About the method

About the tools

Can Raster be used for cyber security?

Raster was designed to assess availability risks for telecommunication services. Using Raster the physical design of telecommunication services is made visible, so that vulnerabilities of all its components can be elaborated. The causes of disruptions can be natural (storms, floods), unintended human actions (operator mistakes), or malicious actions (sabotage, cybercrime, hacking).

⤴️ top

What skills will the project leader need?

Executing the Raster method means running a project that requires a suitable project leader.

The project leader should possess the following skills:

  • managing project meetings,
  • ample experience with the Raster method,
  • sufficient knowledge of IT and telecommunication technologies.

During project meetings the project leader ensures that every team member has equal opportunity to speak, and that all opinions are discussed. When necessary, the project leader should ask supplementary questions, to sharpen opinions and estimates.

⤴️ top

What is the ideal composition for the project team?

In general the project team should be a reflection of the organisation. It is important to have present as many areas of expertise as possible. There should always be a member of the Information Systems department, and someone who knows about telecommunications. This may be the same person. The most important activities of the primary departments should be represented. Often, a member of the support staff is a welcome addition: from Strategy, Internal policy, or Customer Support, for example.

A more diverse project team will increase the quality of the risk assessments.

When the project team is too large, project meetings can become unwieldy.

A total of 5 to 10 members will often strike a convenient balance.

⤴️ top

When is something critical?

A service is critical when the consequences of non-availability are unacceptable. A technical component is critical when an outage or disruption has unacceptable consequences.

De precise meaning of “critical” will be different for each organisation. It depends on the kind of activities, internal and external interests, and more.

⤴️ top

I see the notification “Warning: The tool may already be active in another browser window or tab”

The tool can be only active in one tab at a time. The underlying data structures will get scrambled when they are operated on from two tabs simultaneously. It does not matter whether one or more browser windows are used. Even when you only use a second tab for viewing without editing, permanent damage to your project data can result.

To view or edit two projects simultaneously, use a second web browser. For example, use Chrome in addition to Firefox. Additional advantage: it is even possible to operate on the same project in both browsers.

It is possible that you see this warning without cause. For example when a browser has crashed without shutting down properly. In this case check that you really do not have other browser windows or tabs using the Raster tool. Then, you can ignore the warning.

⤴️ top

How do changes to the templates work?

Templates contain default settings for new diagram components. A template consists of a list of vulnerabilities: the default checklist. There are separate checklists for equipment, wired and wireless connections.

Modifications to existing vulnerabilities (removing, or changing the name or type) always affect all existing components. If the vulnerability appears in the template, the modification will be effected in the template as well.

When a vulnerability is added to a diagram component, only that component is affected. When a vulnerability is added to the template, the new vulnerability is added to all existing and future components of that type.

New diagram components start with the list of vulnerabilities from their template.

⤴️ top

In which languages are the Raster tools available?

The Raster tools are available in Dutch and English.

From the Risicotools website you can download the standalone tool in one of both languages.

The intranet version and the Raster tool on this website will automatically determine the language to use, based on the preferences of your web browser. If your preferred language is neither Dutch nor English, then the English version will be shown by default.

How do I change my preferred language?

In Firefox: go to Settings, General, then to Languages and Appearance. Here you can choose and set your preferred languages. If Dutch is listed first, then the Raster tool will be presented in Dutch.

In Chrome: go to Settings, then to Languages. Here you can choose your preferred languages. If Dutch is listed first, then the Raster tool will be presented in Dutch.

In Internet Explorer: go to Internet options, then to the tab General. Click the Languages button. f Dutch is listed first, then the Raster tool will be presented in Dutch.

Other web browsers have similar features.

To add a translation

We like Raster to be widely employed. Translations to additional languages are therefore more than welcome. We do not have the capacity or ability to create other translations ourselves. Are you interested in participating? Then please contact us.

⤴️ top

Where is my data stored?

Your data is bundled together in projects. Using the standalone tool your projects are always stored locally, on your local computer. It is of course possible to store projects on a shared network drive.

For the intranet version and the Raster tool on this website the situation is different. The location where your data is stored then depends on whether the project is private or shared.

Private projects are stored within your web browser. They are not stored on the Risicotools website. You can only work on the project using that particular web browser on your computer. Others have no access to your project.

Shared projects are stored within your web browser as well as on the intranet server or the Risicotools website. Others may have access to your data, or be able to modify it. You can use multiple web browsers and multiple computers to edit your project.

Do you have more that one project, some of which are private and others shared? In that case only the data of your shared projects is stored on the server; in addition, all data is also stored within your web browser.

Which data are part of a project?

  • diagrams of each service (the layour of components and their connections),
  • assessments of all vulnerabilities (including any remarks),
  • assessments of common cause failures,
  • the list of default vulnerabilities,
  • project data (the project name, date and time of latest modification).
⤴️ top

How do I make a copy of a project?

It is sometimes useful to duplicate a project. For example to try out a large operation without necessarily making it final.

Using the standalone tool you can use the Windows Explorer (or Finder on a Mac), to create a copy of the Raster file on your computer.

For the intranet version or the Raster tool on this website you use the Duplicate button on the Projects toolbar. A copy of the project will appear in the project library; a number will be appended to its name, e.g. My project (1).

⤴️ top

How do I make a backup of my project?

It is recommended to regularly save your project into a file. For example before you embark on a large set of changes, or when a version of the project has been discussed and approved by the project team.

Using the standalone tool, you can use the File menu (or the Save button on the Projects toolbar) to save your project as a file on your computer.

Using the intranet version, or the Raster tool on this website, you use the Projects toolbar. The Save button will download your project will and store it as a file on your computer. The file will be named “project_name date time.raster”, e.g. My project 20220912 14:33 15.raster. This ensures that previous backup files will not be overwritten.

⤴️ top

Is my data safe?

Raster is used to visualise your telecommunications infrastructure. You will describe the availability risks of your technical components. Both are company confidential, and must not fall into the wrong hands.

Using the standalone tool, all data is confined to your own computer.

When Raster is installed on the intranet, all data is confined to your own organisation. The administrator of your intranet can further restrict access to the data to specific employees, if so desired.

The Raster tool on this website is publicly accessible, but that does not necessarily mean that your data is open to others.

There are two ways to restrict access to your data:

  1. Mark your project as private. This is the default setting for new projects. Private projects are not stored on the server, but exclusively in your web browser. You can therefore only view and edit the information from your own computer, using your own web browser.
  2. Request a separate area for your projects on the server. This area will be protected using a password. Within this area you can create multiple private projects. The advantage is that you can view and edit these projects with multiple team members, independent of your location or computer.

Your data is visible to third parties when you use the Raster tool on this website, and explicitly mark your project as Shared.

The connection between your computer and this website is encrypted; this site uses https.

⤴️ top