ISSS Resilience Centre

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE - Integrity of Risk & Vulnerability Analysis

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Mitigation of 'Risk on Risk'

As the world drives faster and harder towards dependency on software based risk analysis solutions, the lack of critical human input, in both analysis and assessment, introduces a ‘wild card’ in the integrity of the risk analysis. RORA is an innovative service based solution. RORA helps ensure the integrity of critical infrastructure, whilst focused on the capacity and capability to deliver  essential services within municipalities.

Risk analysts, capable of delivering innovative and robust risk mitigation for critical infrastructure, often do so through combined practical experience of crisis, management during the event and understanding essential enablers towards recovery.

The introduction of ‘Risk on Risk’ can only dilute the integrity of the RSA – meaning that it would render the Risk & Vulnerability Analysis (RSA) invalid and potentially fail to achieve it’s objective.


To understand, and manage, risk effectively one must first understand the interconnect between potential scenarios, the global, national or local cause and the local ripple effect having impact on the community.

The ability to understand methodology, such as R.A.I.D. is as much a mind-set as an absolute requirement, as ‘assumption and dependency’, left un-checked, can  creates a living virus in any calculated risk mitigation. RORA utilizes bespoke ISSS toolkits. including ESAM (Essential Services Analysis Matrix).


An example, from the West Bank, Palestinian Authority, was service delivery based on an assumption. An assumption was made that; ‘The utility company generates power and distributes it across the region. Therefore, electricity will be available to operate communication systems, fuel pumps, heating and lighting’.


 The introduction of ‘Risk on Risk Analusis' was a direct result of failing to understand the lowest common denominator taking effect. When civil unrest occurred and basic living requirements declined, those people left lacking physically took what they could to use as a means of trade and barter. In this instance, groups between 2-3 people, risked their own safety by throwing ‘grappling’ hooks and rope over heavy duty power lines, connected to a four wheel-drive and simply dragged the cable to the ground where it was recovered for the copper content.

Global dynamics change on an ever-increasing basis. Risk analysis produced to manage risk must, therefore, be considered a living analysis and should not be left unattended in a rapidly changing world. Thus, ensuring the integrity of the data, control measures and ultimate preparedness for a time of crisis.

At a time when government agencies are producing robust action plans for the protection of critical infrasructure and delivery of essential services, new regulations, reporting tools and acknowledged the necessity for including climate change and environmental factors in the risk analysis – what more could be done to reduce the potential effect of ‘Risk on Risk Analysis’?

ISSS Chairman, Philip Wayer, concludes; “Based on the significant platforms that have been initiated, paving the way for 2014 to 2020 the key variables in RSA activities would be the physical analysis, method of implementation in each municipality. Dependent on size and funding, municipalities may either outsource to the private sector or perform an RSA themselves utilizing internal resource”. Wayer believes that the areas of innovation and inter-connect present the most significant challenge for the continuity of delivery of essential services and protection of critical infrastructure. “This challenge can be effectively and efficiently met through a post-RSA verification process, ensuring the integrity of the RSA and crisis preparedness planning and the engagement of private - public sector co-operation. The risk management process is a 'living process'. It should be supported with structured regular reviews, workshops and seminars creating a harmonized and syncronized private-public sector partnership delivering robust, innovative and resilient planning".

The ISSS  Program 2014 - 2020 “Resilience through Innovation”


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