Terrorism is any indiscriminate act that strikes in varying forms of threats and violence. Terrorist generate fear through intimidation, coercion and acts of violence such as highjackings, bombings and kidnappings. As past and more recent events have shown, however, terrorists have reached new levels of organization, sophistication and violence - their tactics and techniques are always changing and will continue to be a challenge to predict and neutralize. Accordingly, we must remain diligent in applying the proper protective measures.
Protecting neighborhoods and businesses is vital to the safety and well-being of a community. Neighborhood watch, block watch, town watch, apartment watch, crime watch, business watch - no matter what it is called - is one of the most effective and least costly answers to crime. Watch groups are the foundation of community crime prevention and a stepping stone to community revitalization.
For business in particular, it is important to be alert to suspicious activity and report it to the appropriate authorities. Establish a consistent dialogue with community leaders, emergency management, government agencies, community organizations and utilities about disaster preparedness. Engage private security and conduct a risk assessment of your business. Risk assessment can be a sophisticated area of expertise that ranges from self-assessment to an extensive engineering study. The specific industry, size and scope of your individual company will determine your organization's risk assessment needs.
In addition, it is important to learn what you can do during a biological, chemical, explosive, nuclear or radiological attack. Define internally the need to restrict access to your business and review emergency plans to ensure continuity of operations and address media relations.
Proper planning and communication are essential to keeping your employees safe during a critical incident. The time spent in planning today will not only help protect your business and livelihood, but will also support your employees, customers and stakeholders, the community and the local economy.
Several organizations have been created to assist the business community in protecting critical assets:
ISACs (Information Sharing and Analysis Centers) are private sector operational organizations that collect, distribute, analyze and share sensitive information regarding threats, vulnerabilities, alerts and best practices in order to protect our national critical infrastructures.
Eleven ISACS - Chemical, Electricity, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Information Technology, Public Transit, Surface Transportation, Telecommunications, Truck, and Water - have joined together as an ISAC Council, partnering with their sectors, with one another and with government to advance the physical and cyber security of the critical infrastructures of North America.
Business Executives for National Security
Business Executives for National Security (BENS), a nationwide, non-partisan organization, is the primary channel through which senior business executives can help to enhance the nation's security. BENS members use their business experience to drive our agenda, deliver our message to decision makers and make certain that the changes proposed are put into practice. BENS has only one special interest: to help make America safe and secure.