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Tag Archives: Operational risk

Everyone who can read this blog should remember the Deepwater Horizon spill that occurred in the Spring of 2010; huge loss of life (any loss is huge from my persective) and still unknown impact to the environment. This event was a wake-up call to BP execs and other companies in that industry sector.

You should all also remember the “Sonage” of this Spring where Sony lost millions of records across 12+ web site breaches and should have been a wake-up call to almost every sector.

BP committed to developing and implmenting a new Safety & Operational Risk (S&OR) program (which is now active). Sony is planning on hiring a CISO and has started hiring security folk, but they really need to develop a comprehensive Security & Operational Information Risk Program (and I suspect your org does as well).

What can we in the info risk world glean (steal) from BP’s plan and new S&OR Organization? Well, to adapt their charter, a new S&OIR program charter might be:

<ul><li>Strengthen & clarify requirements for secure, compliant and reliable computing & networking operations</li>
  • Have an appropriately staffed department of specialists that are integrated with the business
  • Provide deep technical expertise to the company’s operating business
  • Intervenes where needed to stop operations and bring about corrective actions
  • Provides checks & balances independent of business & IT
  • Strengthens mandatory security & compliance standards & processes (including operational risk management)
  • Provide an independent view of operational risk
  • Assess and enhance the competency of its workforce in matters related to information security
  • BP claims success form their current program (the link above has examples), and imagine – just imagine – if you your org required – yes, required – that new systems & applications conform to core, reasonable standards.

    In their annual report, BP fully acknowledged that risks inherent in its operations include a number of hazards that, “although many may have a low probability of occurrence, they can have extremely serious consequences if they do occur, such as the Gulf of Mexico incident.”. Imagine – just imagine – if you could get your org to think the same way about information risk (you have plenty of examples to work from).

    BP did not remove responsibility for managing operational risk and operational delivery from the business lines, but they integrated risk analysts into those teams and gave them the authority to intervene when necessary. It took a disaster to forge this new plan. You don’t need to wait for a disaster in your org to begin socializing this type of change.

    Imagine…just, imagine…