By Ian Dobson & Jim Hietala, The Open Group
These days, organizations are rarely self-contained. Businesses collaborate through partnerships and close links with suppliers and customers. Outsourcing services and business processes, including into Cloud Computing, means that key operations that an organization depends on are often fulfilled outside their control.
The challenge here is how to manage the dependencies your operations have on factors that are outside your control. The goal is to perform your risk management so it optimizes your operational success through being resilient against external dependencies.
The Open Group’s Dependency Modeling (O-DM) standard specifies how to construct a dependency model to manage risk and build trust over organizational dependencies between enterprises – and between operational divisions within a large organization. The standard involves constructing a model of the operations necessary for an organization’s success, including the dependencies that can affect each operation. Then, applying quantitative risk sensitivities to each dependency reveals those operations that have highest exposure to risk of not being successful, informing business decision-makers where investment in reducing their organization’s exposure to external risks will result in best return.
O-DM helps you to plan for success through operational resilience, assured business continuity, and effective new controls and contingencies, enabling you to:
- Cut costs without losing capability
- Make the most of tight budgets
- Build a resilient supply chain
- Lead programs and projects to success
- Measure, understand and manage risk from outsourcing relationships and supply chains
- Deliver complex event analysis
The O-DM analytical process facilitates organizational agility by allowing you to easily adjust and evolve your organization’s operations model, and produces rapid results to illustrate how reducing the sensitivity of your dependencies improves your operational resilience. O-DM also allows you to drill as deep as you need to go to reveal your organization’s operational dependencies.
O-DM support training on the development of operational dependency models conforming to this standard is available, as are software computation tools to automate speedy delivery of actionable results in graphic formats to facilitate informed business decision-making.
The O-DM standard represents a significant addition to our existing Open Group Risk Management publications:
- Risk Taxonomy standard
- Guide to Requirements for Risk Assessment Methodologies
- Guide: Cookbook for Using the Risk Taxonomy standard with ISO/IEC 27005
The O-DM standard may be accessed here.
Ian Dobson is the director of the Security Forum and the Jericho Forum for The Open Group, coordinating and facilitating the members to achieve their goals in our challenging information security world. In the Security Forum, his focus is on supporting development of open standards and guides on security architectures and management of risk and security, while in the Jericho Forum he works with members to anticipate the requirements for the security solutions we will need in future.
Jim Hietala, CISSP, GSEC, is the Vice President, Security for The Open Group, where he manages all IT security and risk management programs and standards activities. He participates in the SANS Analyst/Expert program and has also published numerous articles on information security, risk management, and compliance topics in publications including The ISSA Journal, Bank Accounting & Finance, Risk Factor, SC Magazine, and others.
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