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Bruce Schneier on Risk Assessment

Beyond Fear - Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain WorldWhile I don’t always agree 100% with everything Bruce Schneier (author of “Beyond Fear”) writes, I have a lot of respect for him and nobody I know gets it right more often than he does when it comes to security issues. Much of what he does also touches on other issues we deal with on a daily basis. In his latest Crypto-Gram Newsletter he focuses on risk assessment and risk management in an essay titled “The Psychology of Security.” These are topics which are equally of interest to pilots, survivalists, SAR personnel and others who are involved in determining what the real risks are and how best to mitigate them. Too often individuals make poor risk assessments, and as a result, poor decisions, because we are unduly influenced by irrelevant issues or perceptions rather than reality.

Being Equipped To Survive® is all about assessing the risks and then developing a risk management plan. In simple terms, this is what we do when we decide what gear and supplies we will pack into a survival kit for any particular circumstance. If you can’t properly asses the actual risks, any decisions based on that assessment if flawed

If you understand how you arrive at the decision, what influences the risk assessment and the potholes and pitfalls along the way, you can make better decisions based on the actual risk, which can be vastly different from the perceived risk. I urge you to read through this essay, it has a lot of good information to offer, some you may already know, some you may just suspect and some I think you will find new and fascinating. In the end, you should be able to make a better risk assessment and better decisions to manage risk as a result.