.Methods, definitions and goals vary widely according to whether the risk management method is in the context of project management, security,engineering, industrial processes, financial portfolios, actuarial assessments, or public health and safety.
The strategies to manage risk include transferring the risk to another party, avoiding the risk, reducing the negative effect of the risk, and accepting some or all of the consequences of a particular risk.
Certain aspects of many of the risk management standards have come under criticism for having no measurable improvement on risk even though the confidence in estimates and decisions increase.