Cover Image Briefing Series 3 Theater

As violent threats accelerate heading towards 2020, enterprise owners, managers, and employees are adopting new security measures most of which are expensive, and ineffective.

When violence starts whether from a lone shooter, an angry mob, organized terrorists, local gangs, anti-capitalist employees or pro-union organizers, the ability to immediately mount a lethal defense is imperative.

Enterprises worldwide are waking up to the high cost of security theater. A cost paid in lives lost, property destroyed, and looted enterprise assets.

Most enterprises will not do what is necessary to mount a credible defense against lethal threats. Instead they are engaging in a form of “security theater” first described by Bruce Schneier, the computer security specialist as “security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything”. The best example of security theater within enterprises is the notion that posting “Gun Free Zone” signs will deter gun violence.

A comprehensive security strategy is necessary for enterprises that includes both passive and active measures. Passive measures are widely acknowledged and seldom controversial. They focus primarily upon deterrence and detection of potential threats. However, without active measures, passive measures are simple security theater.

Active measures are the last line of defense, and collectively form the capability to protect innocent lives in the critical response gap before law enforcement is able to arrive and intervene. A key element of active measures is the presence of trained, armed employees on site to protect innocent lives.

The simple reality is that attackers bent on using violence hold the trump card when it comes to thwarting passive security measures. They have a free pass in to the “security theater”. When violence starts the ability to immediately mount a lethal defense is imperative. Passive security measures do not provide that.

Enterprises worldwide are waking up to the high cost of security theater. A cost paid in lives lost, property destroyed, and looted enterprise assets. Security guards, technology, and infrastructure are all passive measures focused on deterrence and detection. However the critical skill required to actually defend against a threat is missing. Unarmed security guards will call the police when faced with a threat. Security cams will tell you where the threat is happening, and hardened infrastructure will only slow down a determined attack.

The security industry is approximately a $100 billion industry today. This number includes inhouse and outsourced security guards, security technology and infrastructure, and does not include cyber-security efforts. The uncomfortable truth is that most of this $100 billion is wasted on passive security measures.

Most enterprises could significantly reduce their security costs by adopting a defended enterprise mindset. Contact us to learn how you can reduce your cost and increase the effectiveness of your security resources.

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