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Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
SUN1.4: Understanding your risk environment
Time: Sunday, 26/Aug/2012: 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Session Chair: Sean MURPHY, Lootok
Location: Sanada 1

Workshop organized by Lootok


Presentations

Understanding your risk environment

Sean MURPHY

Lootok, United States of America

Risk is highly complex, dynamic and connected. Understanding our risk environment is a complex process that involves identifying the various threats that exist around us, considering recovery strategies for potential threats before they occur, recognizing our individual and unique relationship to risk, and understanding how the human psyche responds in the face of stress.

Business Continuity Management (BCM) exists because we live and work in a risk environment. But what is risk, and how do we define it?

When considering and evaluating the various threats that face an organization, quantifying and prioritizing risk can help inform decisions about where to focus often-limited resources and continuity efforts. Being able to categorize threats using specific threat actors facilitates the process for identifying threats, defining probability and positioning strategies, planning, and training. For example, fire is an example of a threat that has all three actors: 1. wild fire (natural), 2. machine fire (accidental), 3. arson (intentional).

Like beauty, risk is in the eye of the beholder, and each of us has our own particular and unique relationship with risk. Each of us can define risk in terms of our own knowledge, experience, education, culture, language, and attitude, making our perception of risk very subjective. In the vein of the common saying, “Perception is reality,” the way we perceive a risk, threat, or incident influences our response, and our emotional perception often overrides fact or reason. This can explain, for example, why people are more concerned about a plane crash than an automobile crash, and more fearful of sharks while at the beach than of developing skin cancer. In reality, it is 67 times riskier to travel the same distance by car than by plane, and annually there are only 6 deaths from shark attacks compared to 48,000 from melanoma.

The objective of this workshop is to foster understanding about the purpose of a BCM program, helping leaders to gain greater control over the company’s risk environment by employing strategies for better preparation and response. Through the use of multimedia, the workshop leads participants to consider the definition of risk and how risk is defined, teaching participants the following: the three ingredients of risk (risk = asset + threat + vulnerability), the three types of threat actors (natural, accidental, intentional), the seven “R’s of Resiliency” risk strategies, and the ten psychological “dread factors” that influence our perception of risk.

Through an interactive, facilitated activity called the Risk Matrix, participants learn to identify and categorize threats as they brainstorm potential risks and draw from their previous experiences to build upon current knowledge. Using the traditional risk analysis criteria of probability and impact, participants will consider each risk and develop a consensus of its placement on the matrix. This allows participants to interact with others to share their own knowledge of threats, and exchange advice and information for how to mitigate them.

After building this visual representation and shared framework of their threats, participants will discuss strategies and solutions for managing these different types of risks. Attendees will learn the “7 R’s of Resiliency” Risk Strategies to help assess best options for risk mitigation to either prevent or minimize the impact of an incident, or be implemented once an incident has occurred. These 7 R’s include: Relocate, Reassign, Repair & Replace, Replicate, Risk Transfer, Reinforce, and Relinquish.

Part of understanding our risk environment also means taking into account the very subjective manner in which risk is perceived. In the vein of the common saying, “Perception is reality,” the way we perceive a risk, threat, or incident influences our response; our emotional perception often overrides fact or reason. The more we recognize what drives this false sense of risk and acknowledge the “human” elements of risk, we can gain a greater understanding and a sense of control over our risk environment, both within a group and at an individual level.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will learn specific, employable strategies for manag-ing risk; they will also have the knowledge to facilitate discussions within their own organizations about the different preferences, experiences, and values that lead us to perceive, assess, and evaluate risk in various ways. With this new understanding of their risk environment and transparency into the risk landscape, participants will understand how to gain greater control over the threats their organizations face and employ strategies for better preparation and response.

*This session may be facilitated with a maximum of 60 participants.




Understanding your risk environment

Sean MURPHY

Lootok, United States of America

Risk is highly complex, dynamic and connected. Business continuity management exists because we live and work in a risk environment.

Using criteria to categorize threats and leveraging risk assessment tools such as a risk matrix can help us evaluate individual risks in varying degrees of probability and impact. Different quadrants of the risk matrix show that different threats require different ways of planning, and can serve as a foundation for developing a planning process, training people in incident management strategies, and exercising critical decision-making and assessment skills. Once an organization has transparency into its risk landscape, resiliency strategies can be implemented to either prevent or minimize the impact of an incident.

Part of understanding our risk environment also means taking into account the very subjective manner in which risk is perceived. In the vein of the common saying, “Perception is reality,” the way we perceive a risk, threat, or incident influences our response; our emotional perception often overrides fact or reason. The more we recognize what drives this false sense of risk and acknowledge the “human” elements of risk, we can gain a greater understanding and a sense of control over our risk environment, both within a group and at an individual level.



 
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