Threat Assessments, a Main Ingredient for Facility Security

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Tips on How to Write Threat Assessments & Mitigate Risk

Threat assessments “provide a guidance framework to develop and implement the mitigation measures that would be necessary and appropriate to the identified threats to” a facility. – Thomas Bullock III, Law Enforcement Specialist with VML Insurance.*

Threat assessments are an invaluable part of security for any facility and by not performing a threat assessment on a regular basis you are leaving your facility vulnerable to ever changing threats. Some form of threat assessment should be performed annually, even if it’s just re-assessing, but a new threat assessment should be performed every other year.

The first thing you should do when performing a threat assessment is ask yourself questions and answer them honestly. Start with questions like:threat assessments

  1. What are our known threats?
  2. Where are our areas of vulnerability?
  3. What do we have that can be used against us?
  4. Is this facility a hard or soft target?

Your threat assessment worksheet will provide other questions for you to consider, but these will get you focused on facility and building safety and security. If you have a safety team, consider performing the assessment with their help; others may notice vulnerabilities that may be otherwise missed.

After you conduct your own threat assessment, consider getting help from a professional who has more expertise and will notice any areas you may have missed. Many times your local law enforcement can conduct these, or you can hire a private firm to conduct a more formal threat assessment. Your completed assessment will show many areas in your organization that could use improvements and may provide options that will fit your needs.

Research different options that fit within your budget and expertise to meet safety needs. Some options you may find the need for are: additional surveillance equipment, more security personnel, new or updated policies and procedures for visitor management, using or updating environmental barriers, or even assembling a safety or response team for emergencies or incidents.

After implementing new security options and allowing them to be used for about six months, reassess your vulnerabilities to ensure your upgrades are working properly and make any changes or tweaks if necessary. Reassessments should be performed annually and full threat assessments should be performed bi-annually for facilities.

Threats are ever-changing, which can sometimes make them difficult to prepare and plan for. Threat assessments are a practical solution for testing the effectiveness of current safety and security measures, and a perfect opportunity to see how facilities can increase security. No matter how large or how small and organization, threat assessments are critical to mitigating risk.

* http://www.nlc.org/documents/Utility%20Navigation/About%20NLC/SML/NLC-RISC/Publications/2012%20RISC%20Report/May-June/RISCReport-Virginia-Threat-Assessment-Matrix-Article-June2012.pdf

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