Risk management – avoiding and handling problems (14. oktober 2022)

What is the best way to handle and manage risks, and how do you plan for the unforeseen? 

Risk management is the simple idea of identifying risks and planning for how to deal with them. Either upfront or in the event of an incident. Though the idea in itself is far from complicated, the knowledge about risks, experience to identify risks, and ability to deal with risks and avoid them all together, is something that requires many years of working with risk management. Compare it to any given sport. The concept of the sport is probable easy to grasp. But the ones who do it the best have trained for it the better part of their life. It’s the same when it comes to risk management.  

Safety and security

At IFE’s Digital Systems in Halden, we have trained to identify and deal with risks for the better part of our existence. Through more than 60 years of research related to the OECD NEA Halden project, we have studied various risks and researched how to best deal with them. Over time, and by using a systematic approach, we at IFE Digital Systems have acquired an extensive toolkit when it comes to risk management. Much of our experience and research on risk management has been made available through the E-Land project, where a toolbox for assessing and finding risks was made by IFE and its partners.  

There is an increasingly greater need for risk management. Our vital infrastructure like power grids, water supply, railways, wastewater management, and so forth, are targets for evil entities, as well as forces of nature. Risk management is a holistic way of thinking of safety – incidents, random errors, natural disasters, etc, and security – actors who wants to harm or destroy on purpose. As our cities becomes more digitalized with a higher degree of automation, this means we have to map out potential risks to a greater extent than ever before.  For all cities, safety and security is important, and even more so as we digitalize services and infrastructure. Fewer hands to run more and bigger processes demands a greater and earlier involved of risk managers. 

Experience is key

A risk managers job, like the idea of risk management, is simple in theory. The risk manager is merely the facilitator between the owners, users, and builders of an installation or system. However, this is a demanding task. A good risk manager needs to have the experience to know what to look for in terms of potential risks. The knowledge about which tools will be best suited for any given project. The ability to scale the risk assessments to a cost- and time appropriate level. And the most important skill, a great communicator.  

It is of paramount importance that there is an understanding between the owners, the users, and the builders, when it comes to assessing risks. To convey onto an engineer how a system can fail is an art form. The owners and the users may ask for a full-blown risk analysis, but a skilled risk manager could handle the risk assessment in a more efficient way through a meeting with the involved parties.  

We have the experience and the tools

At Digital Systems we have people who are trained in the various methods of risk management. The people who have experience in using the framework needed. And the people who knows the processes that take place in a smart city. IFE has done projects and risk assessments on railways, aviation, water treatment plants, power grids, and many other types of key infrastructure. In other words, we know the industry and it’s needs. Our experience, combined with our state-of-the-art facilities like our cyber security center, makes Digital Systems at IFE a good place to start for your risk managing needs.