2016-07-26

it's all about the assets

Information risk is the potential for damage to sensitive info - the crown jewels (or assets). Think of risk as a combination of asset, threat source and vulnerability.

Technical people tend to downplay assets, probably because they don't know them too well. Business people know, infra folks don't. And yet, too many biz people expect tech colleagues to take the lead in managing Info Risk. The term "IT Security" only adds to the confusion about who should be on top of the matter.

It's all about the assets.

2016-06-18

in test we trust

Testing is how you evaluate your continuity plan.

When a developer has found 5 bugs, is he done?

How can you evaluate your test? And why should you?

To trust your plan, you need to trust your test. Did you merely "kick the tyres" or did you go through the plan systematically? Did you involve your stakeholders, did you have a good discussion?

If not, now is the time to take notice. Who did you forget to invite? What did you forget to prepare? Document how your test can be improved the next time around.

2016-05-02

meet Riskkollegiet!

The future is uncertain. We all have goals which might not be met. Risk is everywhere. It concerns bankers, beekeepers, and billiards players. Since risk is a part of every field, it can take many forms. Exploring the specifics of risk, and risk as a concept, how risk is perceived and managed, is what Swedish Society for Risk Sciences (Riskkollegiet) is about. The Society hosts seminars, publishes reports and supports young researchers. I'm proud to join the board of Riskkollegiet as a deputy member.

2016-04-11

on rational evilness

Researcher Hans Brun helps us grasp terrorism as a phenomenon.

It's not new, the first "wave" occurred well over a century ago. And it's not irrational. On the contrary - terrorism is a conscious choice made by rational actors, says Hans. It's a strategy serving specific purposes. Terrorists aim to create chaos, provoke an overreaction and portray themselves as a credible and legitimate power.

Deconstructing terrorism won't make it any less ominous, but it helps free societies find defensive strategies.

2016-03-21

a lesson in troubled times

I spent an afternoon, hosted by the European Commission, with seminars on migration and climate change. Their way of reaching out and inviting dialogue is commendable and necessary when navigating political turmoil.

What struck me was how these seemingly different topics turn out to be interrelated. Climate change is a growing driver of migration. And neither issue could be addressed by fortifying borders. Nationalism won't solve anything, only strengthened cooperation will. A lesson in troubled times.

2016-02-29

step by step towards assurance

In order to obtain assurance, your qualified continuity plan should be tested.

Don't wait for it to be "perfect". Test soon, and use the test to find weaknesses.

The effort you put into testing will depend on risk. Begin with a desktop test, discussing the plan step by step with stakeholders.

Iterate the test and watch your plan improve, as well as your ability to execute it.

Nothing beats reality. A realistic simulation is the next best thing. It won't be cheap or simple, but certain scenarios need to be simulated.

2016-02-18

crystal ball out of service

Retirement planning and pension savings is one of the most difficult, long-term decisions most of us will ever face. At a recent seminar, Nordea offered a list of issues to think of, focusing on today's rulebook, how responsibilities are shared between state, employers and individuals. But the system keeps changing. We're all literate, we can read up on current rules. As experts, bring your crystal ball, help us understand trends and scenarios. What might the system look like 30 years from now?

2016-02-08

it's not the technology, stupid!

I used to think that proactivity in security is all about Risk Management. Then I found myself involved in Crisis Readiness. Still with an eye on risk exposure, preparedness adds a human as well as organizational  capability dimension. How good are we at dealing with difficulties, improvising and being creative from a platform of plans and structures? The crisis perspective makes security more challenging. but it does confirm an old belief - it's not the technology, stupid! Think people and processes.

2016-01-18

a second opinion isn't second best

By planning around certain harmful events you take ownership of your continuity risk. But there are things you won't know when writing your plan. You need to involve stakeholders, specialists. Seek their advice and perspectives, learn about their plans. Tell them about what risk you see and how you intend to treat it. Have your plan qualified through their input and compatible with their plans.

Business Continuity is not an arena for lone rangers. Getting a second opinion makes for a first-class plan.

2015-12-28

in the midst of the crisis

Part of Business Continuity is dealing with crises. Throughout 2015 I've been involved in the large FSPOS Sektorsövning of the Swedish financial sector. The task was to plan, prepare and lead this simulation exercise for one participating Crisis Management Team. They faced a rapidly evolving scenario. How would they respond to threats, deal with uncertainties, communicate with customers and the market? Creativity in the midst of stress. Improvising from existing plans. Valuable lessons and loads of fun!
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