Tips & Comments
Terrorism consultants know for a fact that Al-Qaeda and many other militant groups are deadly serious about waging war on America and that the probability of terrorist attacks is increasing dramatically. Ignoring such serious and growing threats to physical & economic survival is no longer a reasonable option. Whether America likes it or not, security measures must become more aggressive!
Terrorism Increases the Stakes for Business
For businesses, terrorist attack is a growing element within the overall criminal threat profile and should be an important part of any business threat and risk assessment process. Terrorist attack probabilities need to be identified and countermeasures and mitigation procedures developed.
Much more than ordinary theft, break ins, or minor criminal activities need to be considered. Much more than insurable property loss is at risk. Now, terrorist capabilities can include armed assault with automatic weapons or car/parcel/suicide bomb attacks. Chemical and biological attacks are also very much part of the warnings announced by the CIA and FBI. These warnings indicate that office buildings, banks, apartment buildings, shopping malls, retail centers, and supporting utility plants are among the higher probability targets.
Unfortunately, many business security programs have grown like “topsy-turvy”. They often are just quick and dirty responses to particular crimes; it is a well known that most security systems are installed after the crime rather than before. And, they handle only ordinary criminals. Such programs are not typically the product of a well thought-out plan based upon a risk analysis that considers the probability, motivations behind, and potential impact of terrorist attack. Therefore, they do not efficiently allocate balanced security resources to minimize overall risk including that of terrorist action.
In summary, the lax security and poor access control found in many businesses actually increases their attraction to terrorists and increases the odds of becoming a victim of serious attack. It makes such businesses a “soft” easy target the terrorists like.
Steps to Take
- The first step is to take proactive action and not wait until something goes wrong. Begin immediately conducting a comprehensive security assessment which includes a threat analysis that provides realistic information about potential threats, vulnerabilities, and losses including those which might result from terrorism.
- Next, design a security program that directly addresses threat levels, risk ratings, and other exposures that have been revealed by the security assessment.
- Assign a very capable person to be in-responsible-charge of security, working with clear security guidelines and policy provided directly by upper management. This employee must be a member of the management team. Ensure that all security personnel are seen as part of the organization and part of the company team.
- Security awareness programs will vastly increase the effectiveness of an overall security program. To be effective everyone in the organization must be aware of the importance of a security, have an personal investment in it, and know exactly what to do.
- Emergency preparedness programs should be reviewed and enhanced to meet new more dangerous threats including those of explosion, fire, shooters, and chemical or biological agents.
- Lastly, the greatest danger is complacency and routine. Drills and training must be frequent and well orchestrated. Any security program must be regularly reviewed, inspected, and tested or even the best program designed will not work.
Kenneth T. Carlisle at SecurityNet is an experienced terrorism consultant. Besides substantial civilian experience, he was a career military officer responsible for large scale security operations in hostile terrorist environments around the world.
Mr. Carlisle would be happy to answer general questions by corporate managers and property owners at no charge and to discuss options for obtaining expert solutions to specific security challenges. Please feel free to contact Ken Carlisle at (415)392-1810 or by email at [email protected].