Author Archives: Douglas Kuhn

Just What Is Computer Science Exactly?

binary-computer

Among all international students that come into the United States, computer science ranks behind two other majors in terms of popularity.

Computer science is popular for quite a few reasons.

Reasons that typically include high starting wages, tremendous job security, and a broad range of job possibilities across many different industries. On the other hand, any international student that is considering taking up the study of computer science might have to ask themselves just what it is exactly.

woman-computer-science

Just what exactly is computer science?

In general, the field of computer science means studying computer technology, in terms of both software and hardware. On the other hand, computer science is a very diverse field, and the necessary skills can be applied and are in fact in high demand in nearly every industry across the modern world, as it is very dependent on technology.

Given this, computer science as a larger field can be broken down into dozens of sub-disciplines, many of which are nowadays fully specialized disciplines.

Several dominant categories that fall under the computer science field include the core areas of software systems, hardware systems, scientific computing, and computer theory.

Students can pick classes and credits from these various sub-disciplines with different levels of specialization based on how they intend to apply their individual computer science degree.

The most stringent specializations typically happen in graduate-level education. However, it’s imperative that a student know just what computer science specifically is before they can know where their interests might lie in this expansive field of knowledge and skill, and that all adds up to knowing just how they should go about studying computer science.

The Many Disciplines of Computer Science

There are many different disciplines that fall within the purview of computer science. An international student needs to know how to go about studying computer science in order to learn their way around these many specialties and sub-groups. These are a few potential areas in which a student studying computer science might wind up specializing in:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Physics
  • Computer Architecture Networks
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Game Development
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Programming
  • Cryptography
  • Data Management
  • Design Databases
  • Digital Image/ Sound
  • iOS Development
  • Memory Systems
  • Microprogramming
  • Mobile Development
  • Networks and Administration
  • Operating Systems
  • Parallel Programming
  • Robotics
  • Simulation and Modeling
  • Software Development
  • Software Systems
  • Web Development

Given how many options are available, any international student that comes to the United States should have a very particular focus in mind in terms of their pursuit of a computer science degree, especially if they’re going to be seen as a serious job candidate in the future.

Knowing just how they should go about studying the field of computer science and then planning out the kind of degree they get will be contingent upon a student understanding the broader discipline and then deciding for themselves if that degree is the right way to approach a career path.

As such, it’s crucial to pick out a particular computer science degree that lets you go after the kind of career that you would like to have.

Even with the apparently countless ways an international student could study computer science while inside the United States, they still have to ask the central question of what computer science is before they can start their hopefully successful education and then career.

However, there are numerous resources, many of them free, available to those who are studying the field of computer science.

For example, one great resource international students can use while studying computer sciences at an educational institution within the United States are websites of specific institutions, many of them, but not all educational. Such websites have lots of great content about the computer science curriculum available at that institution, including specialties, but they might also have resources that cater specifically to international students. This could include things like ongoing research, opportunities for internships and scholarships, and program course credit breakdowns.

The Study Computer Science guide is also a powerful resource that international students might use. This guide has quite a bit of information involving topics from advice about internships and careers to where a person should study computer science.

Six Reasons to Pursue A Degree in Computer Science

laptop-computer-man

Are you on the fence about whether or not obtaining a computer science degree is the right choice for you?

If so, keep reading to learn more about the top benefits of graduating in the field of computer science:

Computers Are Here to Stay

Computers are an integral part of modern society. There is a reason why this is known as the Digital Age. Almost every aspect of today’s world involves interacting with a computer in some way. People who work in the field of computer science not only contribute to the development of new hardware and software tools, but they also help design and implement programs that change our lives.

Most Graduates Don’t Have Any Trouble Finding A Job Right Out of School

Based on the available data, students who graduate with a degree in computer science are extremely likely to get hired in their chosen field within six months of graduation. The odds of getting a job right out of school are even higher if you attend a university that has a top-rated computer science program.

computer-woman

You Can Earn A Good Living as A Computer Scientist

Most jobs in the field of computer science pay well, largely because qualified applicants are in such high demand. The starting salary for recent graduates is quite high on average. To see whether the income is high enough for your needs, take a look at the average pay for recent graduates who are hired for professional computer science positions.

The Demand for Computer Scientists Spans Multiple Industries

Computers play a role in practically every modern industry. That means that computer scientists can find jobs in a number of different fields. From healthcare to science and engineering, anyone who is knowledgeable about computers stands a good chance of finding work. Computer scientists are often tasked with creating solutions to some of society’s most challenging problems, making this a rewarding career.

A Chance to Connect with People from Other Countries

The computer science department at a typical university is quite diverse, with students from many different parts of the world. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, nearly 20,000 students in computer science programs are from overseas.

Having a chance to connect with people from other countries while pursuing your degree can give you a broader perspective on the world. It also provides an unparalleled networking opportunity that can benefit you later in your career.

wood-world-map

A Chance to Study Abroad

For students in the field of computer science, there are plenty of opportunities to study abroad. Learning about computers at an overseas university can not only help you improve your computer skills but can also give you a better understanding of how computers integrate with and impact other societies. As an added bonus, you not only can benefit from spending time in another culture, but you may even master another language, making yourself more attractive to potential employers.

Computational And Artificial Intelligence

robot

Technology relies on discovery, and discovery depends on advancement of technology; and that is definitely true when it comes to Computational Intelligence. It is nearly a “catch 22” situation. Theories are produced by good science that get explored via experimentation and these experiments rely on theories for guidance. The CI discipline has ancient roots even though it is a fairly new field.

What is Computational Intelligence?

A science website defined computational intelligence as being the study of “intelligent agents” design. That might be confusing, and therefore the website further defines an agent as being something that acts within an environment. An agent acts. Thermostats and worms do this as well as people. An intelligent agent acts in such a way that it is appropriate for the situation in order to achieve a goal: an intelligent agent is able to learn and adapt.

an single ant on a leaf

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another phrase that is associated with CI. The human is the form of intelligent life that is usually cited, but there are other forms of intelligence as well. Organizations contain the totality of skills that make then even more intelligent than just one person. The same thing is true of ants. A single ant is probably not that intelligent, however, the colony can use its skills for constructing dwellings and find food. CI works in a similar way through experimenting with various computer systems.

What are the Differences Between CI and AI?

`a pearl in a shell

Basically the two terms are the same thing. The main goal of each them is to understand what actually makes intelligence possible. This study covers intelligence in artificial systems and in nature. Instead of using the term “artificial,” numerous scientists do prefer the term synthetic. The reason for that is the inferences that are made by the terms. The word ‘Artificial’ infers something that isn’t real. ‘Synthetic’ refers to something synthesized but that is still real. For example, a synthetic pearl still is a pearl, even though it isn’t natural. The agents are synthesized in order to investigate hypotheses. The main question is whether or not the reasoning was based on algorithms. Ideas are postulated by scientists that are used by engineers to create “artifacts” like computers that can perform numerous tasks that are generally viewed as being intelligent.

How Is This Science Used?

Although the main goal of this science is to understand intelligence and not how intelligent machines are constructed, some beneficial creations have resulted from experiments. The site Wise Geek listed robotics as being one example. Since ancient times individuals have been attempting to synthesize intelligence. There is a story dating from the third century BC regarding a man who creates an artificial man and he is taken to show the king, who was impressed by it.

robot toy

Since the early twentieth century, robots toys have existed. These toys move, and in certain situations, respond to commands. However, the newest robots come with sensory devices that enable them to act as well as respond according to information received via their sensors. Another thing that robots are used for is for detecting explosives and then disarming or exploding them, to save human lives. The layouts and dimensions of a home are learned by automatic vacuums which then can function on their own. Cars and cell pones use voice recognition intelligence, which allows security systems to provide protection against hackers. The voice patterns of the manager or owner are learned by the computer and then respond to commands issued in this pattern.

flying drone

For centuries now man has dreamed of creating synthetic intelligence, however the science is still a young one. As scientists continue learning more from their experiments, they continue to develop more theories. In turn, these lead to even more experiments. Those things can and will undoubtedly come from Computational Intelligence which will make the future be significantly different for everyone.

Physical Cyber Network Systems

tesla smart car

Cyber Physical Systems

Just like the Internet has completely transformed how people interact with and use information, the interactions that people have with engineered systems are being transformed by cyber-physical systems. Cyber-physical systems integrate networking, control, computation, and sensing into infrastructure and physical objects, connecting them to one another and the Internet.

NSF is one of the leaders in supporting advances in the fundamental tools and knowledge that are turning cyber-physical systems into reality. Those advances have the potential for reshaping our world by providing more efficient, reliable, precise and responsive systems, to make it possible for a revolution of “smart” systems and devices ranging from smart grids to smart cars, and collectively leading to smart cities – which are capable of addressing some of the nation’s most pressing issues.

Energy and transportation

smart car

In the future, we will be traveling in driverless cars that securely communicate with one another in planes and on smart roads that coordinate in order to reduce the number of delays. There will be drones checking infrastructure for damage and delivering Wi-Fi access to disaster areas. Offices and homes will be powered by smart grids that are user-aware and that make use of sensors for analyzing the environment and optimizing cooling, heating, and lighting.

Medicine and health care

smart health care

Cyber-physical systems are currently poised to completely transform health care delivery by enabling smart medical services and treatments. Sensors located inside of the house will be able to detect changing health conditions; bionic limbs and robotic surgery will help heal as well as restore movement to the disabled and injured and one day might even be able to augment human abilities; new operating systems will allow for personalized medical devices to be interoperable.

Sustainability and the Environment

Cyber-physical systems are being used increasingly for promoting sustainability. Currently, cyber-physical systems are assisting firefights to deter and detect fires, helping to improve agricultural practices, and allowing scientists to effectively mitigate oil spills underwater.

Cyber-physical system advances will enable usability, security, safety, resiliency, scalability, adaptability, and capability that will far exceed today’s simple embedded systems.

Turning Urban Areas Into Smart Cities

smart city network

Cyber Systems Urban Transitioning To Smart Cities

Smart cities are on the rise and will become wide-scale cyber-physical systems which will have sensor monitoring and the physical ability to dynamically change the environment in some ways. Industry and governments are all getting involved with the intent to improve life for urbanites by providing more efficient services. This is being done in part because projections suggest that as many as two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by the year 2050.

rural smart tech tractor

When you take a look at how substantially urban life has grown in comparison to those who live outside the city, you can see how it’s going to be necessary to make major improvements. In 1950 only 30% of the world’s population lived in the city. By 2014 that had grown to over half of the world’s population that were in urban areas. And as earlier stated, projections suggest that up to 66% of the world’s population will be living in the city by 2050.

The organizational structures and infrastructures of the city will need to be rethought to accommodate the growing and aging population that will reside in the city. This will mean better use of key resources such as power, food, and water. The rapid growth of cities could cause a great deal of problems if sustainable planning isn’t developed. This means improving the efficiencies and services of a city is crucial to its success. Smart cities such as those in Boston, Singapore, Santander, and others are beginning to develop.

With a population of over a hundred thousand people in Europe, smart cities have developed smart economy’s, smart environments, smart living opportunities, governance, and enhanced mobility.

Santander is a smart City in Spain that has a large-scale research project which has placed sensors around the city. The purpose of this city is to develop solutions and improve different aspects of city living such as traffic congestion, the use of energy, the quality of the environment, and getting citizen participation. The hope is that this project can be shared in a way that other useful applications can be developed. It is also hoped that the research can show how to reduce distances within the infrastructure and adopt other applications that will work in real-world environments.

Spreading the Internet of Things and CPSs is what is hoped will result.

Singapore at night

Singapore has long been considered the first smart city and it continues to lead in its implementation of smart infrastructures and its ability to provide quality services. The city represents one of the most important business centers in the world and has Asia’s fifth-biggest airport. In an effort to be an example for other nations and to meet economic growth and population needs, Singapore is aiming to be the first smart nation.

Efforts are being made to improve policies that can better manage different contexts. There is an effort to develop novel business models with improved revenue streams that can strengthen the overall economic growth of the City. The hope is that citizens will become actively involved in helping to create quality services that improve everyday life for everyone within the city.

In 2012 Boston received a grant for the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge. This grant was based on its existing ecosystem and its innovations. There are a number of starter companies and universities in the city that are driving it toward the cutting edge of technology and research and is helping it to adopt new models regularly. The city of Boston invests a lot of money into innovating technology and in research and development. Those that live in the city are considered to be among the most intelligent in the world. They use crowdsourcing to help collect data about their environment. It has also developed ways to get its citizens involved in collaborating to improve services.

Challenges Of The Future

It will only be possible for smart cities to become successful if people are able to get more involved and develop the ability to think differently. It will be essential for individuals to become part of active communities to effectively distribute knowledge and improve city services. The use of technology can be used to build collective intelligence.

One of the keys to success for CPSs and smart cities is collective intelligence. Collective intelligence will be used for the purpose of cooperative monitoring of urban environments. It also hopes to improve tasks of general interest so it can be performed more efficiently.

There are still a number of technical challenges that have to be solved. Some of these challenges include data heterogeneity. This plays a big role in communication performance and the overall design of communication protocols. Systems will have to be able to support a number of different applications and devices. CPSs can be used for transportation, healthcare, infrastructure, and other applications. Providing safe and reliable technology that meets basic requirements and how they impact the environment will be imperative. The impact of actuators might be irreversible and this makes a need for minimizing unexpected behavior.

Because the environment cannot always be predictable, technology will need to be able to adapt to unexpected circumstances especially in the case of failures. The ability to analyze big data and process it will need to be done in real time. The data will need to be managed by both offline and online stream processing and in relation to the particular goals of the system. When dealing with an online stream, the information can change often and conditions are often based on continuous queries. There will be a significant need to balance the control of personal data privacy concerns while at the same time being able to access certain data that allows for better services to be provided. CPSs deal with huge amounts of data, some of which include very sensitive information such as religion, gender, health, and other factors. This means that there are always going to be issues surrounding data privacy that are raised.

The technology will have to have policies in place to address privacy issues and there will need to be tools for the system to process everything. These devices will be able to ensure security, in part, because they are coordinated in real time. As these devices begin to interact with cyber systems and physical ones, then the security problems are more likely to appear. The infrastructure used traditionally won’t be enough and that means new solutions have to be found.

image depicting connection between regulations for smart privacy

Anytime that data is collected for future use there are security issues that need to be addressed. Because CPSs run wireless communications there will always be security issues to deal with. These systems use sensors to manage large amounts of data. The computations made by the systems have to be efficient and timely due to physical processes going independently from the computations. If the computation mechanism gets bogged down, the physical processes will continue and this will be problematic. This means that these systems have to have the capacity to complete their computations at a rate that can keep up with the physical processes. In order for CPSs to keep up, they will have to have the bandwidth necessary and the overall system capacity needed to meet these critical functions. This is very critical because any failures that occur can result in permanent damage.

What Is A Cyber Physical System

cyber-network

Cyber-Physical Systems

A cyber-physical system, or CPS, is created when devices are linked together in such a way that data collected in both the cyber and physical spheres can influence the behavior of the system as a whole. Individual computers and networks are embedded throughout the system to monitor and control physical activity. Most CPSs feature feedback loops where data collected has an impact on both computation and physical action. Considered in the abstract, a CPS is about the intersection of cyber and physical assets rather than fusing them together.

A cyber-physical system cannot be described or understood simply by examining its separate physical and computational components. They way they interact is a fundamental part of the system.

The term “cyber-physical systems” first came into use in 2006. Helen Gill of the National Science Foundation of the US coined the term. There is a strong temptation to conflate the idea of a CPS with the term “cyberspace,” but the two terms have far less to do with each other than first sight suggests. The most accurate way to consider the matter is to note that both terms derive from the common root word, cybernetics. (This term was popularized by the American mathematician Norbert Wiener.) Cyber-physical systems and cyberspace are broadly related, but they are siblings or cousins at best. There is no parent-child relationship here.

Applications For CPS

It is a bold but not baseless assertion to predict that CPS applications may be even more transformative than the information technology revolution that came at the end of the 20th century. Consider these practical examples of what a CPS could do:

Heart Surgery

doctors doing open heart surgery

Many forms of heart surgery require doctors to stop the heart before they can operate and then restart it when their work is finished. This process has a lot of obvious risks and the likelihood of negative side effects is high. Today, multiple research terms are working toward new surgical techniques that would allow a surgeon to operate usefully on a beating heart without stopping it. This possibility rests on two key technologies. First, robotic control can enhance the tools required for the surgery and enable them to match the movement of a beating heart. This would allow a surgeon to apply precise and constant pressure without stopping the heart. The second technological prerequisite is an imaging system that allows the surgeon to look at an illusory but accurate representation of an unbeating heart. This view would enable the surgeon to make accurate and useful decisions about how to proceed without interrupting the patient’s heartbeat. Bringing this technology together into a safe and effective system requires precise modeling of the patient’s heart, the surgical tools, and the hardware and software creating the interface between patient and surgeon. The software involved in this surgery would have to be extremely robust, incorporating redundant fail-safes and fallbacks so that malfunctions would not injure the patient. To achieve satisfactory reliability, both the system and its sensors would have to be extremely accurate.

Traffic Management

busy city traffic intersection

Keeping a city’s traffic flow efficient is a challenge. What about a community where the city’s infrastructure (e.g. traffic lights) and the cars on the road cooperated to reduce inefficiencies? As a simple starting point, imagine a traffic light intelligent enough to never present a red light unless cross traffic was actually present. This is well within current capabilities, but a CPS could go much further. Vehicles themselves could be part of the system, constantly reporting their positions and sharing road resources more efficiently. Of course, where vehicle traffic is a concern, reliability and safety must be paramount. Engineering a traffic CPS reliable enough to eliminate deadly failures is a formidable challenge.

The Potential Of Cyber-Physical Systems

smart home

The range of capabilities offered by smart devices is expanding rapidly while their costs remain quite affordable. The data infrastructure to support these devices – high-speed wireless networks and 4G cellular coverage – is also becoming more and more common. Smart devices are the backbone of the Internet of Things, an expanding network of devices that collect environmental information and share it with users and other devices.

smart watch

The Internet of Things is, broadly speaking, the collective mass of smart devices that monitor and/or change the environment around them. They enable data collection and data sharing, linking devices together into functional networks that can span vast geographical distances. The Internet of Things is ubiquitous computing – devices and information everywhere. As the possibilities of the IoT grow, more and more devices can be combined together into sensing and acting networks that can have a dramatic impact on their environment.

Synergy Between The Physical World And Devices

The latest Internet of Things implementations rhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyber-physical_systemely on the creation of cyber-physical systems, or CPSs. These systems combine computational resources that are capable of affecting both cyberspace and the real world. Many CPSs are directly concerned with monitoring or controlling real-life processes. A CPSs is a vital component of an IoT implementation and is necessary to unlock the full capabilities of the individual devices connected to the network.

someone holding a smart-phone

The Internet of Things has profound disruptive potential. In commercial, social, and private environments, IoT implementations can deliver significant improvements to both the environment and the users in it. From an information technology standpoint, IoT technology allows you to create intelligent, adaptive applications with the ability to directly influence real-world systems. Cyber-physical systems and the IoT devices within them need to be able to send, receive, and manage large volumes of data in a variety of different forms. When programmed wisely, CPSs help manage resources more efficiently. At a communal scale, these technologies provide a foundation for building entire smart cities where the services rendered to citizens are both more effective and more affordable.

More On Cyber-Physical Systems

There are two very general categories of elements involved in a cyber-physical system. Sensors are devices or applications that monitor virtual or real-world indicators. Actuators are elements are capable of modifying the digital or physical environment when they operate. The sensors of a CPS should function to connect all of the IT resources in the system so that all of the system’s sensors can have a positive effect on its actuators.

Physical actuators are designed to have a measurable impact on the environment around users. Virtual sensors collect information on users’ online activities. This might include content publication, e-commerce activity (buying or selling), and social media use. A predictive CPS can coordinate the data it takes in and use to it effectively predict users’ needs or actions in the future. There are already robust software solutions designed to make this sort of coordination practical. IBM’s WebSphere Sensor Events, for instance, gives you the power to productively analyze real-time data collected from both cyber and physical sensors and use that data to make a CPS’s actuators more effective.

Practical Applications For Cyber-Physical Systems:

  • Manufacturing: In industrial environments, a CPS can boost efficiency by tying together a wide range of different machines and streamlining their information-sharing capabilities. Business systems, suppliers, logistics, and customers can all feed data into a manufacturing CPS. A sufficiently robust CPS can even increase the efficiency of manufacturing processes by making independent adjustments to suit customer preferences and business requirements. CPSs also make supply chains far easier to manage by greatly increasing their transparency.
  • Healthcare: CPSs can do a great deal to extend the data-collection abilities of healthcare professionals. Remote monitoring can be used to reduce the amount of intensive hospital care required by patients, such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. CPS capabilities can broadly raise the quality and efficiency of treatments available to elderly and/or disabled patients. Healthcare CPSs are also potent research tools, particularly in the field of neuroscience. Doctors and scientists use CPSs to better understand the human nervous system and expand the possibilities of brain-machine interfaces.
  • Renewable Energy: The energy sector already contains robust examples of CPSs in action. A smart grid is one enhanced with monitoring and control devices. This results in a more efficient and reliable energy distribution system.
  • Smart Buildings: Smart devices throughout a building can contribute to a CPS designed to reduce energy waste, increase safety and security, and make occupants more comfortable. You might use a smart building CPS to monitor energy use and adjust control systems to conserve power. Building CPSs can even be useful diagnostic tools when buildings suffer damage.
  • Transportation: Individual vehicles and even infrastructure elements can be combined together into a useful CPS. Real-time information sharing can enlighten users about traffic flow, accidents, congestion, and other distant events that impact their vehicles. Good management through a CPS can make a transit network cheaper and faster.
  • Agriculture: CPSs deployed in an agricultural context lead to cutting-edge farming with extremely high efficiency. An agricultural CPS can collect vital data about the environment and use it to inform land management decisions. Advanced sensors can even monitor the health of plants and animals to alert users to potential problems.
  • Computing: A CPS focused on cyber activity can be a powerful tool for studying and explaining user behavior. The insights a CPS generates can be used to automatically or manually manage resources better and improve performance. Applications can be designed to adjust to changes in the cyber environment, anticipating and satisfying user’s needs in real time. In an e-commerce environment, CPSs can collect consumer data from a vast range of platforms and use it to accurately predict their future interests in products, services, and content.

Understanding Cyber Risk Management

computer screen with code

Dealing With Cyber Risk Management

Risk, according to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), can be defined as the “effect of uncertainty on objectiveness.” Leaning on this definition of risk, risk management can be defined as an ongoing process involving the identification, assessment, and responding to the risks. To this end, managing risk should entail organizations assessing the likelihood of an event, the potential impact of the event, and thereafter, determine the best approach to deal with the risk.

Some of the ways organizations can choose to deal with the risk include avoiding it, transferring the risk, accepting the risk or mitigating it. That being said, it is important to note that not all risks can be eliminated, moreover, organizations typically do not have unlimited budget and personnel to eliminate all risks. More often than not, the best cause of action is to mitigate risk, and organizations must determine the kind of security measures (for instance, preventing, deterring, detecting, correcting) they should have in place. In a nutshell, risk management is all about organizations managing the effects of the uncertainty on their objectives in the most logical, efficient, and effective manner using their limited resources.

One of the qualities of a good risk management program is having a program that creates situational awareness and clear communication about the risk. Pursuing such a program allows an organization to make well informed, well-considered risk decisions that are made with the organization’s mission or pursuit of profit in mind.

Moreover, risk management should take a comprehensive approach, taking into consideration all the risks the organization is exposed to and the resources available. This will allow the company to better manage the risk, improve resource allocation, and enhance accountability. Finally, risk management should help identify the risk early enough to implement appropriate mitigations measures.

Essential Elements

Virtually all risk management standards, including those from COCO, ISO, and NIST make use of common processes that have common elements, including:

1. Align organizational risk management to objectives and goals

2. Identify Risks

3. Assess Risks

4. Select Risk Response

5. Monitor Risks

6. Communicating and Reporting on Risks

Aligning enterprise risk management to the organization’s objective and goals helps establish the enterprise cyber risk management foundation for the programs based on the 3 pillars of risk appetite, governance, and procedures and policy. On the governance front, it should involve risk-decision makers and experts using a risk management framework to the entire process while ensuring proper engagement by all stakeholders including authorizing officials, leaders, and the risk committee.

When dealing with the appetite for risk factor, they should be aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives. Finally, when developing procedures and policies, an organization should define risk, and clearly communicate the risk management expectations, and guidelines. After setting up the risk management program, the other risk management elements will help the organization manage risk on a continuous basis.

7 Considerations To Have When Dealing With Cyber Risk Management

man planning on a white board

Culture

Organizational managers and leaders ought to establish a culture of risk management and cybersecurity throughout their organization. To this end, they should define a governance structure and communicate intent and expectations, thereby ensuring proper training, leadership involvement, and accountability. Training is especially important if an organization want to deal with new emerging risks.

Information Sharing

To be secure, everyone should be involved. The stakeholders must be conversant with the risk, especially the shared risks and the cross-cutting risks. They must also be involved in decision making. When setting up communication processes and policies to share information, thresholds and procedures should be established. Moreover, the right communications tools should be used. For instance, dashboards can use to display critical metrics

Priorities

As mentioned above, every organization has limited staff and budget. As such, organizations should collect information on risks on aspects such as trends over time, the most likely time the risk will materialize (in the short-term, mid-term, or long-term), and impact time horizons. Having this information will help organizations compare and prioritize risks.

Resilience

Since no organization can guarantee successfully protecting itself against all risks, the risk management plans should enable continuity of critical functions during and after the destructive or disruptive attack – in this case, a cyber-attack. Resilience, in this case, entails the deployment of properties that can operate under operational disruption and stress. Typically organizations use CERT-RMM (CERT Resilience Management Model) to improve their operational resilience.

Speed

Speedy response to risk can negate the impact of the risk. The same case applies for early identification of risk. However, you should note that incident response and recovery is dependent on incident management planning. As such, incident management should be done periodically.

Threat Environment

It is important to pay attention to cyber-environment. Organizations, therefore, should enhance, their intelligence capabilities such as deploying network security sensors. They should also account for insider-threats and risk exposure brought about by third-parties, especially the supply chain. Insider threats such as inadvertent (in the case of phishing) and malicious intent are the biggest security problem organizations face.

Cyber Hygiene

A good place to start risk management is to implement basic cyber hygiene practices. Cyber hygiene entails securing your infrastructure, reducing risks, and preventing attacks. The Center for Internet Security provides a 20-points cybersecurity control guide. Furthermore, SEI also provides a list of 11 cyber hygiene practices for organizations. Organizations should use these lists to improve their cyber hygiene.

NIST Cyber Framework 101

As you might appreciate, cyber threats are ever-growing and ever evolving. As such, the goal should be to consistently implement risk management programs.

Given that cyber event will keep happening in your organization, it is far better to be prepared to deal with them when they arise.