Recent Attacks Highlight Need for Enhanced Resilience Strategies
The three terrorist attacks over the past three months are reminders of the growing threat of such atrocities, and the potential risks to businesses and people. Although the shock of a terrorist attack is difficult to prepare for, organisations can take steps to protect employees, customers, and bystanders and quickly return to normal operations.
Protecting people and physical assets from and in the wake of a terrorist event requires a full understanding of the risks and impacts, comprehensive readiness and resilience planning, regular training and exercises, and an overall strategy for maintaining these capabilities. Enhanced planning — and checking the insurance coverage you have in place is appropriate given your company’s risk profile — can better prepare your organisation.
Following the most recent attacks, your organisation should:
- Review and update risk assessments as well as emergency response, crisis management and communications, and business continuity plans. A stronger resiliency framework built on best practices and lessons learned will enable you to take action more quickly and efficiently.
- Engage in employee training and table top and full-scale scenario-based exercises with key stakeholders, including law enforcement and other emergency services. A clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, especially in public spaces where crowd control may be an issue, can help you more effectively manage a crisis.
Focus on People
In a crisis, communication is crucial. But it could be hampered by damage to communications networks, loss of power, or other factors. In public spaces, people may also panic in the immediate aftermath.
In the event of an attack on or near company property, staff and security personnel should be trained and prepared to work closely with law enforcement and other emergency services to manage employee, customer, and public safety. For example, your employees should be ready to evacuate or take shelter and provide first aid or other immediate support to anyone injured in the incident.
You should also maintain current and complete business and personal contact information so you can reach employees quickly.
Business Continuity and Recovery
After immediate safety and investigative concerns have been addressed, organisations will need to shift focus to maintaining operations. In your advance planning, you should account for:
- Continuing or resuming critical business functions and processes.
- Ensuring that technology is working efficiently.
- Allowing employees to work remotely as needed.
- Implementing additional security measures.
Terrorism can strike anywhere and anytime, and remains high on the risk agenda for many organisations. But being proactive and prepared can help you protect your people, assets, and operations in a crisis.