Attacks in Mumbai and Risk Management

There was terrible news in Mumbai, India. Terrorists attacked several site and at least 80 people were reported dead. Knowing that I plan to go to India, it didn’t take long before I received a phone call asking if I was aware of the situation and if I would still be going. Both of my answers were yes.

Security is all about managing risk. We cannot eliminate risk in our lives, and using modern technology is part of most of our lives. What we can do is manage our risk and then accept that life is uncertain and go on living.

I reminded my concerned caller that more people in the US were going to die in car accidents today than were killed in Mumbai. Do you give up all unessential car rides to manage your risk, or do you drive as carefully as you can and accept that there is still risk. Do you tell your kids that they can’t go to the movie because there is a risk that in driving them to the movie they could be killed in a car accident or do you choose to live your life and enjoy yourself?

You could give up computers. I know people who will not bank online or use debit cards. Of course they also run the risk of physical theft. They have not eliminated risk. I choose to continue to learn about security and use technologies that make my life more enjoyable, recognizing that there are some risks.

I will not allow terrorists to make me change what my acceptable level of risk is based upon irrational fears, which is the point of terrorism. I will not help the terrorists succeed. If it is acceptable to drive to the movies at a higher risk than being killed by a terrorist, then I can’t see giving up my travel plans for an even lesser risk. That said, I took my typhoid immunization and I’ll be taking my malaria medicine too… I will manage my risk.

Randy Abrams
Director of Technical Education

Author , ESET

  • Srikanth Parthasarathy


    Thats so right and those words are so reassuring for an Indian like me. We have been at the receiving end of terror strikes for a very long time now, and not giving in to them is the right response. Hope the others coming to AAVAR feel the same.

  • Some of us do (at the moment, anyway). Although some previous AVAR attendees seem to have been put off already by the bombings that have previously taken place in Delhi. We did see security conference attendance outside North America reduced for a while after 9/11, of course.

    I was living in London at a time when there were regular bombings there and in other parts of the UK and I guess it’s different for people who haven’t been regularly exposed to such events, and are therefore lucky enough not to have become blase about it. I don’t know what Randy’s excuse for being so brave is, though. :)

  • Ayie B

    I love the way you put it Randy ;) that’s why these people are called terrorist, because they spread terror. and they will be the one who win if we’re afraid of them :)
    Enjoy your time in India! you are one brave man ;) Americans should have more Randy ;)

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