Event Security

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Houston’s-Game-Day-Solutions.aspxHouston’s Game Day SolutionsGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-07-01T04:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/lilly-chapa.aspx, Lilly Chapa<p>​The city of Houston, Texas, was in a football frenzy during the days leading up to the 2017 Super Bowl showdown between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons at Houston’s NRG Stadium. A nine-day fan festival, pop-up clubs hosting acts such as Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift, National Football League (NFL) and ESPN activities, and other events were scattered throughout the sprawling metropolis, home to 2.2 million people. </p><p>Just four months before a million visitors converged on Houston for the festivities, Jack Hanagriff, the infrastructure protection coordinator for Houston’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, was tasked with expanding the city’s surveillance program and implementing a solution that would support emergency communications while overcoming the expected strain on the mobile network. </p><p>“Although our system is robust and can handle things normally, when you get a national event coming in, our cell service gets interfered with and then our cameras get hindered by blockages,” Hanagriff explains. Especially tricky was Super Bowl LIVE, the nine-day fan festival held in Discovery Green, a 12-acre urban park, and in five surrounding parking lots. The area is also home to the George R. Brown Convention Center and several hotels, high-rise condominiums, and businesses—all of which contribute to high usage of wireless and mobile networks, even when no events are taking place. </p><p>Hanagriff had to figure out how to deploy additional cameras to Discovery Green and other high-traffic areas such as team hotels, pop-up clubs, and the Galleria shopping center, while addressing the network strain that was sure to hinder communication and video feeds during the events. </p><p>“In public safety, we’re using other sources of technology beyond the actual emergency radio communications—such as cell phones and field reporting devices and cameras—and it works fine,” Hanagriff explains. “But when you start coming in with a mass of people and commercial carriers putting in their infrastructure and tents, the ecosystem of the venue changes so that our existing permanent solution is not adequate because it may get blocked.”</p><p>Hanagriff pulled together a robust team for the task, including vendors, wireless providers, and federal, state, and local players. Axis Communications donated 40 cameras to the cause, Vidsys provided information management middleware, and Siklu’s radios were used to transmit some of the video surveillance. Wireless carrier Verizon had already been working for months to beef up its network capacity in the city, and Hanagriff said it agreed to allow the city to connect its cameras to the fiber network it was laying.​</p><h4>The Buildout</h4><p>While NRG Stadium and the Galleria already had robust camera networks established, the city had to prepare Discovery Green and its surrounding parking lots for Super Bowl LIVE, where more than 150,000 people were expected to attend each day.</p><p>“We were confident we would get some coverage, but when I saw the footprint of the event…Discovery Green is one thing, but those five additional parking lots? That’s a lot of coverage,” Hanagriff says. “We knew we needed some really big players.”</p><p>In the weeks leading up to the kickoff of Super Bowl LIVE, workers spent 480 hours deploying the solution. Several cameras were installed on permanent structures surrounding Discovery Green, but most of the installation occurred in sync with the construction of the Super Bowl LIVE infrastructure. </p><p>“As they built the gates and kiosks and stages, we attached the cameras to those structures,” Hanagriff explains. “But even while they were building, they kept moving things, so we kept having to move the cameras. We had to put flyover cables where they didn’t exist—we were literally dropping 3,000-pound flagpoles to attach cables to and run them across the street.”</p><p>Fixed cameras were installed at all entry and exit areas, and pan-tilt-zoom cameras were used at every gate to observe the outer perimeter of the festival’s footprint. VIP and high-density areas were also a high priority—Discovery Green’s main stage was expected to draw at least 20,000 people for its major events, such as nightly light shows and a concert by Solange Knowles. Hanagriff said the city worked with intelligence officials to set up cameras in areas where potential threats could be carried out. Cameras were also outfitted with audio sensors that could detect and triangulate gunshots, as well as a sensor that detects an elevated anger response in human speech that often occurs before an argument.</p><p>The 40 Axis cameras, as well as 26 of the city’s existing cameras, were brought together under one dashboard through Vidsys middleware and were connected with fiber because of Verizon’s infrastructure buildout. Additionally, the 40 new cameras streamed to the Verizon cloud, allowing for mobile access and redundancy. “If we lost our main system, we could still run the temporary system off the cloud,” Hanagriff explains. “The cloud gave us versatility to bring in mobile applications and partners that did not have access to our existing system.”</p><p>Hanagriff wanted to deploy a camera on top of a hotel a block from the Super Bowl LIVE footprint for an all-encompassing view of the festival, but ran into connectivity problems. The fiber did not extend to the hotel, and radio frequencies completely saturated the area, making a wireless network solution impossible. The city ended up working with Siklu to install a millimeter wave radio that used narrow beam technology to transmit the video feed on an unoccupied spectrum. </p><p>“There was so much radio frequency you could walk on air,” Hanagriff says. “The Siklu radio beamed right through all of it.” </p><p>Security officials set up an emergency operations center in the convention center next to Discovery Green, where the camera feeds—including setups at NRG Stadium and the Galleria—were consolidated. Although many of the existing cameras were part of a closed network, the temporary cameras could be accessed via mobile devices from the cloud, which was crucial in integrating new partners into security operations. Hanagriff described the operations center as a huge room with dozens of partners: event coordinators, Houston officials and first responders, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Public Safety and Transportation Departments, the FBI, and other federal agency representatives. </p><p>Whether they were at the center itself or out in the city, officials could access the camera feeds via mobile devices. The Harris County Sheriff’s Department set up a mobile command post at the Galleria, where more activities and protests were taking place. It was able to use the mobile application to review the Galleria’s camera feeds and correspond with the main command post, Hanagriff says. And during the Super Bowl game itself, several groups were able to access the city’s cameras at NRG Stadium, including NFL security directors and another mobile command post closer to the event.  ​</p><h4>Emergency Operations</h4><p>While Hanagriff’s role was coordinating the technology infrastructure ahead of the festivities, Patrick Hagan, technical specialist and engineer operator for the Houston Fire Department, saw firsthand how the camera setup helped emergency operations in such an unpredictable environment.</p><p>During Super Bowl LIVE, members of Houston’s police and fire departments were dispatched via portable devices that operate on Band 14, a broadband spectrum reserved for first responders. The devices can run active GPS for an entire 16-hour shift, serve as trackers for the officers, and share information, location, and images from the field to command center or vice versa. </p><p>“Because of the nature of the footprint, Super Bowl LIVE was closed off with a hard barrier, so we had to have teams inside that didn’t have vehicle apparatus,” Hagan explains. “Because of that they were on foot or on bike, so we dispatched them via GPS, which was new to us.” </p><p>A few weeks before the Super Bowl events, first responders tested out the devices to communicate via Band 14 during the Houston Marathon. “We gave the GPS a run for its money—we tried to max out the system, wanted to see what it would do under a lot of traffic, and never got any failure points,” Hagan says. But that wasn’t the case for Super Bowl LIVE.</p><p>Due to the massive amount of radio frequency traffic in Discovery Green, which Hagan agreed was the most he had ever experienced, the officers’ GPS signals experienced reflectivity and weren’t totally precise.</p><p>“Our GPS wasn’t quite true,” Hagan says. “It was off in some cases by 150 yards, which when you’re in a sea of people, is a few thousand people. We had to work around that.”</p><p>Hagan and others in the emergency operations center were able to coordinate with officers in the field by using the video feeds and verbal commands to guide them to called-in emergencies.</p><p>“We’d leverage those video systems to give our bike teams a better location,” Hagan explains. “We could see the officer’s blue dot with the tracking system and I’d compare it to the map of where I knew the patient was by looking at a video feed. Then I could verbally walk them there via radio and cellular communication. I can’t just say that the patient is over by the food truck when there are 80 food trucks.”</p><p>Using GPS and video feeds for dispatching was a first for the Houston Fire Department. “We don’t show up when things work. We show up when things break,” Hagan notes. “It’s a very fine line that we walk between using cutting-edge technology versus tried and true methods that are much lower tech. We have to utilize the technology to our advantage when we can, but when it fails we need to have contingency for that, and still be practiced in that contingency.”</p><p>Hagan made sure that contingency plans were in place during the Super Bowl, explaining that officials were prepared to resort to voice and radio dispatching if the GPS or video feeds failed. The dual capability of the video feeds allowed even the giant command post to be completely mobile, he notes. </p><p>“Everything in the command post was done on a laptop and broadcast on these giant screens, so at a moment’s notice we could drop and run and take all that with us and still have all our capabilities,” Hagan says. “We could still share data…still communicate—that’s the point of the redundancy. We had the hard connection but we wanted to be able to see all of our video streams and everything on mobile if we had to.”​</p><h4>Technology Forward</h4><p>After nine days of fans, football, and a Patriots win in overtime, Hanagriff and Hagan agree that the technology-forward security approach was a success. And while the pop-up clubs have been deconstructed and Discovery Green has reverted back to an urban oasis, the technology used remains in the city. Verizon’s citywide enhancements will continue to benefit Houstonians, city businesses and public officials will continue to strengthen their partnerships, and ​the 40 cameras Axis provided will be part of what Hanagriff calls a technology playground.</p><p>The cameras will be redeployed in high-traffic areas such as Discovery Green and the Galleria, and businesses, first responders, and industry partners will test ways to further integrate security technology into Houston. Hanagriff plans on forming a partnership with everyone invested in the project to determine the direction and scope of the testing.</p><p>“We all get exposure to all these different technologies, and there are benefits for everybody, and it’s all done by in-kind services,” Hanagriff says. “Everybody gets a big bang with no buck.” </p><p>Public safety officials will be able to learn more about video analytics and other cutting-edge technology without disrupting their current camera system, industry partners who provide the equipment and software will be able to conduct research and development and receive direct feedback from subject matter experts, and private businesses that allow the city to put equipment on their buildings will have access to systems that are normally out of reach. </p><p>“Most business partners are usually on the inside looking out, and this system gives them the ability to be on the outside looking in on their property,” Hanagriff notes. </p><p>Hagan says that in the past the fire department has only had access to the city’s camera feeds and has been unable to manipulate them. Being able to take full advantage of the cameras’ capabilities during the Super Bowl events showed how helpful they could be during dispatch, and he hopes the fire department can continue to access the city’s camera infrastructure more fully. </p><p>“We have a lot of the same goals and a lot of people doing the same exact job,” Hagan notes. “If we as a city can get three or four people who can perform that function and share that information with each department in real time, that would make sense. If someone calls into this joint operation and says, ‘I need eyes here, do you see anything?’ those people can give immediate feedback to any department. That’s the plan.”   ​</p>

Event Security

 

 

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Physical-Security.aspxPhysical Security<p><em>Butterworth-Heinemann; Elsevier.com; 204 pages; $79.95.</em></p><p>​The second edition of <em>Physical Security: 150 Things You Should Know</em> is an excellent reference for security practitioners and managers. Written by Lawrence J. Fennelly and Marianna Perry, CPP, the book covers the most common concepts and concerns in security today; from lighting and CPTED to cyber and drones. To borrow from the book’s opening lines, it is a roadmap to building and enhancing an organization’s security program.</p><p>The authors do a great job of organizing an overwhelming amount of material. The book is likely to serve more as a go-to reference for a particular topic rather than to be read from cover to cover. </p><p>A security practitioner with a fundamental understanding of security will find this book to be an exceptional resource for planning security upgrades, training security staff, and finding justification for best practices with the C-suite. Many sections are nothing more than easy-to-follow checklists, so retrieving the information is remarkably simple and quick.   </p><p>The broad range of topics addressed in the book makes it impossible for the authors to dig too deep on any single issue, so many of the sections do not offer full explanations. This, however, does not take anything away from the quality or usefulness of the book. </p><p>The concepts are outlined in carefully selected paragraphs that provide just enough detail to jog the memory or provide a starting point for further research from more-focused sources. All in all, this book offers great ideas and best practices for a broad range of security topics, not just physical security.</p><p><em><strong>Reviewer: Yan Byalik, CPP,</strong> is the security administrator for the City of Newport News Virginia. He is a graduate of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and has worked in a variety of security roles in higher education, amusement park, and telecommunication security sectors since 2001. He is the assistant regional vice president for ASIS Region 5A in southeast Virginia.</em></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/What-the-Pulse-Nightclub-Attack-Means-for-Soft-Target-Security.aspxWhat the Pulse Nightclub Attack Means for soft Target Security<p>​<span style="line-height:1.5em;">After news broke of the <a href="/Pages/Orlando-Nightclub-Shooting.aspx" target="_blank">shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando</a> in the early hours of Sunday morning, many were left wondering what could have been done to prevent the attack that left 50 people dead—including the gunman—and wounded 53 others. </span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">To find out and to discuss what this latest attack on a soft target means for the security industry, <em>Security Management</em> Assistant Editor Megan Gates spoke with subject matter expert Kevin Doss, CPP, PSP. </span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Doss is president and CEO of </span><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Level 4 Security, a security consultancy, and author of<a href="http://store.elsevier.com/Active-Shooter/Kevin-Doss/isbn-9780128027844/" target="_blank"> <em>Active Shooter: Preparing for and Responding to a Growing Threat</em>.</a> Below is a transcript of their conversation, which has been lightly edited for clarity.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;"><strong>Gates: When you first heard about what was happening in Orlando, what was your initial reaction?</strong></span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Doss: I certainly was not surprised. I worked in nightclub security in my early 20s, and you just don’t think about venues like that being attacked by active shooters. </span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">So my first thought was, ‘Wow, someone decided to hit a nightclub, which changes the game.’ </span><span style="line-height:1.5em;">It changes the game for all the different businesses out there that are soft targets, that are open to the public. </span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">In the case of a nightclub, security typically does not carry a firearm, even if they’re off-duty police officers, because of the environment and fights. You wouldn’t want someone to take your weapon during a fight or if you’re breaking up a fight.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">So you typically have no firearms at a nightclub or a bar. Also, concealed weapons permits usually do not allow you to conceal carry into an establishment that sells alcohol, or sells more alcohol than it does food.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">So it was a venue that I thought, from an attacker’s point of view, is a target-rich environment with very little protection.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;"><em>(Editor’s note: The off-duty police officer who was hired as security for Pulse nightclub was carrying a firearm.)</em></span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;"><strong>Gates: As more details about the attack emerged, what did you as a security consultant begin thinking about?</strong></span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Doss: I started thinking about what should a nightclub do? If I’m the consultant coming in, how am I going to put a security program in place that would mitigate—maybe not stop, but mitigate—the risk of an active shooter or any act of violence, whether it’s a gun, whether it’s a knife. </span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">The first step in any security program is you need a plan. You have to have and develop a plan, and I think every nightclub in America and the world today is probably going out and looking at their security and going, ‘Wow, we need to do something. We need to make sure we have a better plan in place.’ Because I can assure you, many of them have probably never thought about security to that level.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">But you can’t just throw in a simple emergency action plan. You have to plan for specific threats. Pulse was a gay club, an alternative lifestyle club. We know there are threats from certain individuals who hate that lifestyle. They hate people based on their sexual orientations, so if you’re doing a threat assessment—which is part of a risk assessment—you already know that there’s a potential for violence.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Your local neighborhood bar my not have that same threat, versus a nightclub that caters to the alternative lifestyle. That’s going to have additional threats. That’s going to determine what type of security measures you need. You can’t go out to one club and go, ‘OK, every club should do this.’ That’s just not realistic and it’s not going to work.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">What you need to do is look at the club, look at the social environment, look at the economic environment, and look at the geographic area around it. What are the threats? What are the things that could possibly happen? And then you start building your plan to mitigate those risks.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;"><strong>Gates: With that said, what are some plans a nightclub could put in place to mitigate the risk of an active shooter?</strong></span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Doss: In this case, with an active shooter, did they compartmentalize? Oscar Newman in his book called it defensible space. What that is, is taking the environment and breaking it down into more manageable areas so you can secure those areas and not focus on the macro environment where you’re trying to secure the entire facility at one time. You break it down into more manageable zones.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">In this case, maybe they could have put a vestibule in and had it secured so that when you go through the checkpoint, you don’t get into the main hall until you’ve been let in through a secondary checkpoint. You create a lobby or vestibule area, so you don’t have full access from the street to run right in and start shooting.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Also, you have loud music, you have flashing lights, and you have a lot of darkness in a nightclub. It was evident from seeing some of the TV and reports that came out that people [inside Pulse] heard the gunshots, but thought they were part of the show. Until they saw bodies falling, they were under the impression that those gunshots were just part of the party.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">So that’s something that needs to be addressed—an awareness of if this happens, how do we turn the lights on? How do we cut the music? How do we have a public announcement to everybody that ‘Hey, you need to take cover’? There has to be a way to communicate with everybody in that facility, very rapidly, because that’s going to save lives.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;"><strong>Gates: That’s a good point, and is something I’ve heard and seen in coverage of the Orlando attack over and over again—that when the gunman started shooting, people didn’t know what was happening. Those were crucial moments for some people to respond, or not to respond.</strong></span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Doss: Absolutely. You also wonder how many medical supplies [Pulse] had. So if they have a normal group of 300 people, do they have just standard Band Aids? Or do they have tourniquets? Do they have bandages? Do they have things that could be used in a medical emergency where you have a high number of casualties?</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">If I had to make an assumption, my assumption would be they probably did not. 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I think you’ll see more of a focus put on how do we plan better—how do we prevent. </span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">My focus as a consultant has changed from response programs that focus on after the shooter gets there, how do we respond. Those are important programs, because it saves lives if there is a response plan.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">But my goal as a consultant is to focus on the behavior indicators and to be proactive. Let’s not wait until the person shows up at the front door, because when that happens, somebody’s getting injured. Somebody’s going to die.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">In almost every active shooter case there have been family members, friends, or coworkers who have said, ‘We knew something bad was about to happen. 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You have the shooter, and the family members of the shooter that just lost a son, brother, uncle, whatever it may be. So they’re mourning and they’re embarrassed; they’re embarrassed at a heinous act of crime that their family member just committed.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Then you have the other victims that were shot, that were innocent victims, and you have their family members. So everybody loses in an active shooter event.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">That’s why I think our focus should be more on preventing and finding out what the accurate indicators are. And if we can intercept and intervene prior to someone buying a gun and starting to shoot, that’s when we win.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;"><strong>Gates: Would it have made a difference if patrons in Pulse were armed?</strong></span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Doss: I’ll be the first to tell you that even if everybody in that club was carrying a gun, and pulled out a concealed weapon, you’d have just as many shot and killed. You would have people missing, people shooting erratically, and when alcohol is involved, you now have people who probably can’t see their sights.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">I have friends that will be like, ‘Hey, carry a gun and fire back. That’s the answer.’ And I respond, ‘I’m fairly highly trained at shooting a weapon. And I would not want to have to pull my weapon out in a crowd and make that shot while people are running by me and knocking me around.’</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Then, if you miss or the bullet penetrates through the person, now you’ve injured or killed an innocent person. It’s not as simple as ‘Give everyone a gun and fire back.’ It’s much more complicated, and very few people are capable of shooting under that type of stress accurately and effectively.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">I’m not anti-gun. I’m just stating that that’s not the simple answer when it comes to active shooter—that everyone should be armed. It can work in some cases, but in many cases it will probably be worse than some other options.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;"><strong>Gates: What are some additional areas of security at Pulse that as a security professional, you’d want to know more about following this incident?</strong></span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Doss: My question will be for the security officer on duty, was he trained on active shooter? If he was trained, on what type of protocols? What did he learn?</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">From a security consultant perspective and a subject matter expert perspective, I’m interested in how your people are trained. And then, did they do what they were trained to do? And was that the right thing to do?</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Those are the questions that I think will be bouncing around as everything is analyzed, because this is a pretty impactful event. You have 103 people that have been either wounded or killed. Out of 300 people, that’s one-third of the people in the place. That’s a huge percentage. So I think this is, unfortunately, a lesson that every business is going to have to start taking seriously.</span><br></p><p><span style="line-height:1.5em;">And many do not. I’m out there—I wrote a book on active shooter. I’m out there​ preaching it, and I sit there and still see businesses that don’t invest in building a plan. They still don’t invest in training and awareness. They still don’t invest in training their people when it comes to active shooter or any act of violence.</span><br></p><p>  ​</p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Terrorists-Check-In.aspxTerrorists Check In<p>​Just after 8:00 a.m. on January 25, attackers detonated a truck bomb outside the gates of the Dayah Hotel in the Somali capital of Mogadishu before storming inside. Fifteen minutes later, another truck bomb exploded, and security forces were dispatched to take control of the hotel. </p><p>The hotel, located near Somalia’s Parliament building, was said to be popular with lawmakers and government officials. That may have made it a target for the attackers—later identified as al-Shabaab, an extremist group linked to al Qaeda, whose attacks are designed to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state.</p><p>The attack in January killed at least 21 people and injured more than 50, according to CNN. It was just the latest in a succession of recent attacks on soft targets in Africa and Europe, and it raised awareness of a global and shifting threat that no international business can ignore: the risk of an attack on a hotel where a traveling employee is staying.</p><p>Since 2002, more than 30 major terrorist attacks have targeted hotels across the world. Because of this outbreak of attacks, businesses, tourism professionals, and hoteliers themselves are calling hotel risk procedures into question.​</p><h4>Hotels as Soft Targets</h4><p>Hotels became major targets for bomb attacks by terrorists in Asia in the 2000s, and the threat has since moved to Africa. Attacks against hotels in 2015 and 2016 accounted for a third of all major terrorist attacks in the world, likely because they are considered to be soft targets.</p><p>Some hotels make more attractive targets than others, for a variety of reasons. One of these is the opportunity to harm a large number of people. Hotels are gathering places, and in addition to guests there are visitors for banquets, as well as bar, restaurant, and leisure facility customers.</p><p>Another reason a hotel might be an attractive target is that it is likely to garner international media attention. The more victims there are from different countries, the more media attention the attack is likely to generate. </p><p>Attacks on hotels also express an ideology: international luxury hotels symbolize Western culture. Jihadists often consider hotels immoral places where men and women interact, and where alcohol is easily accessible.​</p><h4>Attack Strategies</h4><p>Terrorists used three attack strategies when targeting hotels between 2002 and 2015: explosives (44.4 percent), firearms (25 percent), and a combination of the two (30.6 percent), according to the Global Terrorism Database.</p><p><strong>Explosives.</strong> There are two varieties of attacks on hotels using explosives: the human bomb and the vehicular bomb. These tend to cause the most physical destruction and injure the most people, making them effective for terrorists.</p><p>Human bombs tend to have geographically restricted limits and are mainly used in spaces that are open to guests. For instance, in November 2005 in Amman, Jordan, terrorists detonated explosive belts in the ballroom of the Radisson SAS, near the coffee shop of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and in the entrance of a Days Inn. Fifty-seven people were killed in the attacks, and more than 100 people were wounded, according to The New York Times.</p><p>In contrast, vehicular bombs account for 31 percent of terrorist attacks on hotels. This technique is used to cause large-scale material destruction and potential chain reactions from the explosion—such as gas line bursts, fire, structural collapse, and destruction of guest and staff lists.</p><p>In 2008, for example, terrorists packed a truck with a ton of explosives and drove it into the Islamabad Marriott’s security gate. The vehicle exploded, killing 53 people and injuring 271, and officials were concerned that the building itself might collapse and cause even more injuries and damage, The Telegraph reported.</p><p>Occasionally, the two techniques are used together. One such case was in 2005 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, when terrorists set off a truck bomb near the Iberotel Palace hotel while simultaneously discharging a bomb in the façade of the Ghazala Gardens Hotel. They also detonated a third bomb in a parking lot of one of the city’s tourist areas. The coordinated attacks killed 88 people, most of whom were Egyptian instead of the targeted Western tourists, according to the Times’ analysis of the attack.</p><p><strong>Assaults. </strong>Terrorists often use the assault technique, armed with automatic rifles and hand grenades, to target hotels. This method makes it easier for the terrorists to damage a wider area while also killing a large number of people as they move through the hotel and its floors.</p><p>This kind of attack occurred in November 2015 when heavily armed and well-trained gunmen drove into the Bamako, Mali, Radisson Blu hotel compound. They detonated grenades and opened fire on security guards before taking 170 people hostage, according to The Guardian. Twenty-one people, including two militants, were killed in the attack and seven were wounded.</p><p>Terrorists will also move from one hotel to another, not hesitating to take clients hostage to make the operation last longer. The duration of the siege often has a direct impact on the amount of international media coverage the attack receives.</p><p>Additionally, some assault-style attacks show that terrorists had knowledge of the hotels before attacking them. For example, in the 2009 attacks on the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott in Jakarta, the attackers blew themselves up—one in a parking garage at the Marriott and the other at a restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. Authorities later discovered, according to the BBC, an unexploded bomb and materials in a Marriott guest room that was dubbed the “control center” for the attacks.</p><p>Terrorists also may plan to conduct attacks during a hotel’s peak operation times—such as during meals or organized events. For example, the attack in Bamako took place around 7:00 a.m. when breakfast, checkouts, and security officer shift changes were taking place.​</p><h4>Travel Policies</h4><p>Not all companies have well-developed travel security policies. Predictably, companies with employees who travel more frequently for work have a more advanced travel security program, as do companies that operate in countries with elevated security risks or in remote areas.</p><p>Companies also tend to have a more highly developed travel security program if one of their employees has been affected by a security incident, such as a hotel bombing, in the past. In this current threat environment, however, all international companies should review their travel risk policies because they have a duty to protect employees when they travel for work.</p><p>The European Directive on the Safety and Health of Workers at Work mentions this obligation, as do national regulations: Germany’s Civil Code, France’s Labor Code and a judgment by the Court of Cassation, and the United Kingdom’s Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act of 2007.</p><p>The United States also addresses this responsibility through its statutory duty of care obligations detailed in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The act requires large and medium-sized companies to define basic emergency planning requirements.</p><p>Also, depending on the U.S. state, workers’ compensation laws may have provisions for American business travelers abroad. Similar obligations apply in Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Spain. And case law has reinforced this legal arsenal addressing the security of employees traveling abroad.</p><p>Under these frameworks, employers must assess foreseeable risks, inform employees of these risks, and train them to respond.</p><p>And these risks are no longer reserved for employees traveling to Africa or the Middle East; the succession of terrorist attacks in countries qualified as low-risk destinations—Berlin, Brussels, Nice, and Paris—means that many companies need to address these locations in their crisis management preparation for employees traveling abroad.</p><p>Some companies have already changed their internal procedures to address these risks, including changing the way that hotels are chosen for business travel. ​</p><h4>Choosing Hotels</h4><p>Given the current threat environment and duty of care obligations for traveling employees, corporate security managers and travel managers need to work together to choose the right hotels. No matter the choice of accommodation, security and travel managers must conduct their own risk analysis to adopt the best strategy for choosing hotels for their employees. The analysis should include the destination, the profile of the business traveler, the duration of the employee’s stay, the company’s image, and the potentially controversial nature of the project in that destination.</p><p>Once the analysis is complete, companies have four options for choosing accommodations for traveling employees: international brand hotels, regional chain hotels, apartment or house sharing, or residences that are owned and operated by the company.</p><p>The most common option is to choose hotels with an international brand whose rates have been negotiated by the company. These big-name hotels can be reassuring. However, these institutions—described by some specialists as high-profile—tend to meet terrorists’ selection criteria for targets.</p><p>These hotels are also often franchise hotels, meaning they are independent institutions, master of their own investment decisions and the management of their staff. This can make it difficult for security professionals and travel managers to get answers to important questions during the vetting process: What security procedures does the hotel have in place and what is its staff management policy? Does it subcontract its security to a guard company or have its own security team?</p><p>The second option is to choose less emblematic hotels that some would consider low-profile, such as regional chain hotels—like Azalaï, City Blue, Serena, and Tsogo Sun in Pan-Africa—or independent boutique hotels. </p><p>Hotels such as these may provide more discretion than an international brand hotel, but may come with slightly lower levels of security, which could become a problem should a crisis develop. Lesser-known hotels, for instance, may not receive as rapid a response from security forces as a luxury hotel frequented by public figures and politicians. And for travel managers, this second option could be a difficult sell to employees who might be used to staying at international brand hotels.</p><p>Another option that companies might choose is to have employees stay at a private residence through the sharing economy, such as Airbnb. Google and Morgan Stanley recently began allowing employees to use Airbnb for business travel, and the company saw 14,000 new companies sign up each week in 2016 for its business travel services, according to CNBC. </p><p>For some destinations, this is not a viable option because of the lack of accommodations, but for other locations Airbnb has numerous places to stay and even offers a dedicated website for business travelers, which make up 30 percent of its overall sales.</p><p>One location where Airbnb is a pop­ular choice is in sub-Saharan Africa where a major influx of young expatriates used to traveling and staying in Airbnbs have rooms, apartments, and houses available for business travelers.</p><p>However, this option has collateral risks, and many companies forbid employees from staying at an Airbnb while traveling because of the lack of verification and vetting of the residences, which may not allow them to meet many companies’ duty of care obligations. </p><p>Also problematic is the risk that employees will get lost while trying to locate their Airbnb, as opposed to an easily identifiable hotel. And the traveler might be unable to check in when the host is unavailable to let them in or provide a key. </p><p>The Airbnb option also raises questions for security professionals: If it’s attacked, how will local law enforcement respond? Who is responsible for contacting law enforcement?</p><p>The final option is for the company itself to provide private accommodations for its travelers. This is only cost effective, though, for high-risk destinations where companies frequently send employees to work. With this option, companies have full control over the security of the accommodations. However, this level of security comes with a high operational cost—purchasing or renting the accommodation, ensuring the maintenance of the location, and supervising essential service providers, such as housekeeping and security.</p><p>Additionally, companies that choose to provide a private accommodation for traveling employees would have the responsibility to secure the property—creating a security plan; purchasing, installing, and implementing security equipment, such as access control, CCTV, and fences; and providing security staff, either in-house or through a contract.​</p><h4>Improving Security</h4><p>In 2002, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 30 people at a Passover Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel, in the deadliest attack during the Second Intifada. Following the attack, Israel’s hotel industry led the charge to address security threats by tightening security regulations. These regulations required the hospitality industry to staff a chief security officer in each hotel, led to the development of dedicated educational programs on security with recognized diplomas, and ultimately provided career opportunities for skilled and motivated security professionals.    </p><p>This model is one where companies can support hoteliers by including security as a key element when choosing which hotels can be used by employees on business trips.  </p><p><em><strong>Alexandre Masraff </strong>is a security and crisis management senior advisor at Onyx International Consulting & Services Ltd. and the cofounder of the InSCeHo certification program that focuses on hotel security. He is a member of ASIS International. <strong>Aude Drevon</strong> is a security analyst with a master’s degree in geopolitics and international security. <strong>Emma Villard</strong> is a regional security advisor based in Vienna, Austria, and a member of ASIS.     ​</em></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465