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Orange Book


The Orange Book is a set of guidelines issued by the Bank of England, providing a framework for banks and financial institutions in the UK for risk management, particularly regarding risk reporting and risk monitoring. It outlines the procedures for assessing, monitoring, and mitigating financial and operational risks. It serves as a guide to promote financial stability and prevent financial crises.


The phonetics of the keyword “Orange Book” is: /ˈɔrɪndʒ buːk/

Key Takeaways


  1. The Orange Book, officially named the ‘Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria’ , is a set of criteria used for evaluating the security of computer systems, particularly those systems used by the U.S. Department of Defense.
  2. The Orange Book standards have been influential in the creation and development of many other security standards and practices, such as the Common Criteria and ISO 15408. It presents a structured way of examining and comparing security functions and protections in a system.
  3. The Orange Book classifies systems in a hierarchical structure, starting from D (least secure) to A (most secure). This allows for an objective comparison and assessment of different computers and networks, providing a reliable reference for choosing secure systems.



The Orange Book is an important business/finance term because it is an official publication from the Federal Reserve that provides detailed instructions regarding lending and credit operations, particularly for United States banks. This includes guidelines for policy implementation, as well as metrics for assessing the financial health of a bank. The Orange Book serves as a critical reference for banks in understanding the requirements and compliance measures they need to adhere to, thereby ensuring robustness and transparency within the financial system. Its provisions also help to protect customers, maintain market integrity, and uphold overall banking sector stability.


The Orange Book, formally known as the “Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria,” primarily serves as a benchmarking guide for governments and organizations, ensuring their computer systems adhere to specific security standards. Developed by the United States Department of Defense, the main purpose of the Orange Book is to establish a set of criteria against which computer systems’ security controls and capabilities can be assessed. This ensures that sensitive information stored in these systems is safeguarded against unauthorized access and security threats. The Orange Book’s application extends to industries where high-level security is crucial, such as defense, finance, and healthcare. Based on the distinct levels of security needed, the Orange Book provides a rating system, from A to D, with A being the most secure. This allows organizations to choose the appropriate systems according to their specific security requirements. Ultimately, the Orange Book serves as a foundation for creating more secure systems, promoting confidence and trust in an era where data protection and cybersecurity are paramount.


The term “Orange Book” can refer to different documents depending on the context. Here are three examples:1. Pharmaceutical Industry: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes the “Orange Book,” officially known as the “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations.” An example would be when a pharmaceutical company seeks to develop a generic drug, they would refer to the Orange Book to confirm the patent and exclusivity status of the brand-name drug. 2. Financial Sector: In the United Kingdom, “The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism” is a political tract published by the Liberal Democrats that discusses economic liberal policies. Suppose a British financial institution is crafting its economic policy or political donation strategy. In that case, it might look to the stances outlined in the Orange Book for guidance.3. Computer Security: The U.S. Department of Defense published the “Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria,” often referred to as the “Orange Book.” Within a cybersecurity firm or IT department of a large corporation, professionals might refer to this Orange Book when developing or assessing their systems’ security levels.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Orange Book in finance and business terms?

The Orange Book is a set of guidelines published by HM Treasury in the United Kingdom. It outlines standards and guidelines for risk management to enhance organizational performance.

Who uses the Orange Book in business?

Primarily, the Orange Book guidelines are used by the UK’s government departments and agencies for risk management. However, private and public organizations worldwide also utilize it as a reference to design effective risk management systems and practices.

How often is the Orange Book updated?

There isn’t a fixed schedule for updating the Orange Book, and it’s primarily revised when HM Treasury decides there’s a need for updated guidance on risk management.

What are the main sections of the Orange Book?

The Orange Book is divided into specific sections such as risk identification, risk assessment, risk mitigation strategies, risk management and reporting, all aimed at aiding organizations to embed a comprehensive approach to risk management.

Why is the Orange Book important for a business?

The Orange Book is important because it provides a standardized approach to identifying, assessing, and managing risk. This can help organizations anticipate potential obstacles and provide a clear framework for minimizing and managing such risks.

How can I access the Orange Book?

The Orange Book can be accessed online on the official website of HM Treasury. Please note, availability may depend on your location.

Is the Orange Book applicable only to financial institutions?

No, the Orange Book can be applicable to any organization looking to enhance its risk management practices. It’s not exclusive to financial institutions.

Is the Orange Book related to the Orange Book in pharmaceuticals?

No, the Orange Book from HM Treasury should not be confused with the FDA’s Orange Book, which describes therapeutic equivalence evaluations for approved pharmaceuticals. They are two quite different resources.

Related Finance Terms

  • Value Assessment
  • Patent Terms
  • Generic Drugs
  • Brand-Name Drugs
  • Pharmaceutical Guidelines

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