From CIPedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The term “consequence” is not well-defined in the literature and confusion arises when compared to the terms "impact", "harm" or "effect". For example, the ISO definition found below is very general and does not distinguish between consequences for critical infrastructure, for people, for the environment, or for the economy. Such distinctions are required for two reasons:

  1. For the CIP domain, consequences for critical infrastructure are of supreme importance, and other consequences may be ignored for certain applications (for example, when assessing the consequences of cascading effects).
  2. For consequence analysis in the meaning of the ECI directive [1], assessment of consequences for people, the environment and the economy is needed according to the cross-cutting criteria mentioned there.

So far, we do not have a suggestion of specific terms for both cases. Thus the recommendation for the time being is to always clearly state if “consequence” or “consequence analysis” is being performed for CI alone or for use with the cross-cutting criteria.


European Definitions

While the term is not officially defined in the ECI directive [1], cross-cutting criteria are mentioned as a metric to assess consequence.


Outcome of an event (points to ISO/IEC Guide 73). [2]

European Project Definitions

CIPRNet project

The CIPRNet project [3] uses the following definition:

Consequence: outcome of an event affecting objectives.

National Definitions


Consecuencia: hecho o acontecimiento que resulta de: (a) un suceso de seguridad operacional; (b) una deficiencia de seguridad operacional; o (c) un peligro. [4]


Consequence is the outcome of an event or situation expressed qualitatively or quantitatively. [5]

One definition describes consequence in terms of a loss, injury, disadvantage or gain, a second definition defines it as the effects on persons, society, the environment and the economy.

Outcome of an event affecting objectives. [6]

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Posledice su negativni efekti katastrofe izraženi u pogledu ljudskih uticaja, ekonomskih i ekoloških uticaja, i političkih/društvenih uticaja. (ISO 31010) [7]


1. Resultado de uma seqüência de eventos acidentais, ou seja, o dano causado às pessoas ou ao meio ambiente, em decorrência de um acidente.
2. Resultado imediato de uma seqüência de eventos acidentais como o fogo, a perda econômica etc., que são os resultados finais. [8]


Consequence is the outcome of an event or situation expressed qualitatively or quantitatively, being a loss, injury or disadvantage.

Consequence est le résultat d’une situation ou d’un évènement, exprimé qualitativement ou quantitativement, qu’il s’agisse d’une perte, d’une lésion ou d’un inconvénient. [9]

Conséquence: Mesure des effets prévus d’un accident. (CCPS, 1989a)[10]


Consecuencia: Resultado de un evento que afecta a los objetivos. [11]

Czech Republic

Následek: Výsledek události působící na cíle. [12]

Consequence is the result of an event which affects the objectives.[13]


Konsekvens beskriver de skader, en hændelse kan medføre på personer, ejendom og miljø. [14]


Gravité: Quantification des conséquences d’un événement redouté ou d’un risque. [15]

Consequences: Quantification of the severity of a risk or feared event. [16]


Conséquence: Effet d’un événement affectant les objectifs. [17]

Un événement unique peut engendrer des conséquences multiples.
Une conséquence peut être certaine ou incertaine et dans le cadre de la sécurité de l’information elle est généralement négative.
Les conséquences peuvent être exprimées de façon qualitative ou quantitative.
Des conséquences initiales peuvent déclencher des réactions en chaîne.


Konsekvenser er virkningene av den uønskede hendelsen på gitte samfunnsverdier. [18]

Consequences are the effects of an adverse event on given societal assets. [19]


Auswirkung: Die Auswirkungen beschreiben die Gesamtheit aller Folgen aus einem oder mehreren Ereignissen. [20]

Auswirkungen können sowohl negativ (Schaden) als auch positiv (Nutzen) sein.

Conséquence: Les conséquences décrivent l’ensemble des effets d’un ou de plusieurs événements. [21]

Les conséquences peuvent aussi bien être négatives (dommages) que positives (bénéfices).

Conseguenza: Le conseguenze descrivono l’insieme degli effetti di uno o più eventi. [22]

Possono essere negative (danni) o positive (benefici).

United Kingdom

Consequence is impact resulting from the occurrence of a particular hazard or threat, measured in terms of the numbers of lives lost, people injured, the scale of damage to property and the disruption to essential services and commodities. [23]

United States

Consequence is the effect of an event, incident, or occurrence, including the number of deaths, injuries, and other human health impacts along with economic impacts both direct and indirect and other negative outcomes to society (adapted from the 2010 DHS Risk Lexicon [24]).

In cybersecurity, the effect of a loss of confidentiality, integrity or availability of information or an information system on an organization's operations, its assets, on individuals, other organizations, or on national interests. [25]

Consequence: Effect (change or non-change), usually associated with an event or condition or with the system and usually allowed, facilitated, caused, prevented, changed, or contributed to by the event, condition, or system. [26]

Standard Definition


Consequence is the condition or state that logically or naturally follows from an event. [27]

ISO/IEC 27000:2014 and ISO 31000:2009

The outcome of an event affecting objectives. [28] [29]

The standard notes that (a) an event can lead to a range of consequences, (b) a consequence can be certain or uncertain and in the context of Information Security is usually negative, (c) consequences can be expressed qualitatively or quantitatively and (d) initial consequences can escalate through knock-on effects.

See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 Council Directive 2008/114/EC of 8 December 2008 on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection.
  2. ENISA Risk Glossary
  4. Sistema Nacional de Gestión de la Secuidad Operacional (SSP), Argentina, 2016
  5. Australian Emergency Management Glossary, Emergency Management Australia (1998)
  6. Australia AS NZS 5050 (2010)
  7. RADNA VERZIJA OSOBLJA KOMISIJE: Procjena rizika i mapiranje smernice za upravljanje katastrofama
  9. Ontario English-French Emergency Management Glossary of Terms (2011)
  10. Guide Analyse de risques d'accidents technologiques majeurs (2002)
  11. Glosario Policia Colombia
  12. Výkladový slovník kybernetické bezpečnosti (2013)
  13. Výkladový slovník kybernetické bezpečnosti (2013)
  14. HÅNDBOG I RISIKOBASERET DIMENSIONERING, Beredskabsstyrelsen, Denmark (2004)
  15. Méthode de classification et mesures principales, ANSSI (2014)
  16. Classification Method and Key Measures, ANSSI (2014)
  17. Glossaire
  18. DSB, National Risikobild 2014
  19. DSB, National Risk Analysis 2014
  20. Glossar der Risikobegriffe, Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz BABS, 29.4.2013
  21. Glossaire des risques, Office fédéral de la protection de la population, 29.4.2013
  22. Glossario sui rischi, l’Ufficio federale della protezione della popolazione UFPP, 29.4.2013
  23. Glossary - Revision to Emergency Preparedness, Cabinet Office (2012)
  24. DHS Risk Lexicon 2010 Edition, September 2010
  25. DHS/NICSS Glossary
  26. NIST Glossary/ ISO/IEC 15026
  27. ISA-62443 series
  28. ISO/IEC 27000:2014, Information technology -- Security techniques -- Information security management systems -- Overview and vocabulary
  29. ISO/IEC 31000:2009, Risk management -- Principles and guidelines