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A decade of physical risks generated by industrial systems hacking

A decade of physical risks generated by industrial systems hacking is featuring a remarkable and worrisome acceleration. Indeed, it all started, as far as we know, with the crippling Stuxnex worm attack on the Iranian uranium refining centrifuges. As the title clearly indicates, we will not discuss here the devastating attacks on administrative systems, data repositories, but focus on industrial systems. What is going on Successful hacking on industrial systems seemed to remain “isolated exploits” for a long time. For…

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Innovation in Dams Screening Level Risk Assessment

For some reasons Innovation in Dams Screening Level Risk Assessment feels like an oxymoron. At each new accident organization like MAC produce a new edition of their manuals, for example Developing an Operation, Maintenance, and Surveillance Manual for Tailings and Water Management. The new editions generally represent a strengthening of some rules, but the result is always very similar to the prior edition, does not address systemic failure to properly evaluate risks of old and new facilities. Let’s tackle fundamental…

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Brumadinho tailings dam failures and Boeing 737 Max 8 tragedy offer striking similarities

The Brumadinho tailings dam failures and Boeing 737 Max 8 tragedy offer striking similarities. The tailings dam failure killed at least 169 with 141 still missing and the Boeing 737 Max 8 catastrophe who killed all 157 people on board the Ethiopian Airlines are indeed surprisingly similar in many aspects. The fox looking after the chicken coop is an international problem Reportedly the FAA had to delegate regulation to airlines and manufacturers for a variety of reasons we will not…

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Boeing 737 Max 8 set in risk context

We will look at the recent tragedy of Boeing 737 Max 8 set in risk context. Media have produced numerous fascinating articles on the tragedy, its possible causes, and risk perception. One in particular made our eyebrows raise as it seems to come to astonishing conclusions based on ill-conditioned thinking. Ill-conditioned thinking in articles requires Boeing 737 Max 8 set in risk context We reproduce verbatim part of that article: To appreciate the psychology associated with these events, consider that in…

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Aluminum maker ransomware attack

The recent Aluminum maker ransomware attack is a timely example for our next speech at infonex’s Cyber and Operational Risk Management in Vancouver B.C. Riskope will present Fostering Sustainability and Value Through Convergent Risk Assessments at it. Riskope’s presentation will discuss holistic and convergent approaches. Indeed, as shown by this latest attack, cyber, natural and man-made hazards generate risks that cannot be tackled by siloed approaches. Indeed: Cyber risks are not only an IT issue, thus convergent approaches are needed. Cyber attacks can generate…

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Cultural Entropy and Risk Management

Cultural Entropy and Risk Management are intertwined. Cultural entropy is defined as the amount of energy in an organization that is consumed by unproductive work. It is also a measure of the friction and pent-up frustration occuring when potentially limiting values show-up in the workplace. It measures the level of dysfunction in an organization that is created as a result of fear-driven energy, silos mentality. Image by Monica Volpin. As you can see all of the above poorly affects good risk management.…

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Point Read Operate for Tailings Dams design

Point Read Operate for Tailings Dams design discusses a well-known practice used in other fields. Indeed, if you traveled to Japan you certainly saw metro-trains operators pointing down the platform and calling out—seemingly to no one—as trains roll in and out of the station. Onboard it is much the same, with drivers and conductors performing almost ritual-like movements. If you were in the NAVY you will also remember the PRO method they teach for operating switches, valves, and basically anything.…

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Leadership boosting competitiveness with data driven decision making

Leadership boosting competitiveness with data driven decision making occurs when risk assessment databases, risk data are well structured and ready to advanced analyses. It is then possible to carry out risk triage, bundling and develop mitigation road-maps. We have discussed at length in earlier blogposts the steps necessary to develop a quantitative, convergent, updatable risk assessment. How to start risk triage, bundling and develop mitigation road-maps To perform a solid quantitative risk assessment you should have in your hand: a)…

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