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Just thinking: Risk and Innovation and Governance and Security

Where would the world be without the Model T?  Traenk reflects on a century of innovation and our own risk management strategies.


Starting a Model T Ford was never easy, especially in the cold.  People learned early to NEVER wrap their thumb over the starter handle.  Additionally.  NO ONE would lock the elbow before turning the crank and starting the engine.  Why?

A misfire would often throw the crank in the opposite direction.  The violent backfire and counter revolution would break elbows and thumbs that weren't trained to expect it.  In today's litigious world, I believe Henry Ford would have been sued out of business.  Today's world is far less accommodating to risks and more likely to blame the innovator.

I also wonder about my own stances as an Information Security professional who is fast returning to basic Risk Management roots.  Years ago, I amazed my more conservative friends with my occupation:  Motorcycle Safety Instructor.  Paradox:  feather of lead, jumbo shrimp, and Motorcycle Safety.

Most Information Security professionals are risk averse.  For any given design, they can point out hundreds of risks.

  1. The inadequate password filters will create easy-to-guess passwords.
  2. Poor encryption strength will reveal the passwords easily enough.
  3. And so on.
Done poorly, and the list is heavily demoralizing, discouraging progress and innovation in favor of a bland, predictable, and highly safe and secure world.  Don't do anything commendable or worthy of praise (or copying) and whammo!  Perfect Security!

Not a world I'd want to live in, you?  No, risk is unavoidable.  In fact, it must be encouraged to some degree.  So if you are an Information Security professional, get some!  Ride a motorcycle.  Encourage your organization's innovators.

Be the early adopter who helps people avoid wrapping their thumb around the starting crank, and then,

Start It UP!

jt, only an admirer of Ford Motor Company, in no way in their employ...

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