Basic Risk Management is about understanding and managing the risks which exist in the project or operations you are monitoring and is outlined well in the quotation below.
“Risk management is 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. 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”
Wikipedia 21st September 2009
Risk Management is the focus on things that will change the outcome of the project (I will discuss this in the setting of Project Management). From a purist viewpoint these results can have a positive or negative outcome on the project, in most cases it is only the negative elements that people focus on.