In a world that is saturated by risk, it is those who are able to effectively manage these risks, and adequately respond to and recover from critical incidents that will have a substantial advantage over those who are not. Recovery in these instances is not a choice; it is a necessity for business continuity and uninterrupted security. Incidents may range from the catastrophic to the continuous routine threats. Yet, whether the highest risk is posed by a protest, labour dispute, community uprising, or terrorist threat, recognizing what is needed to strengthen resiliency and acting on that knowledge is key to achieving safety and security in the current environment.
HOW CAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE HELP YOUR BUSINESS RESILIENCY?
Applying security intelligence in its many forms contributes to this vital resiliency, allowing one to adequately adapt to the constant change and unpredictability in the security environment. Moreover, capitalizing on security intelligence can help to withstand possible disruptions and more rapidly recover from security incidents when they do occur. To this end, there is an inherent importance in using security intelligence to draw on experience and lessons learned. Too often, lessons learned from past events are captured on paper and simply remain there. Agencies capture lessons learned from various notable events and/or crisis situations; corporations capture lessons learned from incidents at their various project locations; municipalities capture lessons learned from natural disasters. However, if this knowledge doesn’t transform into practice, there is little in the way of progress.
ADVANTAGES OF PROACTIVE SECURITY INTELLIGENCE MEASURES
Security intelligence amasses and capitalizes on all forms of knowledge to heighten resiliency. It can be applied in both proactive and reactive efforts to gain an understanding of how best to manage the security environment. Collecting information prior to breaking ground on a new project, for example, can be vital in establishing a baseline for public sentiment about the company and the project, as well as in identifying potential areas of security concern and salient issues to the local community. Likewise, security intelligence can inform on upcoming events, giving advance notice on such things as planned protests, rallies, marches, or opposition to company AGMs.
ADVANTAGES OF REACTIVE SECURITY INTELLIGENCE MEASURES
Similarly, analyzing information following the occurrence of a critical incident, a protest, or a community engagement meeting, can be very useful in a “lessons learned” capacity. Lessons can be learned about the capability of groups to mobilize, the tactics they employ, changes in strategy, and the publicity angles they may frequently use. Consider that for every protest action and for every activist group, security intelligence may recognize where the threshold lies between peaceful protest and a potential security threat; for every town hall meeting or community engagement event it may identify the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of different security measures and/or various “tipping points” to help recognize when a situation is escalating.
In these ways, security intelligence can help to make unpredictability more predictable, increasing the ability to prevent, withstand, and quickly recover from a disruption.
We will never stop security incidents from occurring. However, by incorporating lessons learned, current research and experience into security intelligence, we can ensure that practices and strategies evolve to effectively meet changing circumstances. This combination forms a powerful platform on which to base security decisions and scale out strategies when needed. Applying security intelligence in this manner provides another tool in a much needed arsenal of strategies to achieve greater levels of resiliency and apply coordinated and intelligent responses to today’s fluid environment.
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Contributions come from our team of experts at Lions Gate Risk Management Group