26 June 2016

Resilience 3.0: Next Generation Operational Risks...

Operational Risks are being exacerbated due to the tension and competition, for people to be noticed and heard, within a vast ocean of zeros and ones, all invisible to the human eye.  Trusted systems on the Internet, once thought to be impervious to the asymmetric threats of "Transnational Organized Crime" (TOC), Hacktivists, and even nation states are now ever so more in peril.  The next generation has four main fronts:
  • Sovereignty
  • Piracy and Intellectual Property
  • Privacy
  • Security
The global conflict being waged 24/7/365 on the Internet continues and in the next decade the Yottabytes of data will continue to be ingested, analyzed, digested and excreted at the speed of business and social commentary.  The United Nations has been gearing up for years with the UN Global Pulse Project concerning the future of the Internet:

"Global Pulse functions as a network of innovation labs where research on Big Data for Development is conceived and coordinated. Global Pulse partners with experts from UN agencies, governments, academia, and the private sector to research, develop, and mainstream approaches for applying real-time digital data to 21st century development challenges. "

As Michael Joseph Gross illustrates in his Vanity Fair article "World War 3.0"; Battle lines have been drawn between repressive regimes and Western democracies, corporations and customers, hackers and law enforcement:
"The War for the Internet was inevitable—a time bomb built into its creation. The war grows out of tensions that came to a head as the Internet grew to serve populations far beyond those for which it was designed. Originally built to supplement the analog interactions among American soldiers and scientists who knew one another off­-line, the Internet was established on a bedrock of trust: trust that people were who they said they were, and trust that information would be handled according to existing social and legal norms. That foundation of trust crumbled as the Internet expanded."
The resilience of an organization has for hundreds and thousands of years relied upon sufficient resources:  Food, water, energy, capital, trade, defense.  Communications was long ago recognized as a game changer for achieving a greater degree of resilience and historically made the difference in World Wars and other significant planetary conflicts.

Today it is no different as the Arab Spring has seen another anniversary and people leverage the use of silicon based devices in concert with wireless mesh networks on the borders of failing nation states.

Humanitarian operations are evolving to go far beyond the establishment of the standard platforms for responding to natural disasters and other atrocities of mankind.  The ability for people to develop and run their own businesses, creates a sustainability factor that can not be underestimated.  Whether that occurs, first has to do with knowledge and resources but when you add communications to the mix the advantages of survival increase exponentially.

The Internet and wireless technologies combined with the rapid adoption of IoTs, iPhones and iPads has created another key resource that organizations must manage and plan for in the vast spectrum of Operational Risk Management (ORM).  As the governments of the world debate the Sovereignty of Internet assets and the rebels of the world order more wireless enabled devices for communications; the requirements for prudent risk management endure.

Whether you are a private sector company or the leader of an organization simply trying to communicate the truth to the rest of the world, managing Operational Risks effectively will be a continuous factor of your resilience.

The ranks of those organizing themselves on the Internet continues for every instance of what people are thinking, saying and doing in the name of communications to enable their resilience:
"Aside from wealth or arcane knowledge, the only other guarantor of security will be isolation.  Some people will pioneer new ways of life that minimize their involvement online.  Still others will opt out altogether—to find or create a little corner of the planet where the Internet does not reach.  Depending on how things go, that little corner could become a very crowded place.  And you’d be surprised at how many of the best informed people about the Internet have already started preparing for the trip."

18 June 2016

4GW: Strategic Risk Vs. Tactical Insurgencies...

Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) is upon us in the E-Ring, The West Wing and the PGP Keyring. Information Assets and the knowledge that is the key to wealth is not a physical debate any longer. Thomas X. Hammes articulates this in his book, The Sling and The Stone:
Fourth-generation warfare (4GW) uses all available networks -- political, economic, social, and military -- to convince the enemy's political decision makers that their strategic goals are either unachievable or too costly for the perceived benefit. It is an evolved form of insurgency. Still rooted in the fundamental precept that superior political will, when properly employed, can defeat greater economic and military power, 4GW makes use of society's networks to carry on its fight. Unlike previous generations of warfare, it does not attempt to win by defeating the enemy's military forces. Instead, via the networks, it directly attacks the minds of enemy decision makers to destroy the enemy's political will. Fourth-generation wars are lengthy -- measured in decades rather than months or years.
The Mission
The global business landscape has known for all to long the power of marketing. Knowledge is not a fixed asset in a fixed physical location. Intellectual property, patent applications and new formulas can be reduced to zeros and ones and sent to anyone in the world almost instantaneously. Encrypted data flows through the veins of the Internet and has changed the playing field for governments and for your organization.

While nations states and growing adversaries wage their respective political and economic battles, the private sector and the Fortune 500 are in another and parallel conflict to keep their Intellectual Property and Information-Based Assets safe and secure from a growing threat spectrum.

Modern digital insurgents and other 4GW opponents are part of a virtual network that has no specific location found in longitude latitude or geocode. The money center bank or transnational pharmaceutical company is all to familiar with the hijacking of trade secrets or personal identities, held for ransom or sold to the highest bidder.

The Take Away
Yet this is not about technology and it is even more apparent that it is not about the Internet. It is about how people are able to operate in a wide variety of countries, cultures and operating environments. These human networks are the most powerful forces to governments and to marketers.

Whether it's a brand being endorsed by a superstar rocker like Paul McCartney or a book being recommended by Oprah Winfrey this 4GW strategy is exactly what this sharing of human knowledge and intelligence is all about. And let's not forget the power of Aljazeera and The New York Times.

The risk of operating your enterprise across the planet requires a "4GW" mentality and toolkit to help ensure your success. What is your organization doing to retool and retrofit your work force to compete on an operational level with more educated people and superior human capital?

11 June 2016

Breakpoint and Beyond: The Naivety of Change...

The discontinuity of our society, our governments, our weather and the digital innovations of this modern generation creates simultaneous paths of challenge.  One of crisis and another of opportunity.

Yet without a thorough analysis and comprehension of the discontinuous change before us, how can you manage the Operational Risks that occur, at any point in time?  What path will you choose...
World English Dictionary

— n , pl -ties
1. lack of rational connection or cohesion
2. a break or interruption
3. maths
a. the property of being discontinuous
b. the point or the value of the variable at which a curve or function becomes discontinuous
4. geology
a. See also Mohorovičić discontinuity a zone within the earth where a sudden change in physical properties, such as the velocity of earthquake waves, occurs. Such a zone marks the boundary between the different layers of the earth, as between the core and mantle
b. a surface separating rocks that are not continuous with each other

"Discontinuity of Change" is a subject well understood by the average person walking the streets of Anacostia near the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, DC, San Bernardino, CA or Orlando, FL.

Perhaps those walking down Saeb Salaam in the heart of Beruit, Lebanon as refugees  also can comprehend, as they become vulnerable to arrest, detention and deportation.   Learning about change itself and the underlying systemic nature of the phases of change, can provide people in the middle of crisis or opportunity, with new found context.

In 1992, this blogger had the fortune to spend a significant amount of time with the authors of
Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today.  Dr. George Land and Dr. Beth Jarman wrote an extraordinary book and created an organization to teach what was inside it's covers.  To help us all make better sense of change and to discover our own ability, for innovation and creativity:
In our over four decades of research and work across many cultures, we have found that practically all humans have a vast capacity for imaginative, creative thinking. Although this ability has been dampened by social forces, it can be reawakened. We have also found that people have the capacity to put judgments and fears aside and work truly creatively and collaboratively in diverse and even divisive groups.
The path of crisis or opportunity is not a choice in what direction, it is a better understanding of change itself.  The systemic nature of the three phases of change and the ability to know where you are in the growth curve of the system, is the core.  Yet to innovate and to leap beyond a breakpoint to master the future, requires finding your own creativity once again.

The creativity that we are all born with, begins to dissolve at an early age.  Once we reach our teens and early adulthood, our cultural systems have stripped innovation from our potential known capabilities as a child.  As we grow older, our aspirations to be creative is subjected to influence by our parents, friends, teachers or by the 1 or 2%, in our particular ecosystem.  Is "Out-of-the-Box" thinking a good thing where you live or work?  Does your environment encourage divergence or convergence?

You see, the "Discontinuity" in society creates breakpoints.  The "Arab Spring" and the forming digital systems social revolution before us, creates new crisis and simultaneous opportunities.  Both are challenges for people, business, governments and global economies to analyze and rationalize.

Will you innovate?

If you are a policy maker in your organization, what are you doing to innovate?  Do you have new solutions for the changing operational risks encountered, as your employees travel the globe and make decisions for the enterprise? If you are the main policy bodies within your government, what have you done lately to find new creativity to address the potential opportunity before you?

In either case, the speed of change and the ability to rapidly innovate, will certainly decide your future.  Did you make it beyond the bifurcation and breakpoint?  Here is a great scientific example:
The miniaturization of electronic devices has been the principal driving force behind the semiconductor industry, and has brought about major improvements in computational power and energy efficiency. Although advances with silicon-based electronics continue to be made, alternative technologies are being explored. Digital circuits based on transistors fabricated from carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have the potential to outperform silicon by improving the energy–delay product, a metric of energy efficiency, by more than an order of magnitude. Hence, CNTs are an exciting complement to existing semiconductor technologies12.
Mastering the future today, is about better understanding the discontinuity of change around you. Managing "Operational Risk" is simple.  Continuously grow or die.

06 June 2016

Data Provenance: The Truth of Information...

Our ability to make trust decisions that we know are sound and effective, begins with the provenance of data.  When you trust the source of information that is being communicated, it makes all the difference in your final decision to trust.  Operational Risk Management (ORM) is quickly evolving to a next generation of truth.

What publications do you read?  Who wrote the article?  What is the authors reputation?  Is it a book on Amazon or a newsletter delivered via e-mail?  These are all questions you ask yourself as you absorb the content and process the information being conveyed and the evidence available to you.

What important truth do very few people agree with you on?

Most people think that traditional Risk Management is a sound process.  Risk Management Frameworks in a digital environment do not work and are soon to be extinct.  The truth is, human beings are incapable of effectively managing the "Zeros and Ones" with a simple "Likelihood vs. Impact" matrix.  The complexity and speed of change is just too great.

Why?  The answer is, that very few people really can even understand the fundamental engineering of the digital inventions we are operating or encountering each day.  How can you expect them to judge whether a digital asset is more likely or not, to encounter a serious integrity threat?  How can you really expect them to judge the origin value of the digital asset to themselves or others?

However, once you have closely studied and researched around a hypothesis long enough, some clarity and new truths are capable of being discovered.  This is when new discoveries are made and the opportunity for mankind to advance or decline takes place.  That is why humans have built other kinds of digital machines, to assist them in making these trust decisions to manage risk.

You see, when the dark side actions of the Internet started to become more of a reality (probe, scan, flood, authenticate, bypass, spoof, read, copy, steal, modify, delete) to most people using it, we invented new safeguard computing machines.  Some were called "Intrusion Detection Systems" (IDS) and others were called "Firewalls".  This was just the beginning.

Soon after the dawn of the 21st century, we began hearing the names of new digital software machines to battle viruses that were described using terms such as "Deep-Packet-Inspection" and digital forensics.

Now in 2016, we have Microsoft and Facebook engineering their own fiber-optic cable network to cross the ocean to deliver data at 160 terabits.  Why?
Facebook and Microsoft are laying a massive cable across the middle of the Atlantic.

Dubbed MAREA—Spanish for “tide”—this giant underwater cable will stretch from Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, shuttling digital data across 6,600 kilometers of ocean. Providing up to 160 terabits per second of bandwidth—about 16 million times the bandwidth of your home Internet connection—it will allow the two tech titans to more efficiently move enormous amounts of information between the many computer data centers and network hubs that underpin their popular online services.
 The decision to trust begins with the control end-to-end of the system.  How many hand-offs were there for the courier to carry the message from point A to point B along the path?  Who was in control of the path along the journey?  What assurance do you have that the message was not altered in it's content during the transit.  Now you are starting to get the big picture.

If your name is HP, or Cisco and many others in the telecom industry, your competition is not the normal hardware infrastructure companies anymore.  Soon corporate enterprises will be seeking specialized networks on a case-by-case basis, that are not controlled by Verizon, AT&T or BT.  It goes far beyond control of equipment and physical assets.

The "TrustDecisions" that you and your organizations encounter in the next decade may very well rely on a whole new set of rules.  The integrity of information will rely on a whole new set of networks and a whole new level of truth, on the provenance of data.