Some people may tend to consider the wisdom of this book as ‘merely common sense’. But common sense is in actuality not very common. In retrospect, considering the historical evidence of flawed systems, wilful misuse, human errors, operational accidents, environmental hazards, many cases of mismanagement and many other causes (e.g. see Neumann 1995), common sense turns out to be extremely rare. Much too often, short-sighted management and system development decisions have ignored the risk implications, with some stupendously bad results – including deaths, injuries, huge financial losses, irreparable personal damages and losses of privacy. One person’s risks are another person’s challenges. Indeed, this book presents us all with the opportunity to avoid or enormously reduce many of the characteristic risks that have continued to plague us throughout the computer revolution. I hope you will read it carefully and pay careful heed to its recommendations – which if diligently pursued can save us all a lot of grief. Beware of overly simple solutions, because the problems are complex and the solutions require considerable thought, understanding, foresight and in some cases altruism. Please remember that there are no easy answers to risk avoidance. Risks abound and must be confronted.
Beating IT Risks