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March 2004

Implementing a better operational risk management framework

Critics and pundits frequently charge infosecurity with having the same level of scientific rigor as witch doctoring -- in other words, lacking governance. Both witch doctoring and infosecurity have elaborate tradition and ritual intended to exorcise hostile forces, and both find it difficult to provide credible evidence that they're beneficial. Practitioners often make a good show of it, but you'll likely find a little man pulling levers and shouting into a microphone if you look behind the curtain. A number of occupations considered more "mainstream" and "mature" approach risk in equally unproductive ways. Lawyers and accountants, for example, are preoccupied with preventing and recovering from undesirable events. While they've certainly had some success, they don't demonstrate a consistently methodical approach to risk management. Ask a contract lawyer to analyze a business agreement, or an accountant to look at a set of books, and you'll usually get an awkwardly long laundry list of things that could go wrong. What you won't...

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