12/17/2007 - The United States is vulnerable to nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological attacks. Pathways to the country via land, sea, and air are insecure. Critical infrastructures have few defenses. While this assessment seems to have been made in the weeks following 9-11, it is actually the current conclusion of the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. A new report by these members documents gaps in intelligence, nuclear material protection, biodefense, and critical infrastructure protection, among others. Read America at Risk: Closing the Security Gap.
Intelligence: Loss Prevention
12/17/2007 - Watch those tractors, loaders, and backhoes. According to the National Equipment Register (NER), these are the types of heavy equipment--used for construction, farming, and related fields--that are most often stolen. The high incidence is attributable to the equipment's mobility, according to the NER. @ An NER report, available via SM Online, includes theft information by state and site, as well as recovery statistics.
Intelligence: Substance Abuse
12/17/2007 - While 71 percent of New Jersey companies are "very concerned" about drug or alcohol abuse among their employees, only 30 percent have implemented substance abuse education, training, or assistance programs for employees. Companies whose staff have serious alcohol or drug abuse problems are no more likely to have such programs than those without these problems. @ See SM Online for a survey on drug abuse policies in New Jersey workplaces.
Intelligence: Physical Security
12/17/2007 - According to a recent survey by the Defense Manpower Data Center, active-duty U.S. troops have gotten the message about sexually harassing behavior. Over a seven-year period, the rate of harassment of female colleagues dropped from 46 percent to 24 percent, with fewer incidents by Marines spurring the decline. @ A summary of the survey is on SM Online.
Intelligence: Public-Private Partnerships
12/17/2007 - In Toronto, citizens and businesses can choose whether police or private security personnel respond to alarms. Those who choose police bear the cost of false alarms.The video, developed by the Private Sector Liaison Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, also identifies the worst false-alarm offenders: municipal buildings, banks, schools, and churches.
Intelligence: Access Control
12/17/2007 - Every urban area has one: a nightclub noted for loud music, outbursts of violence, and plenty of drugs. In Burlington, Ontario, near Toronto, that club is called NRG/The Kingdom, and its crowd wreaked havoc in the neighborhood. Several years ago regional police collaborated with the club's owners on a multifaceted problem-solving approach. Access to railroad tracks behind the club was blocked. Extra lighting and gates were installed to prevent cars and pedestrians from parking near or skulking around neighboring businesses. Bushes were removed from a nearby vacant lot. Find out how the club and community did it .
Intelligence: Integrated Systems
12/17/2007 - Virtual reality technology offers the possibility of running through simulated lifelike crises without the risk. Where that virtual reality goal is in relation to real reality was the focus of a recent conference on modeling and simulation for emergency response. For example, Charles McLean of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Sanjay Jain, research associate professor at Virginia Tech, discussed NIST's effort to create a "framework for integrated emergency response." The framework would incorporate disaster type, affected parties, and applications such as vulnerability analysis and training. Rebecca Moses, Michael J. Taylor, and Gary R. Steiner spoke of a parallel effort at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and called for the creation of a national user facility that would be "responsible for developing and maintaining integrated emergency response simulation tools and high-quality supporting data." @ Summaries of these workshops have been collected into a document published by NIST, which is available from SM Online.
Intelligence: Security Management
12/12/2007 - New salary data collected by the Foushée Group in cooperation with the International Security Management Association (ISMA) indicates that top corporate security executives earned 11 percent more in total cash compensation in 2004 than they did the year before. This rise parallels the results of the latest ASIS International salary survey, reported in Security Management in January. The ASIS survey showed salaries among security managers increasing by 13 percent from the year before; about half of the 339 respondents to the ASIS survey filled the top security slot in their organizations. According to the Foushée survey, top security executives make more than $250,000 a year in total cash compensation.
12/12/2007 - The 88-acre campus in the woods near Fredericksburg, Virginia, is disarmingly bucolic, but the training is intended to be alarmingly real, in the hopes that trainees who pass through this self-protection and awareness course and go on to Iraq will have a better chance of surviving. The typical attendee is a civilian contractor, but today it is the media, this reporter included, who have been invited in to experience the training firsthand
Intelligence: Government Reports (GAO etc.)
12/11/2007 - The level of preparedness for an attack against the U.S. nuclear infrastructure continues to be hotly debated among congressmen.
Intelligence: Academic \ Educational Programs
12/11/2007 - A recent workshop on that topic, sponsored by the National Research Council (NRC), discussed specific ways in which math experts could help the cause of deterring attacks. "Mathematics, operations research statistics, and computer science provide the fundamental tools for extracting relevant information from the flood of data of all types that our senses receive," Peter Bickel, chair of the NRC's Board on Mathematical Sciences and Applications, told the attendees
Intelligence: Contingency Planning \ Disaster Management
12/11/2007 - A primer from the American College of Radiology offers radiological and other medical professionals a quick reference in the event of a radiation disaster. Topics covered include handling contaminated patients, gauging the health effects of radiation exposure, and counseling patients. Responders are provided with specific questions to ask about the patient and the incident. @ SM Online takes you to the report.
Intelligence: Contingency Planning \ Disaster Management
12/11/2007 - The Securities and Exchange Commission is now requiring members of the NASD and NYSE to develop business continuity plans and disclose to their customers a summary of those plans. Plans must cover data backup and recovery, backup communications systems, and customer access to funds, among other key areas. @ Link to the rules at SM Online.