National Security SM OnlineGP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652019-07-01T04:00:00Z<h4>​DISASTER RECOVERY</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">A recent framework from the ​World Bank Group and UNESCO​</a> outlines how culture affects resiliency after natural disasters or civil conflict. </p><h4>​HUMAN TRAFFICKING</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">Global human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion annually, </a>according to an International Labor Organization report.</p><h4>CYBER WORKFORCE</h4><p>A new analysis found that the cybersecurity workforce shortage<a href="" target="_blank"> increased to more th​an​​ 2.9 million unfilled positions in 2018. </a></p><h4>​FOOD PROTECTION </h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">The U.S. Food and Drug Administration anno​​unced regulations</a> on food defense aimed at preventing incidents with a widespread impact on public health. </p><h4>​FRAUD</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">GIACT Systems released an industry white paper</a> that explores six emerging fraud trends, and solutions that can help mitigate fraud.</p><h4>BORDER SECURITY</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">A report from the U.S. Go​vernment Accountability Office​</a> explains how U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been struggling to hire and retain enough border patrol agents to meet its operational goals. </p><h4>PUERTO RICO</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">According to a U.S. Gover​nment Accountability ​Office report,​</a> insolvency and abandoned maintenance programs compounded recovery challenges after hurricanes hit Puerto Rico in 2017. </p><h4>TRAFFICKING AT MOTELS</h4><p>Community Oriented Policing Services developed guidelines for local law enforcement and municipalities, <a href="" target="_blank">including one tha​​t specifically addresses issues at budget motels.</a>​ </p><h4>LIABILITY</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">Purdue Pharma settled with the state of Oklahoma in the first of thousands of lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, </a>with localities, states, and Native American tribes alleging the companies' fault in the U.S. opioid epidemic. ​</p><h4>CORRUPTION</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">Brazilian company OAS agreed to a plea deal with Peruvian prosecu​tors over bribery charges.​</a> </p><h4>VACCINATIONS</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">New York state began implementing quarantines and man​datory vaccinations ​</a>on individuals not vaccinated against the measles virus. </p><h4>DISCRIMINATION</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">Texas Tech University's medica​l school will no longer use race as a factor​</a> in the admissions process, conceding to a request from the U.S. Education Department. </p><h4> CLASSROOMS</h4><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Illinois Senate passed a ​bill ​</a>that would allow schools to install additional classroom door locks.</p><h4>OLYMPICS</h4><p><a href="">The Japanese Olympic Comm​ittee head resigned ​</a>as French investigators allegde involvement in vote-buying bribery scandal. </p><h4>PRISONS </h4><p><a href="">Hawaii's Department of Public Safety (HDPS) will pay $45,000​</a> and provide other relief to settle charges that its facilities did not adhere to Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. </p><h4>WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT</h4><p><a href="">The Colorado legislature is considering a bill that would streamline and speed up the reporting process, ​</a>make credible complaints against state lawmakers, public and beef up confidentiality protections for accusers. </p><h4>MINIMUM WAGE</h4><p><a href="">The New Jersey governor signed a minimum wage bill </a>that will raise the minimum for most employees to $15 per hour by 2024. </p><h4>​MEDICAL MARIJUANA</h4><p><a href="">Oklahoma Governor Stitt okayed medical use of marijuana, ​</a>but established limits for employers, giving them enhanced rights to act. </p><h4>NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS </h4><p><a href="">New Jersey placed limits on nondisclosure agreements for employers. ​</a></p><h4>AGENCY DEFERENCE DOCTRINE</h4><p><a href="">The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing the idea</a> that courts should defer to an agency's interpretation of its own regulations. </p> Burnout Six-Year Reset for Security in Mexico maladies SM Online and Incarcerated 2019 SM Online Owns the San Jose Galleon? 2019 SM Online Partnership Addresses Supply Chain Security,-and-Boiling-Over.aspx2019-06-01T04:00:00ZExtremist Attacks Rise as Polarization increases Six-Year Reset for Security in Mexico Review: Lone Wolf Terrorism

 You May Also Like... 2019 Industry News<h4>​BOAT-LAUNCHING & REC​​​OVERY HOOK​</h4><p>Henrik Hooks developed a new unmanned boat and recovery system designed to recover unmanned and autonomous crafts in difficult sea conditions with fewer personnel. Developed in Norway, the new Henriksen system can launch and recover a range of crafts, including large, remotely controlled and autonomous unmanned surface vehicles. The system can be used with existing davits and does not require special tools during launch or recovery.<br></p><h4>AW​​ARD</h4><p>Ricoh USA, Inc., received an IDG 2019 CIO 100 award for Smart Hands, a hands-free method for field technicians to directly connect with cloud-hosted knowledge repositories and subject matter experts.</p><div><h4>CON​​TRACT</h4><p>Geospark Analytics will support the U.S. Air Force through development of Hyperion’s threat and risk assessment applications for integration into command, control, communications, intelligence, and networks (C3I&N) systems. Hyperion, a cloud-based platform, provides analysts and operators with situational awareness of political, economic, and social risks at country, region, and city levels.</p><div><h4>Announce​​ment</h4><p>GIACT Systems released a new industry white paper, The Changing Landscape of Identity Fraud. The report explores six emerging fraud trends that are altering the dynamics of the battle against identity fraud and recommends solutions professionals can use to protect customers.​</p><div><h4>PARTNER​SHIPS</h4><p><strong>SMART BUILDINGS</strong><br>Bee’ah, a Middle East sustainable solutions company, selected Johnson Controls and Microsoft artificial intelligence and smart building solutions to enhance its new headquarters.</p><p><strong>AIRPORT SECURITY</strong><br>Smiths Detection Inc. will supply Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with Hi-Scan XCT 10080, a next-generation, high-speed explosives detection system.</p><p><strong>KEYLOGGING</strong><br>First Data, a commerce-enabling technology company, will bundle Advanced Cyber Security’s CyberLockID into its small and medium-sized business solution to prevent keylogging spyware.</p><div><h4>Mergers & Moves​</h4><div><p><strong>ACRE & RS2 Technologies</strong><br>ACRE acquired RS2 Technologies to expand its access control business and product portfolio. ​</p><div><p><strong>Jensen Hughes & Hillard Heintze</strong><br>The deal will expand fire and life safety engineering and consulting firm Jensen Hughes’ global portfolio.</p><div><p><strong>Kaspersky Lab & Dicker Data</strong><br>Dicker Data will distribute Kaspersky products in Australia and New Zealand. ​​</p><div><p><strong>By Light Professional IT Services LLC & Metova Federal, LLC</strong><br>By Light bought Metova to help its clients combat complex challenges.</p></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div>GP0|#3795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e;L0|#03795b40d-c591-4b06-959c-9e277b38585e|Security by Industry;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465’s-Cognitive-Stress.aspxUnder Pressure: Managing Team Wellness​"How can I keep my overburdened team from cracking up?" The question has increasing relevancy for security managers in the contemporary business world. Continually bombarded with information, these managers also face a growing number of security threats. The collective effect can be serious stress overload. <br><p>​<br>​Science shows us that stress can have a marked effect on performance. The study of how stress affects human physiology is extensive, and much of this work allows for better ways of understanding behavior. </p><p>Psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson observed the empirical relationship between arousal and performance over 100 years ago. The relationship they identified (coined the Yerkes-Dodson curve) was that stress can create sharpened senses and readiness—both positive effects—but if arousal becomes too intense, a tipping point is reached and performance begins to deteriorate.</p><p>More recently, in 1994 neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky wrote <em>Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, </em>an acclaimed contribution to lay understanding of the effects of chronic stress on bodies and brains. Sapolsky explained how chronic stress wreaks havoc on our bodies, increasing vulnerability to metabolic disorders, cardiac disease, and depression. Although a bit of stress can enhance performance, clearly the health effects of chronic stress are bad. </p><p>We should also be aware of how acute stress affects the brain. In 2009, scientist Vicki LeBlanc conducted a literature review of effects of acute stress on performance and its implications for medical professionals. “Elevated stress levels,” she found, “can impede performance on tasks that require divided attention, working memory, retrieval of information from memory, and decision making.” Ironically, we often rely on our workers to possess full acuity in these areas during a stressful event. </p><p>What can we do to mitigate the effects of a chronically stressful job on our teams? And how can we adjust our expectations of their cognitive function in stressful times?</p><h4>​Warning: Wide (Cognitive) Load</h4><p>Multitasking is a myth. One may believe he or she is multitasking under the commonly understood definition of simultaneous task achievement. In actuality, this is simply switching back and forth between cognitive tasks at a furious pace. Human brains cannot conduct two conscious tasks simultaneously, however much we love to believe that they can.</p><p>Each time you switch from one task to another, you experience a cognitive lag that may last a quarter of a second or more. That lag time may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. With each switch, your ability to make critical decisions is diminished. This functionality only deteriorates when more tasks are added to your cognitive plate. This is especially problematic when speed and accuracy are at a premium. As cognitive neuroscientist Earl Miller once said, “People can't multitask very well, and when people say they can, they're deluding themselves.” </p><p>So how should a manager proceed? Begin with the acceptance that giving individuals many different types of information to process or different tasks to accomplish in virtually the same time frame will result in more lag time and errors. The situation only gets worse when managers emphasize a list of tasks that must be accomplished without offering a clear order of prioritization or preference. In low-stress times, employees are reasonably likely to manage multiple tasks well. But during a crisis, cognitive capacity decreases with the physiological stress response. </p><p>Instead, managers can attack the problem head-on by first educating employees on how multitasking depletes cognitive focus and crisp decision making. Managers can also create blocks of time for team members to focus on specific tasks and types of information, and enable teams to schedule their time in more efficient ways. Moreover, creating visual process maps, decision trees, swim lane diagrams, and checklists can effectively eliminate cognitive load during high-stress incidents that are sure to tax brain power. </p><p>Consider emergency response and continuity plans. Often, these documents are text-heavy and laden with detailed and frequently extraneous information. However, when we understand the pressures on the cognitive brain during a crisis, it makes sense to streamline such instructions as much as possible. Thus, employees should have a clear order of operations, a visual tool for moving through the decision-making process, and differentiated roles so that one person isn’t responsible for multiple simultaneous tasks. </p><p>We used this approach at my workplace at Temple University, with favorable results. We switched out dense continuity plans for quick operational manuals that enable a more seamless continuity of operations, regardless of whatever disruption occurs.</p><p>Overall, the more we can eliminate expectations of multitasking during a crisis, the faster the response will be, and the fewer the errors. </p><h4>The Dangers of Deprivation</h4><p>Sleep is magnificent—and essential—especially in a field like security. So why is sleepiness and burning the candle at both ends the norm in many workplaces, and sometimes even celebrated? </p><p>When employees do not get optimum levels of sleep, it compromises their immune systems, making them more susceptible to illness. Their memories are hampered; it is harder for them to recall appropriate procedures. Sleep-deprived people also have an impaired ability to react to insulin; they are hungrier and at higher risk of chronic disease. </p><p>In a 2012 clinical study conducted in South Korea, researchers validated the profoundly negative effects of sleep deprivation on executive function and attention. The study also found a link between sleep deprivation and increases in stress hormones, blood glucose, and inflammation. Conversely, while there are legitimate claims that oversleep can make us sluggish, very few employees are devoting that much time to sleep to reach those extreme levels. </p><p>To support the right balance, managers can emphasize that an appropriate amount of sleep will make team members sharper, less irritable, and more effective. Whether they present it in terms of tactical acuity, operational effectiveness, work–life balance, or self-care, managers should do what they can to make sure team members aren't showing up to work exhausted and compromised. One key way to do this is to consistently support an organizational culture that encourages rest. </p><p>For example, a young first responder recently remarked to me that to get a task done she would just stay up all night until it was complete. I countered that losing sleep was, in fact, the worst of all of her options, because she needed to be cognitively sharp and ready the next morning. As an alternative, we enlisted the help of other colleagues outside of our unit to ensure that all the necessary work was completed that afternoon. </p><p>If managers are clear in their message about the harmful limitations of deficient sleep, they will set an expectation that optimum performance requires sufficient rest, and team members will begin to internalize and prioritize that view.</p><h4>​Duty of Team Care </h4><p>Some teams are in a constant state of overwork and intense activity. A colleague recently told me that her team is subject to relentless and unmitigated pressure and high-stress assignments. This has created a revolving-door-like turnover, as staff seek employment elsewhere that will provide a more balanced workflow.</p><p>Savvy managers understand that they may need to protect their teams by providing opportunities to wind down operations a bit after periods of intense activity. Some give team members an opportunity to work on projects they enjoy, without brutal deadlines. This helps team members regain a sense of work balance before a new high-intensity period arrives.</p><p>I recently faced a related dilemma in my current role. We undertook an unexpected response to an infectious disease outbreak at our institution that required full-team activation and high-intensity performance. To get the job done, team members had to stay late and report early, and the multiple-day mass vaccination clinic operation required steady alertness and continuous activity.</p><p>It was an exhausting operation for the team. And when it ended, there was little opportunity for pulling back; the team had to keep up a high tempo in preparation for a planned functional exercise in two weeks’ time. </p><p>I asked my team to maintain intensity for these two weeks so we could have a successful exercise operation with the promise of a pulling-back period and team-focused rejuvenation afterward. I drove home this promise in a team meeting by planning a group lunch outing, as well as some easy activities, for the weeks immediately following the exercise operation. I made it clear that this would enable everyone to refresh, pull back a little bit, and become more mentally ready for the next period of intensity. Knowing this break waited for them in the near future helped everyone stretch their performance for a few more weeks. </p><p>Some teams are so understaffed that the members feel they will never have the bandwidth for this type of recalibration. Successful leaders ensure that their teams are protected from overwork; it is part of the duty of care of any manager. Sometimes, that requires tough conversations between the manager and his or her supervising executive. If a manager does not protect his or her team members, they will leave the operation. Or worse, they will end up burned out. </p><h4>​Creative Rejuvenation </h4><p>When Nassim Taleb wrote <em>The Black Swan</em> in 2007, he illustrated that many of the worst events that occur are improbable and unpredictable. Black swan events, in his telling, included situations such as the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and the financial crisis of 2008. This raises a question: how do we prepare for unexpected—and even unimagined—possibilities? </p><p>Cognitive research on performance and stress has found that the degrading effects of high levels of stress are particularly acute when situations are novel, unpredictable, or not controllable by the individual. Thus, practicing for rare and improbable scenarios may be a way to increase comfort with the unfamiliar, to remain open to the possibility of improbable events, and to even provide rare opportunities for innovative problem solving. Not only is this a way of partially inoculating the team against the negative impact of novel circumstances, but it also provides an avenue for fresh approaches and different perspectives on potential hazards. </p><p>The ideal option, then, may be to exercise creatively and often, with simulations of various imaginative black swan events. Some might say that exercising unexpected scenarios may decrease the team’s sense of realism. In my view, the bigger hazard is the repeated practice of running through the same typical scenarios, which makes exercising seem stale and rote. Innovation occurs when curiosity is encouraged and nothing is off the table. Creativity is rejuvenating, and it leads to the identification of new problems and new solutions. In that way, creativity can be the “secret sauce” to successful teams.</p><p>A second benefit of preparing for black swan events is that it builds team resilience. Taleb’s adjectival term for resilience is “anti-fragile,” or the quality of being able to adapt to the sometimes catastrophic curveballs that life throws your way. Being resilient means being easily able to adapt to change, a critical attribute for any team. </p><p>In 2011, Japan experienced an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear reactor meltdown in quick succession. No one had predicted this devastating cascade. In that case, like any black swan event, success of recovery depended upon the resilience and agility of the people managing the event to adapt, be flexible, and swiftly move to a new normal. It is those people who we need to prepare. </p><h4>​Be a Vacation Votary</h4><p>Employers seek out a laundry list of desired traits and talents when hiring employees. But in return, employers need to consider what they are obligated to provide their workers. Employers need to integrate companywide strategies to protect employees from undue cognitive stress and enable workers to reach peak performance. The latter has a parallel benefit: achieving peak employee performance helps the organization outshine its competition.</p><p>Operational psychology has told us from its inception that if you understand the machinations of the human brain, you can capitalize on its strengths and mitigate its weaknesses. Thus, employers may use findings from clinical, psychological, sociological, and cognitive science to help maximize the team’s tactical and operational value. Employers owe these healthful and reenergizing practices to their employees, and they ultimately bring value to the organization’s mission at the same time.</p><p>These science-supported practices are especially important in the contemporary workplace. In some organizations, the sheer volume of workload placed on workers makes taking a full week or two off nearly impossible. In fact, some employees say they don’t go on vacation because the workload upon return is simply too stressful. Others don’t go because they believe no one else is trained in their specific tasks. Some employees are even punished—in subtle and not-so-subtle ways—if they take vacation. For instance, in minds of their supervisors, these employees might be branded as insufficiently dedicated, and this judgment can influence overall performance evaluations and promotion opportunities.</p><p>According to a recent study cited in the Harvard Business Review, 52 percent of U.S. workers left some vacation time unused. Forty percent of male workers and 46 percent of female workers said that just thinking about the piled-up work awaiting them upon return was a major reason why they had not used up their vacation days.</p><p>Like sleep, vacations are essential for workers, especially ones in higher-</p><p>stress security positions. Getting away from sources of anxiety and stress that vacations provide has many positive benefits. It’s up to managers to ensure their organizational culture is pro-vacation. Sometimes, this is trickier than it sounds. </p><p>In a 2018 study, <em>Project Time Off,</em> researcher Katie Denis points out that many workers don’t hear about vacation time from their employers, nor are they encouraged to use it. This silence, in and of itself, can create trepidation about taking time off.</p><p>How can managers encourage employees to use vacation time? First, they should model good behavior by making sure that they take vacation time themselves. Adequate personnel that can fill in for the vacationing manager in all but the most extreme cases should be in place, as should supportive procedures for fill-ins. </p><p>Second, managers should educate teams about the researched benefits of time off. Regular vacations can be a key source of positive thinking, and in a 2010 study, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that when the brain thinks positively, productivity improves by 31 percent, sales by 37 percent, and creativity and revenues explode.</p><p>However, a more recent APA study in 2018 left us with a cautionary note: employers cannot expect the occasional vacation to solve all stress issues. The benefits of vacation are only meaningful when they are one component in a broader culture of ongoing stress management. </p><h4>​Don’t Be Blind to Science</h4><p>Research shows that there are limitations to our brain's cognitive capacity, and teams deserve managers who are able to put this knowledge into practice. </p><p>Nonetheless, some organizational cultures still work against that knowledge. Vacation shaming, mandated multitasking under pressure, rewards for workers who work the most extreme hours, and other such management practices found in these cultures are counterproductive and shortsighted, and they increase the risk of burn out. </p><p>Instead, security managers should make the effort to follow the science and ensure that their management practices are consistent with what we know about the brain and body. As part of their duty of care for employees, security leaders should integrate department or companywide strategies to encourage self-care, increase wellness, and encourage breaks. It's the manager’s job to help enable employees to thrive, rather than increase their risk of cracking under the burden.  </p><p><em>Sarah J. Powell is director of emergency management at Temple University, where her work includes critical incident management, risk assessment, strategy, operations coordination, and training and exercises. She has also served as a consultant and educator in the areas of business continuity, public health, and disaster mental health response.</em></p><p><br> </p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465 Culture Influences Disaster Recovery<p>​Nearly 55 percent of the global population lives in cities, and by 2050, the United Nations estimates that will rise to 70 percent. With such concentrated populations, natural disasters can wreak havoc—by 2030, disasters will cost cities around the world $214 billion annually in damage, the World Bank reports. </p><p>The risks these cities face on a regular basis—and the potential long-term impact of those risks on citizens’ lives, local economies, and the global landscape—are driving them to invest in more robust emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plans. </p><p>The World Bank Group and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released a guideline in 2018 for citywide resiliency and recovery called the CURE Framework. This framework outlines how culture—which encompasses touchstones like landmarks, temples, and relics, as well as local practices and traditions—affects resiliency. It offers suggestions on how emergency managers can leverage culture to help disaster-affected regions “build back better.” </p><p>“Culture is the foundation upon which cities are built,” says Ahmed Eiweida, lead urban specialist with The World Bank, Singapore. “Cities are not just a collection of buildings, but are the people, their stories, and how they interact with each other through their cultural identity and sense of place.” </p><p>Eiweida was one of the authors of the position paper on the UNESCO and World Bank framework, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Culture in City Reconstruction ​and Recovery</a></em>.</p><p>Integrating culture into sustainable urban development and disaster recovery policies helps make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, according to the paper. Focusing on the culture of an area also promotes harmony and reconciliation between different groups of people who may have a history of conflict. </p><p>“Emergency managers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of integrating the specific needs of culture and cultural heritage into their wider plans. At the same time, site managers of cultural heritage and tourist sites are recognizing the need to plan and prepare their sites for the hazard scenarios they will face,” Eiweida says. </p><p>“In practice, integrating culture means bringing together professionals from key disciplines at the national and more localized levels in pre-disaster planning,” he adds. “National emergency authorities often have access to key disaster risk data and general plans for resource deployment, while other national ministries may be able to prepare and adapt specific social protection programs or bring other key steps to pre-disaster planning. To better understand and share cultural aspects at the local level, local authorities must be part of the pre-disaster planning for their areas, as they will have better knowledge of their communities’ expectations, existing resources, and key areas of cultural focus.” </p><p>After a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Myanmar in 2016, for example, more than 350 monuments at the Bagan cultural heritage site were damaged. Afterward, national officials partnered with cultural authorities, site managers, business leaders, and local community members to develop a new disaster management plan that would safeguard national treasures and promote local culture.  </p><p>“Culture-based recovery relies on a recognition that the government alone cannot implement a successful recovery,” Eiweida notes. Successful culture-based recoveries in Colombia, Japan, the Philippines, and elsewhere have demonstrated that “communities, including their local organizations and businesses, must have a leading role in these processes, in order to set out relevant priorities and ensure execution that meets their needs,” he says.</p><p>Organizations seeking to prepare for or recover from disasters must also consider culture, both of the organization and the regions in which they operate. The culture of a place has a large impact on business continuity, says Malcolm Reid, CPP, managing director at risk consultancy firm Brison, LLC. </p><p>For example, Japan experiences a variety of natural disasters—such as tsunamis and earthquakes—but there is a culture of preparedness in businesses, communities, and schools. Infrastructure is built for disasters, technology like early warning systems or cellphone alerts are regularly used, and people train often—including sending schoolchildren on field trips to earthquake simulators. </p><p>“By comparison, the Caribbean region has lots of hurricanes,” Reid says, “but the culture of preparedness there is more laissez-faire.” Caribbean nations are very faith-oriented, he adds, and there is the feeling that God will take care of them, so they do not need as much active preparedness. </p><p>Within business, safety has taken the issue of companywide culture seriously. Associate Director of Business Services at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Brendan Monahan notes that every meeting starts with a “safety moment”—a 10- or 30-second segment that identifies who in the room is CPR-certified or how to stay safe in winter weather conditions. </p><p>Companies that devote this time to embedding safety in their company culture have seen big improvements in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reportables, says Monahan, who is also chair of the ASIS International Crisis Management and Business Continuity Council. </p><p>Similarly, embedding business continuity into the culture of the organization takes continuous reinforcement and regular training. </p><p>“Culture is a key enabler for the process,” Reid says. “You cannot have a successful program—with good results—without engaging with culture.” </p><p>While regional differences should be considered for business continuity and recovery, it’s essential to start with a uniform, organizationwide framework and metrics, he says. </p><p>“The end goal doesn’t change, so your measurement of success shouldn’t change,” Reid explains. “But some countries have to address different risks. The organization has standard processes, but each country has slightly different processes and priorities for spending.” </p><p>In an earthquake-prone region, more disaster recovery funding could be allocated to planning for building inspections or engineers, shelters for employees, or a communications plan that would account for disrupted phone lines or lost power. In a region at higher risk for political conflict, such as Venezuela, more funding could be allocated for evacuations or additional guards. </p><p>“Business continuity starts at the top,” Reid says. “It’s the organization’s culture, made up of regional differences.” </p><p>Continuity also depends on agility and trust, says Erik de Vries, CPP, CEO and founder of The Netherlands-based security risk management firm DutchRisk bv. </p><p>“Companies that are globally strongly managed from a central location—that is, the head office decides more or less everything—might struggle to handle a local crisis,” he says. “If local business units or divisions have very limited decision-making authority and they are not used to having substantial empowerment, they will, during crises, also rely much on the head office. That can slow down resilience in the first crucial hours, especially if the head office is in a different time zone.” </p><p>This could result in shutting down production for hours until a decision can be sent from headquarters, either because of a hierarchical business structure or a lack of financial authority to make the call. </p><p>Regional and cultural differences play a role here as well; countries that were historically unaccepting of citizens taking the initiative likely still have those hierarchical tendencies embedded in managers’ minds, resulting in an unwillingness to make independent decisions in a crisis. In some Asian cultures, people tend to automatically say “yes” to their manager instead of “I don’t know” or “no,” which can result in additional confusion during a crisis, de Vries says. </p><p>“Try to learn how people in that area do business, then use that knowledge to train on how to make decisions in a crisis,” he adds. </p><p>Business continuity managers should also ensure that regional locations have access to the appropriate budget (within reason and strict limits) to make crisis-related decisions quickly and effectively, especially regarding evacuation plans for expats. </p><p>“The most important result of customizing crisis or recovery programs is that it shows local crisis or recovery teams that they are trusted and empowered to do what is needed,” de Vries says. </p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465