There is enough info on cyber threats, it is not too often you get an article on physical threat management. What are threats of physical violence? What does the management cycle look like? Why do you do it? These are all topics that we will discuss in today's article.
First and foremost, we look at concerns in our physical realm, directly impacting your day-to-day safety and well-being. Understanding the importance of safety as well as the organization you are providing safety/security services for, will guide you in a well-balanced threat management program.
Safety and Security
Most importantly – no employees, no company. No students, no school. Your employees and your students are your assets, all your assets need to be protected. During the planning stage of this article, I found it very confusing that there is a significant amount of time and space spent on advising people on how to keep their computers safe from threats within their organization but not their people. The safety of the people entrusted in your care is paramount!
We care – show you care. Having a program in place assures your employees that you care enough to create a program to keep them safe. I cannot count how many times a threat has been reported, after investigation and interviews, we have safety and security discussions with those that are concerned. After these discussions, each employee we have spoken to feels a genuine connection and appreciation for taking time to educate them not only on how to keep themselves safe, but also how we do it as well.
Security incidents are usually unpredictable, evolve quickly, and all too often turn tragic. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with many other groups, has redoubled its efforts and is poised to continue enhancing school safety and security. Visit their School Safety and Security page for DHS documents, resources, and tools related to school safety and security.
Culture and Comfort
The mental well-being of your those who in your care is extremely important. Human beings can be fragile and understanding those around you and their breaking points will be helpful when trying to mitigate threats. No matter the size of your organization, you will need a resource that has a soft touch and can mitigate mild concerns in mental health or one’s mental well-being.
People in your organization need the ability to perform tasks knowing that someone is focused on keeping them safe. I have had countless occasions where employees were thrilled to know that someone is thinking of how to keep them safe, while performing their duties. You will get to this point with casual conversations and conducting safety/security trainings.
Education and Intelligence
With a system in place you will be able to see trends, track concerns and utilize available tools to mitigate future concerns before they happen. Understanding what location(s) have the most concerns, business groups, and types of threats made will give you an understanding if more training is needed such as de-escalation or security awareness. In some cases, it gives clear identification of concerns that allow changes in policies and procedures.
The information you obtain will assist your leaders become better at leading, think of the benefits of business analyst and the information they provide. This will teach leaders how to keep employees safe based on job function, roles, and responsibilities. This will also assist in identifying those with irresponsible behaviors that could put other employees in harm’s way.
Streamlined Process and Consistent Response
Unless you have a dedicated threat manager, you will need a guide to walkthrough process and ensure you do not skip a step. Even if you are a dedicated threat manager, never hurts to duplicate and aid investigations with technology. Having a process is needed for everything from preparing a spaceship for launch to the International Space Station to cleaning your barracks for military inspection, with everything in-between. Having a process to evaluate threats is critical to the safety and security of your organization.
Central command and management of all stored documents regarding threats for use or validation later will be a life saver, especially when the same instigators continue to target your organization. Keeping a paper trail is not only good for law enforcement support / protection orders, but also determining the threat level and if the instigator is any closer on the pathway to targeted violence.
Compliance and Legal
OSHA The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, also called OSHA, requires employers to provide a safe working environment for employees. Many states also have their own workplace safety law. To comply with OSHA, employers must learn their obligations -- and find out whether they must follow federal or state law. You should always lean to the side of most compliant when analyzing safety and security measures.
There is a reason we put this towards the bottom, the unfortunate truth is that it matters. You do not want to get sued. God forbid something does happen at your organization, targeted attack or something similar… having a plan in place showing that steps were taken to identify and mitigate any threats, to include known policies within the organization, then the likelihood of additional financial burdens can be reduced.
Return on Investment (ROI) is a factor in every determination made. Creating a threat management program is a fraction of the price of paying out the alternative. In most cases you can pay for an expert to assist in setting up your program and remain on-call for threats that escalate. Utilizing this with a combination of technology such as our Threat Management software at www.incursus.co or as a standalone product for practitioners will simplify your process, reduce your risk exposure and provide a safer environment for your organization.