Keywords: life support networks, LSNs, interdependencies, vulnerabilities, risk management, domino effects, prevention, anticipation, operational tools, interdependent infrastructures, emergency management, Canada
The preventive approach to risks related to interdependent infrastructures
Life Support Networks (LSNs) are those entities that provide society with essential resources such as energy, telecommunications, etc., in order to assure its correct functioning. Thus, the correct functioning of LSNs guarantees the correct functioning of society. However, the growing complexity of LSNs and their interdependencies reveal new vulnerabilities. These interdependencies are a true means of propagation of hazards between networks. The current methods of risk management (often based on probabilistic approaches, analyses of worst case scenarios and/or aiming at the modelling of the interdependencies) are hardly applicable to the concrete realities of complex and dynamic systems such as LSNs. To compensate for these gaps, the Centre risque & performance has developed, jointly with multiple partners, a new proactive method of risk management based on the prevention and the anticipation of harmful consequences that would affect LSNs. In this paper, we present this methodology and its operational tools.