Possible Decrease in Lost Devices by UK Government Departments

Whilst discussions of information security tend to focus on high-tech cyber attacks; the reality is that many data breaches are down to human error. Generally the biggest single cause of data breaches reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office is simply people sending information to the wrong people. Loss or theft of devices is another significant […]

The Cost of the Erith Fire and how much has Ocado Learnt from Previous Incidents?

It is rare to get detailed information on the costs of incidents; so the recent financial update from Ocado Retail, covering the period around the fire at their Erith fulfilment centre, is particularly interesting.  Comments by the company’s senior management, also raise a question mark over how much they have learnt from previous fires. A […]

Salesforce Outage – How Reliable are Cloud-Based Systems?

Salesforce is still working to fully restore services to clients after a serious outage that began late last night.  Initially their entire portfolio of customer relationship management services were inaccessible to users; but most were restored within a few hours. As a major player in the software-as-a-service industry, Salesforce are clearly focused on keeping their […]

Managing Risk in Extreme Environments, by Duncan Martin – Not a Book Review

“Managing Risk in Extreme Environments: Front-Line Business Lessons for Corporates and Financial Institutions” has been on the bookshelves in our office since it was published in 2008 but, for some reason, I have only just got around to looking through it.  Given that The book is 12 years old, and I have not read it […]

On This Day in History – The Reading Train Crash

On 6th November 2004 the 17:35 Paddington to Penzance train was derailed when it struck a parked car on a level crossing at Ufton Nervet, near Reading.  Tragically the car driver, train driver and four passengers died at the scene; whilst another passenger died a few hours later in hospital.  Fortunately though, this was the […]

Book Review – Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J Heuer

This is certainly not a new book (the most recent edition came out in 2018), but I only recently became aware of its existence and relevance to risk and crisis management.  Richards Heuer enjoyed a distinguished career in the CIA and wrote the book primarily for his fellow intelligence professionals (and consumers of intelligence such […]

Book Review – The Failure of Risk Management (2nd Edition)

Reading the first edition of “The Failure of Risk Management: Why it’s Broken and how to Fix it”,by Douglas Hubbard, back in 2009 was a professional epiphany for me.  Having been working in business continuity management for about five years at this stage, I was aware of the prevalence of many questionable practices in risk […]

Toddbrook Reservoir – What Went Wrong?

Two reports have now been completed into the cause of the failure of the slipway at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge on 1st August 2019: The “Toddbrook Reservoir Independent Review Report” by Professor David Balmforth, commissioned by DEFRA; and “Report on the Nature and Root Cause of the Toddbrook Reservoir Auxiliary Spillway Failure on 1st […]

Interesting Insights on Probability and Likelihood from National Grid

My attention was captured yesterday by an interview on the Radio 4 Today Programme with the CEO of National Grid.  In the course of explaining the background to the widespread power outages last Friday, he first described the almost simultaneous loss of two producers of this scale as “rare, unique” and later as “pretty unique”.  […]

New Research Looks at the Cost of Reputational Crises

Building on her previous studies over the last twenty years, Deborah Pretty of Pentland Analytics has recently published new research looking at “Reputational Risk in the Cyber Age”.  The study analyses a sample of 125 reputational risk events over the last ten years including: The Samsung Galaxy Note7 recall; The Volkswagen emissions scandal; and Cyber-attacks […]