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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Safety nets can be dangerous

A good way to prevent a bad thing happening is to add more ways of stopping it, right? Wrong. Adding more redundancy often increases the risk. The basic arguments are set out in an excellent paper by Scott Sagan. He is discussing the problems of making nuclear installations more secure against terrorism, but of course the principles apply to all types of risk management systems and processes. Further discussion and some great examples were provided by Don Norman and Geoffrey Newbury in the Risks forum.

(from Louise Pryor’s risk newsletter for January)