Every day companies, governments and the services of critical infrastructure are faced with situations that affect the security and safety of a multitude of stake-holder; potentially threatening the reputation and health of the company. Complicating the situation is the requirement for companies to be in compliance with frequently changing regulations and legislation.
Enhancing the resilience of our companies, government entities and that of critical infrastructure can be achieved through the strategic development and combination of security measures to address intentional and accidental incidents; business continuity practices to deal with disruptions and ensure the continuation of the essential services we enjoy and appreciate; and emergency management planning to ensure adequate response procedures are in place to deal with unforeseen disruptions and natural disasters.
Better risk management
Given the interdependencies and connectedness among companies, government and critical infrastructures, a disruption of any one of these services could have a cascading effect across essential services or systems and . A “risk management” approach refers to the continuous, proactive and systematic process to understand, manage and communicate risks, threats, vulnerabilities and interdependencies across all of these community entities. Having a strong situational awareness of the risks and interdependencies that confront your organization is the first step towards a comprehensive risk management process.
A large scale example of the need for this application was during the 1998 Ice Storm, large segments of rural and urban communities were in the dark and without heat. Traffic and street lights were out. Banking and government services were interrupted. Healthcare services were reduced to emergency and essential tasks only, retail of many consumables both large and small were closed. This was the disruption in one sector – electricity – it affected a score of others, interrupting the delivery of important services upon which many depended upon.
Taking steps to resiliency is not an easy task for any organization. It takes funding, it takes resources, it takes time. If properly conceived and then executed when needed the funding required to get keep the organization going or to get it back up and running, the resources potentially used internally and externally and the time it will take is a fraction of what it would be if you weren’t prepared.