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Software Safety & Security
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Software is fast

In traditional industries, where it can take a decade to develop a new product, spending months or years to validate the safety of a critical subsystem is a more than acceptable investment. In software, we ship new features daily and new systems weekly—we can’t bloat our iteration cycles with intensive and blocking safety validation processes. (We tried! It made things worse.)

But the safety of our software is ever more critical to the safety of the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on it.

Software is lean

Traditional industries devoted teams of tens or hundreds to the design and implementation of each subsystem because they had to, there was no other way to create so much complexity. In software, by reusing existing components and services, a single person or a small team can build systems of equivalent complexity to a jetliner.

And when those systems fail, the results can be just as deadly.

Software is complex

The interactions in a physical system are constrained by the nature of physical space—components can be adjacent in the three physical dimensions, coincident in time, subjected to the same environmental forces of temperature, pressure, atmosphere, etc.

Interactions in software systems are essentially unbounded by anything but the ability of the people designing and operating them (that’s us!) to understand and modify them. In software systems, halfway around the world can be effectively just as close or far away as down the hall.

Our ability to understand and modify our systems safely determines the safety of our systems.

We help you build safer software systems

At Complex Systems Group, we’re part of an emerging understanding that while the safety processes of traditional engineering organizations are too slow and labor-intensive to use unmodified, the research and philosophy which they’re built on has much to teach us about how to build safer software systems.

We help you to understand and constrain the systems you’re building so that unacceptable loss events are nearly impossible—whether caused by accidents or by adversarial action.

With nearly a decade of experience in applying systems safety principles to software and cybersecurity, Complex Systems Group can help you & your teams design, build, and maintain software systems that don’t hurt people or get you woken up at night.

Products, services, and content we offer

  • Live training (public and on-site)
  • Consulting products (e.g. audience-specific self-guided training or reference material)
  • Custom consulting (virtual and on-site)
  • General-audience educational content