by Pete Murphy: CEO of Priavo Security
An outline of the current, challenging and evolving threats to the Events Industry
Priavo have seen an increase in Security concerns and awareness across the board. The Events industry have identified that to continue to operate successfully they must seek knowledge and training about appropriate risk mitigation measures. The last few years have been dominated by several attacks in crowded and public places. Growing security threats, increased globalism, constant evolving technology and environmental disasters are bringing new challenges. A pro-active stance is needed when considering Safety and Event Security and we have outlined how threats have evolved below.
Terrorism and Organized Crime
Threats are more sophisticated, and sophisticated threats are becoming more common. Terrorists and criminals are quick to evolve their tactics and are currently doing so at a higher tempo than Counter Terror policies and measures put in place to prevent them. We are likely to see more improvised, innovative and unusual attack methodologies, such as the use of drones.
Our analysts are seeing a huge increase in cyber security incidents, but not a significant increase in incidents reported. Our experience is motives are changing and, in many instances, clients are not even aware that they have suffered a security incident or data breach. Attackers are motivated to keep an initial breach hidden and use this to penetrate deeper within an organisation to perpetrate identify theft or deploy large-scale fraud. Monitoring, threat analytics, and incident response are key as we see clients, event organisers, venues and agents targeted with what is frequently a blended attack where cyber is only one component.
Climate change and disasters present an increasing risk. The increase in intensity and frequency of hazards and events, combined with a global rise in population and challenges to developing infrastructure in many parts of the world contribute to an increased vulnerability.
Reviewing your crisis plans for present climate
- Understand whom, or which department is responsible for each decision: who makes the final decision, who signs off the budget, are their financial restrictions on the budget, are you familiar with the communications plan, what happens if decision makers are out of the office or on holiday?
- Understand the limitations of your emergency plans: what happens if an emergency doesn’t follow the plan, have you rehearsed the plan in all countries that you operate, where language restictions could apply.
- Understand the limitations of your employees: training, experience, language, location, working patterns and leave.
- Understand the limitations of your location, venue and country: emergency response in certain countries may be very limited, road conditions, traffic problems or general access may be poor.
- Rehearse your plan: practice different scenarios and drills with different stakeholders, as emergencies rarely follow a plan – for example a bank holiday weekend at 0300 on a Saturday with half the Crisis Management team on holiday.
What can be done to safeguard your event?
ASSESS: Any robust security approach should be intelligence led and include
- Risk analysis and assessment
- Intelligence gathering and reporting
- Active monitoring and updates
- Security Surveys and audits of all venues, locations and vendors
CONSULT: All security providers should deliver operational planning
- Operational Planning liaising with all third parties
- Contingency Planning and Crisis management
- Journey Management Planning: keeping your traveller’s safe
- Security and travel risk training for guests, clients, travellers
SUPPORT: A variety of journey management and event security measures ranging from
- Physical Security: Executive Protection, venue security, canine units
- Technical security: location trackers, drones, surveillance, cameras, access control
- Travel Risk Management: tracking, Locate, remote medical assistance
- Secure transportation
- Medical Support: Medical Risk Management is playing a key part at large scale events, given recent tragedies
A good security provider will anticipate threats, mitigate risk and assist with crisis management, identifying event security challenges facing your organisation with pro-active measures to safeguard your event and travellers. There are many moving parts to each event and a good provider will ensure all technical security, physical measures, local authorities and other resources are coordinated to maximise security efficiencies inside and outside the venue. Our message remains consistent – continue to do business globally. However, with increased globalism, constant evolving technology and a growing security threat, organisations need to adapt their approach and adopt appropriate control measures.