Resilience

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/A-Shock-to-the-System.aspxA Shock to the SystemGP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652018-12-01T05:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/lilly-chapa.aspx, Lilly Chapa<p>​Throughout 2018, news trickled out of the White House about the involvement of China and Russia in any number of schemes, campaigns, and infiltration into American life—influencing elections, critical infrastructure, and social media alike. One such attempt—which appears to have been successful—was the Russian infiltration of the electric grid.</p><p>A joint report from the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) described Russia’s use of compromised third-party vendors to gain access to power companies’ systems in 2016. Once inside the computers, though, the hackers modified code in the systems to record information about power grid operations. The operatives wrapped up their scouting mission by carefully covering their tracks, leaving questions as to whether malware remains on affected computer systems. The intrusion also raises concerns about what exactly the Russians were trying to accomplish—the official report is vague about what impacts, if any, the attack has had on the electric grid, or what might come next. However, DHS officials have acknowledged that the hackers reached the point where they could have taken control of operations if they had wanted to.</p><p>The FBI/DHS report recommends following common cybersecurity best practices, such as finding and eliminating malware, administrator account management, and adopting better password practices. The reality, though, is that protecting America’s 5.5 million miles of electric grid from both cyberattacks like the one Russia carried out and physical threats such as natural disasters and malicious attacks is an immense challenge. </p><p>In the wake of the Russian grid hack, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has pledged to get more utilities to participate in its Cybersecurity Risk Information Sharing Program (CRISP). The program uses monitoring devices to comb through operational data and detect cyberattacks—that’s how the Russian infiltration was discovered.</p><p>Some experts believe a wider-scale look at how power companies conduct security—as well as the guidance, vendors, and equipment used to do so—is necessary to prepare for high-impact, low-frequency events on the power grid. </p><p>Mark Weatherford, senior vice president and chief cybersecurity strategist at vArmour, posed questions to Ross Johnson, CPP, senior manager of security and contingency planning at Capital Power Corporation, and Ryan Frillman, director of information security and compliance at Spire Energy, during a session at GSX 2018. </p><p>​“High-intensity, low-frequency events don't happen often, but when they do, they can kill you or your organization,” Johnson noted. “If it’s a once-in-20-years event, people say that they have 19 more years before they have to worry. It’s extremely difficult to convince people. We end up creating fictional scenarios to try to solve the problem—ones that we don’t even believe ourselves.”</p><p>While there is plenty of government guidance on best practices, Frillman pointed out that the industry needs to figure out how to balance compliance and heavy regulation—an issue with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), where noncompliance with its mandatory reliability standards can result in hefty fines. </p><p>“On the issue of innovation, it’s a great world out there—things are moving forward at very great speed, but the problem in the electric sector is that we’re creating barriers that make it difficult for us to succeed,” Frillman explained. “Never get in your own way, and I think in that area we are.”</p><p>But innovation comes with potential vulnerabilities. Johnson noted that his organization is moving away from a preferred vendor system—which can stifle the adoption of new technology—and towards using a vendor vetting process to identify trustworthy organizations. Supply chain risk management assessments are key to adopting new vendors and technologies, he said.</p><p>“What I’d like to come up with are community prequalifying vendors,” Johnson said. “We use standards which are terrific, but the problem is it tends to keep us stuck with using old technology, and it’s difficult to get into new technology because there’s great comfort in the way we used to do things—and the security of that.”</p><p>Weatherford agreed, noting that NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection standard can be behind the times when it comes to technology like supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), which could allow critical infrastructure systems to operate in a more secure and efficient way.</p><p>“I’ve been trying to convince NERC that the current standards drafting process simply doesn’t work in an innovative environment,” Weatherford noted. “Being able to take advantage of the cloud and newer technology—most utilities are rightly very apprehensive about doing something from a technology perspective that could get them with those million-dollar-a-day fines.”</p><p>A new report published by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Resilience for Grid Security Emergencies: Opportunities for Industry-Government Collaboration, agrees with Weatherford’s premise—NERC compliance alone may not be enough to keep the industry truly prepared for an attack. The report, which advocates for the DOE and industry to jointly outline a series of emergency operations in the case of a power grid attack, notes that DOE needs to take a role in emergency response.</p><p>“Grid owners and operators are also spring-loaded to employ emergency measures the moment they are needed,” the report notes. “Indeed, the [NERC] can fine most major U.S. power companies if they fail to implement emergency actions to protect grid reliability. This robust industry preparedness begs the question: what added value can DOE emergency orders provide?”</p><p>Currently, the secretary of the DOE has the ability to issue emergency orders to the power industry during an imminent or underway attack in order to protect and restore grid reliability. However, the scope of what the secretary might require companies to do is unknown, and the report notes that companies and the government should draft basic orders based on three attack scenarios. </p><p>“Such operations might include staffing up emergency operations centers, prepositioning recovery personnel and supplies, increasing available generation to help manage grid instabilities, and taking other precautionary measures,” the report states. </p><p>The Hopkins report notes that attacks that damage large numbers of difficult-to-replace grid components could disrupt power to some regions for weeks or months. Additionally, the public declaration of a grid security emergency will spark a media frenzy—allowing attackers to further sow discord.</p><p>“Against a backdrop of fear and uncertainty, adversaries may use social media and other means to spread further disinformation and incite public panic as part of their attacks,” the report states. Adversaries may also disrupt communications systems that industry and the DOE would use to coordinate. “Industry and government partners should build on their existing array of coordination mechanisms and communications playbooks to prepare for grid security emergencies.”</p><p>And once companies enter the recovery phase to restore power, they should prepare to shift back into the imminent security phase, the report notes. Indeed, cooperation with government and between industry partners is imperative to prevent and respond to an attack on the power grid.</p><p>“We work for our companies, but they’re secondary,” Johnson said at the GSX panel. “We really work for the bulk electric system. We keep the lights on. We can’t sell power unless there’s a bulk system to sell it into, and our first responsibility as security professionals is to the larger industry.”</p><div><br></div>

Resilience

 

 

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/A-Failure-to-Plan.aspxA Failure to Plan<p></p><p>A rare meteorological event occurred in 2017 when three Category 4 hurricanes were simultaneously ongoing in the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, wildfires swept across the western United States in California, Montana, and North and South Dakota.<br></p><p>Harvard climate expert James McCarthy indicated that "economic losses from extreme weather-related events are rapidly escalating," in an article for The Universal Ecological Fund.</p><p>Supporting McCarthy's finding, Swiss Re said in a report to its shareholders that "total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters amounted to USD $175 billion in 2016, almost twice the USD $94 billion seen in 2015."</p><p>Global insured losses from disasters also totaled $54 billion in 2016, up from $38 billion in 2015, according to Swiss Re, a leading reinsurance company.</p><p>Yet many organizations continue to struggle with their emergency and crisis management plans. This article includes some case studies that provide insights into common challenges during an emergency and recommendations on how organizations can respond and recover, quicker.​</p><h4>Lessons Learned</h4><p>Recently, one of the authors was conducting a threat, vulnerability, and risk assessment for a large corporation on the East Coast of the United States. While at the corporation, the author met with the company's business continuity and emergency management director.</p><p>When asked about the company's emergency management program and response, the director produced a four-inch binder with a cover titled Emergency Operation Plan (EOP). </p><p>The director said the plan was developed by a consultant, who assisted in creating the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) framework, an operational protocol hierarchy that integrates public, private, and government resources to address domestic incidents across all phases of an emergency.</p><p>The EOP defined the scope of preparedness and incident management activities necessary for the organization. It described its organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, policies, and protocols for providing emergency support.</p><p>The plan was robust and capable of handling any type of emergency. The robustness of the plan, however, provided unfounded trust in the efficacy of response and presented some cognitive biases that were apparent when interviewing others beyond the director.</p><p>For instance, everyone interviewed knew of the EOP, but no one knew their role or how to activate the plan should an emergency occur. They relied on the director to provide that direction. </p><p>When the plan was tested, one of the authors introduced a wildcard element by removing the director from the response process. This drastically increased the response time of the organization and taught a lesson that the plan did not account for: staff redundancy. </p><p>The organization needed a more granular version of its response so employees and key members of the crisis management team would know how to activate it should the director be unable to do so.</p><p><strong>Communication. </strong>On August 23, 2011, in New York City shortly after 1:00 p.m. the high-rise building one of the authors was in began to sway. There was no communication about what was happening from building or security personnel.</p><p> A woman yelled out "it's happening again!" in a reference to 9/11, and people began to run to the stairwells to evacuate the building.</p><p>With the evacuation in full swing, an announcement was made: "A vibration has been felt in the building. Please stay at your location. More information will be provided."</p><p>Most people, however, had already begun to evacuate. They were determined to get out of the building and disregarded the message. The author on site remained in the building until another announcement was made over the public-address system that a 5.8 earthquake had occurred in Virginia and everyone should evacuate the building.</p><p>The author evacuated the building, stepped outside, and began to look for a mustering point. But the streets were flooded with people, making emergency vehicle access impossible and presenting a dangerous situation with the thousands of pounds of glass from the building above.</p><p>This incident demonstrates that if there is not clear communication during an event, people will act—and will encourage others to do so—possibly putting themselves in an even more dangerous position.</p><p><strong>Leadership. </strong>One of the authors had the opportunity to tour a critical infrastructure situational awareness room recently. The large facility was tiered like a movie theater, supporting floor-to-ceiling monitors that were concave to allow sightlines from within the room.</p><p>During a review of emergency operations, the author was assured that the response program was sophisticated and included redundancies in staffing technology. </p><p>"Has the building ever lost power?" the author asked, after which the room went dark. Emergency lights activated and everyone in the room began to look to others to take charge of the response.</p><p>Once time had elapsed, people gathered their thoughts, regained their composure, and transferred the critical systems to an off-site backup. The incident showcased the lesson that there will be a lapse in response time while people reference their crisis manual to find out who's in charge—creating overall recovery delays.</p><p><strong>Changes.</strong> For every emergency plan the authors have tested, one of the key lessons is that an emergency action and crisis plan is a continual work in progress. As threats change, the plan must continue to adapt.</p><p>One example of this lesson in action occurred at a California hospital five years ago. The hospital decided to conduct an active shooter drill with the help of its patients. However, it announced that it was conducting the drill by issuing a "code silver" over the public-address system.</p><p>The emergency department staff began to respond, but patients and visitors were confused because they did not understand what a code silver meant. To include participation in the drill, the hospital needed to more clearly communicate what was happening so patients and visitors could effectively respond.​</p><h4>Effective Response</h4><p>Based on the lessons learned from the authors' experiences of testing emergency response plans, they recommend organizations conduct fidelity testing of their incident management planning and training. This will help organizations apply the right level of scrutiny to their plans and actions.</p><p>Applying fidelity testing to incident response training and execution can incorporate simple, but effective, gap analyses of critical program and process design qualities. This testing will help stakeholders understand their level of preparedness and response orchestration.</p><p><strong>Validity. </strong>Check the validity of the original incident management plan. A review is the first step because the plan sets the framework for incident management and articulates all actions before, during, and after an incident—including training. </p><p>The plan should be based on a proven model, such as NIMS, and incorporate actionable, strategic, and tactical direction for each designated participant.</p><p>The organization should also look for gaps and assumptions made in the plan. For example, a specific role in the plan may be assigned to a functional leader but lack substantive direction for execution. Or, the designated leader may not have the right level of composure to execute his or her tasks under pressure.</p><p>If the plan needs to be updated to address these issues, the organization should make those changes before carrying out the full fidelity test. This is because the test will only work if the plan is comprehensive and actionable in terms of preparation, execution, and training requirements.</p><p><strong>Vigilance. </strong>Check the current level of responders' vigilant behavior. A qualitative method for determining an organization's level of preparedness is to observe how quickly designated responders can switch their mental processes and physical actions from a state of normalcy to a state of active response.</p><p>A simple way to test this is through a surprise, scenario-based activation of each responder who is then timed from initiation to completion of the test. These tests should be conducted at least quarterly, and organizations should determine whether the desired outcomes were achieved based on the presented scenario.</p><p>In turn, this will help each responder retain information about the test results and make improvements in smaller, more manageable increments.</p><p>After re-testing, organizations should report on implemented improvements and their scale as part of established metrics, such as overall achievement of desired outcomes, reduction of time for task and process completion, and retention of information.</p><p><strong>Training. </strong>Organizations should assess their current training by assessing the design, frequency, and knowledge retention of that training. It's important to determine whether existing training is actionable and produces desired outcomes from each participant with a minimum number of assumption gaps. </p><p>Good training programs will include a blend of interactive and practical content designed to be emotionally compelling for participants; interactive and practical exercises with the element of surprise; well-researched, relevant, and comprehensive training scenarios; and strict time parameters for completion of individual and team tasks.</p><p>Additionally, training programs should have metrics tied to gaps between demonstrated execution and desired outcomes, such as time to complete tasks and processes, as well as quality of task completion relative to desired outcomes.</p><p>Along with these characteristics, training programs should also include immediate post-exercise documented feedback with follow-up actions, and continuous improvement demonstrated through metrics.</p><p><strong>Simplify. </strong>Each responder should have defined parameters of their responsibility during incidents. A well-designed fidelity test will identify these parameters—dubbed sandboxing—to assess how each responder executes the plan in relation to them. </p><p>To assist with this process, it's useful to create flowcharts of each responder's assigned process. This will help determine three findings: whether assigned tasks of each responder are simple enough to execute and connect well with processes of other responders; the abilities of each responder in executing certain tasks; and what skill gaps responders can close on their own with help from others.</p><p><strong>Recognition. </strong>Skill gaps are like assumptions. When unknown or ignored, they often serve as the root cause of incident management failures. This is why it's important to identify skill gaps as part of a fidelity testing exercise.</p><p>This exercise will make it easier to uncover skill gaps. It is difficult for individual incident responders to objectively identify skill gaps on their own because of inherent psychological biases, such as confirmation bias, overconfidence, or timidity.</p><p>According to multiple psychological studies, humans learn better from the mistakes of others or when their mistakes are noted by friends and colleagues.</p><p>Identifying and mitigating skill gaps helps the entire incident management program and demonstrates the organization's commitment to improvement and resilience. When expressed statistically, the mitigation of skill gaps can help demonstrate the overall program's value.</p><p><strong>Technology.</strong> Another benefit of well-designed and executed fidelity testing is the identification and mitigation of gaps in technologies used for incident management.</p><p>One of the most trivial—but often overlooked—issues is secure and interoperable radio communication. There have been numerous incidents, including 9/11, during which radio communication failed because of physical and electronic interference or other factors. Because radios were not interoperable, no one knew what others were doing.</p><p>In addition to radios, various other technological tools can be analyzed to understand their individual and collective benefits and shortcomings. It is always a good idea to demonstrate gap reductions or eliminations, both qualitatively and quantitatively, because this is most directly relatable to senior leadership.</p><p>Re-test. It is a natural process to re-test incident management programs. The key is to build habits for continual improvement because the main objective is to achieve optimal orchestration of human and technological performance during training and real incidents with minimal assumptions and skill gaps.</p><p>Real orchestration occurs when these components are present: a validated, justifiable, and actionable plan; scenario-driven, relevant, and frequently administered training that's timed and entails emotionally compelling interactive and practical content; continual program improvement; and meaningful metrics related to desired outcomes.</p><p>Incident management is best achieved through orchestration of individual components and responders and technology. Today, many organizations continue to struggle with achieving orchestration because of unaddressed skill gaps and assumptions in their planning. But this can be addressed and prevented in the future through fidelity testing. </p><p>"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail," said Benjamin Franklin, and emergency and crisis management plans are no exception. </p><p>A well maintained and trained emergency management plan can provide significant dividends in recovery. Given the natural—and man-made—challenges ahead of us, emergency planning should be a staple in every organization.   </p><h4>​Sidebar: Reasons for Failure<br></h4><p>​There are many reasons that emergency response plans fail. Below are some examples of problem statements that can contribute to failure.</p><p><strong>It won't happen to me.</strong> People often fail to recognize that a crisis can happen to them, and organizations are no different. People and organizations tend to be concerned with large ever-changing threats, while forgetting more closely related operational issues.             </p><p>L<strong>oose plans without governance, leadership, or skills. </strong>Many emergency plans are check marks for organizational certifications or accreditations. They are handed down by the board or C-suite without a complete understanding of organizational resources and the total economic impact of creating a well-orchestrated and functional plan. ​When a formal security organization does not exist, the edict and direction of the plan will fall to an existing employee or department, who may hire a consultant or conduct an online search to cut and paste a plan that is not relevant or applicable to the organization.</p><p><strong>Too much information.</strong> Emergency plans are not simple. And for large organizations, they can be lengthy and create information overload that increases the time it takes to respond to an incident.</p><p><strong>Lack of training.</strong> Live action drills can be costly and create productivity challenges. Organizations have taken to Web-based learning, which exacerbates the problem because employees rush to get through the training, often retaining little of what they have learned. However, the organization obtains a mark for conveying the information and considers itself prepared.</p><p><br></p><p><em>Ilya Umanskiy, PSP, RAMCAP, MA, is founder and principal at Sphere State, Inc. Sean A. Ahrens, MA CPP, CSC, FSyl, is security market group leader for AEI/Affiliated Engineers, Inc., and specializes in threat assessment, crisis management, and security systems design. He can be reached at sahrens@aeieng.com.</em></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/A-Shift-in-Global-Risk.aspxESRM: A Shift in Global Risk<p>​The quest to better understand the sources of global risk, and the effect those sources of risk may have on security, is of continuing importance to many practitioners of enterprise security risk management (ESRM). </p><p>And now, global risk has entered into a new era, with people around the world facing more political instability, more economic challenges, and the prospect that more national policy decision making will be driven by emotion rather than reason, a new study finds. </p><p>The study, The Global Risks Report 2017, is the 12th edition of one of the flagship reports issued annually by the World Economic Forum. The report postulates that the new era of risk began last year, a watershed time for instability when increasing economic populism and political polarization came to a head in unexpected election results and the disquieting rise of former fringe nationalist parties. </p><p>“The year 2016 saw profound shifts in the way we view global risks. Societal polarization, income inequality, and the inward orientation of countries are spilling over into real-world politics,” reads the study, which was conducted with the help of academic advisors from the University of Oxford, the National University of Singapore, and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. </p><p>The report argues that five “gravity centers” will shape global risks moving forward, and it sketches out the challenges that will result from each of them.  First, continued slow economic growth, in tandem with high debt and demographic changes, will create an environment conducive to financial crises and growing inequality. Second, corruption and unequal distribution of the benefits of growth will convince a growing number of people that the current economic model is not working for them.</p><p>Third, the transition towards a more multipolar world order will put a greater strain on global cooperation. Fourth, the fourth industrial revolution—Internet-connected technologies—will continue to transform societies, their economies, and their ways of doing business. Fifth, more people will seek to reassert identities that have been blurred by globalization, so decision making and election choices will be increasingly influenced by emotions rather than reason.</p><p>There is no one silver bullet solution to these challenges. But the report argues that the problems “create the opportunity to address global risks and the trends that drive them.” In that spirit, the study sets out several actions that leaders should take to push forward in creating a more secure and stable world. </p><p>The report argues that political leaders need a deeper commitment to fostering inclusive development and equitable growth, on both a national and global scale, instead of allowing increasing economic inequality to further destabilize societies. And while the report praises innovation, it also argues for better management of technological change, so the growth of new uses for technology causes less disruption and leaves fewer behind. </p><p>Finally, at a time when multinational institutions like the European Union and NATO are under unprecedented attack, the report calls on leaders to redouble efforts to protect and strengthen systems of global collaboration. Destabilizing international events—which range from migration flows created by the Syrian war to major weather events that impact several countries to a potential global water crisis—all warrant more cooperation between countries.  </p><p>“It is ever clearer,” the report argues, “how important global cooperation is on the interconnections that shape the risk landscape.”</p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/How-to-Build-a-Culture-of-Security.aspxHow to Build a Culture of Security<p>​<span style="line-height:1.5em;">“</span><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Security is everyone’s business” may be a popular truism in the industry, but how many security managers can honestly say this philosophy is practiced by their companies? Some organizations have regular incidents in which employees simply disregard security rules and regulations. Sometimes, even the leaders of a company will disobey security and safety rules out of a sense of entitlement—these rules are for employees, not executives.</span></p><p>These lapses can be costly. It is only when everyone associated with the company adheres to and executes security rules and practices on a daily basis that a firm can credibly claim that it maintains a true culture of security.    </p><p>To determine whether a company encourages an effective security culture, company leaders should start by determining whether it adheres to the appropriate best practices. The security department should develop and communicate security rules, practices, and procedures to employees, contractors, visitors, and vendors. Executives must lead by example and follow all security practices and procedures. Employees must take care of their security responsibilities at work, such as locking their work spaces and computers or asking to see a badge of a person in a secure work area instead of simply holding open an outer perimeter door for a stranger to be polite.   </p><p>If an organization follows most of these procedures, it maintains a robust culture of security. If not, the best practice advice and solutions stated below can be used by security leaders to strengthen security awareness in their companies and develop a culture of security. ​</p><h4>The Assessment</h4><p>A culture of security can only be built on a solid foundation. And that foundation is an effective security program. </p><p>However, if the security program is perceived as inconsistent or unprofessional, an initiative to build a culture of security around it will be doomed from the start. Thus, it is imperative to conduct an initial assessment of the security program to evaluate past security practices and present security operations. </p><p>The assessment must include, but should not be limited to, the following methodology:</p><ul><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Conduct interviews with security staff to determine past practices and to engage them in the assessment process.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Review and evaluate existing documents regarding past security missions.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Review and evaluate security staff job descriptions.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Review and evaluate security current procedures, processes, and guidelines. </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Review and evaluate the security budget to ensure that it is in line with the mission, and that funded programs are not obsolete.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Spend time working directly with all security staff to obtain first-hand knowledge regarding daily duties. Get to know your people.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Review and evaluate any compliance tasks that have been assigned to security.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Review, evaluate, and coordinate security requirements with heads of departments with security cross-functionality. Conduct collaborative meetings with other department heads and staff on their opinions of security.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Obtain input from executive management on its vision of security.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Define and document your company-specific security missions.</span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.5em;">Review the security requirements within these missions and analyze them for potential mission creep.<br></span><span style="line-height:1.5em;"> </span></li></ul><h4>The Blueprint</h4><p>Once past and present security operations have been assessed, organization leaders can plan for the future by improving and refining, based upon the factual analysis that has already been completed.</p><p>The first part of the blueprint process is to develop missions and objectives. This includes enlisting management for direction and involvement and establishing security goals and engaging security team members in ways to accomplish them. This part of the process also includes documenting security mission statements and assigning a leader to each one. These leaders must be capable and willing.</p><p>The second part of the blueprint pro­cess is to standardize operations and document these procedures in a manual of operations. This manual will serve as a central repository of security standard operating procedures and processes that cover core duties and responsibilities throughout the company. </p><p>Once the assessment is completed and the blueprint is in place, security managers must ensure that key attributes of the program are successfully maintained. These attributes include consistent pro­fessionalism, first-rate training and com­munications, a commitment to the program from upper management, and procedures designed to address violations.​</p><h4>Professionalism</h4><p>Professionalism is a crucial component of a strong security culture. The professional security staff and security officers should be a model for the organization’s general population. High standards of conduct should be set; staff and officers should be evaluated; and problems should be weeded out. Most important, security department leaders should live those high standards to set an example for others to follow. </p><p>Specific best practices can ensure that staff members and officers consistently project a strong level of professionalism to other company personnel. One of these is presence. Uniforms, if worn, should be consistent. Officers should engage all persons entering the facility with eye contact. Officers should not be texting or talking on their cell phones, or congregating in an area to smoke and joke.             </p><p>Security leaders must also be careful to prevent “mission creep,” or assigning nonsecurity duties to security personnel. This may distract security staffers from their core duties, to the detriment of the organization’s security culture.  </p><p>For example, one company used the security department to conduct security training as well as training in legal issues, compliance, and ethics. Security’s training duties also included tracking of annual requirements for all of the compliance-based training, for both employees and nonemployees. The two training avenues, employee and nonemployee, were not standardized between departments. Because of the lack of standardization, there were two completely different methods of administering, developing, and tracking training.   </p><p>In this case, the solution was to clearly define the security and human resources missions at the company. Once defined, human resources assumed control of the entire company training program and standardized the administration of training. Security was responsible only for content of any security-related training.​</p><h4>Training</h4><p>A strong security culture requires an effective training program for both existing and future security personnel. In addition, the process should ensure that security personnel are cross-trained in security position responsibilities and missions, to eliminate the potential for gaps in coverage should a critical team member be unavailable. </p><p>For example, if a company’s security missions are asset protection, compliance, and physical access control, the manual of operations would contain a section of step-by-step procedures and guidelines for each. This would allow the asset protection specialist to cover for the physical access control specialist for certain tasks, such as issuing badges, instead of waiting for the access control specialist to return. </p><p>In addition, companies should pay close attention to the processes and standards for granting and tracking access that are documented in the manual of operations. This can be an issue if companies have manual, cumbersome, or archaic methods for granting access. At many companies, this is an area that needs to be addressed. The granting of physical access should be automated to an electronic format.​</p><h4>Communication</h4><p>Communication is one of the critical keys to success in any security program, and it will be part of every component of the program. From the initial assessment of the program to the final phases of the implementation of blueprint plans, all affected parties should be kept informed and aware of the security program and how it will impact their operations at work.  </p><p>One company initiated a report that was sent twice a month via e-mail with the facts of any security incidents, so executives could track important issues. This communication also allowed security to remain within the scope of the executives while maintaining a successful program. As security expanded and implemented new initiatives, these were included in the bimonthly report. </p><p>For their part, the executives of the firm should be involved and engaged early on in the communications effort. Security should offer concise presentations, such as a PowerPoint presentation, that explain how the company benefits from the security program, be it through incident prevention or the preparedness to react and minimize negative impact to the company’s operations. Security goals, objectives, operations, procedures, and mission statements should be effectively communicated across the corporate footprint. Executives should understand the security role in their company and communicate their support for security programs to all company employees.  </p><p>Within the chain of command, the security leader must develop a system of communication to keep executives aware of the challenges faced by the security department and of the programs currently being used to protect the company’s physical assets. For example, at one company I worked at, security mandated monthly luncheon meetings with staff.</p><p>Company executives were also invited to these meetings, which they attended periodically. I documented each of these meetings in formal memoranda, including progress made on issues from the prior month, issues resolved, and problems currently being addressed. These memos were sent up the chain of command for executive review.  </p><p>Annual security awareness training is another effective communications tool. By delivering accurate, updated, and simple instructions regarding security rules, policies, and procedures, the company can effectively ensure that its workforce has been periodically exposed to security standards and the roles and responsibilities in daily operations. Security awareness posters that are updated quarterly can also help in communication efforts.   </p><p> Finally, do not underestimate the power of word of mouth. For any company, there is no stronger security tool than having a workforce that is security- minded and well informed of current security policies, procedures, and daily practices. ​</p><h4>Violations</h4><p>Even with a well-established culture of security, violations of an organization’s security policies will occur.   </p><p>There are slips and breaches even in the most secure environments—some caused by intentional acts; some unintentionally, through malaise or misfortune. And while the people who work for an organization are its greatest asset, they also can be its greatest vulnerability if they decide to inflict harm. They know how the organization operates, and they can circumvent the most sophisticated security systems.  </p><p>For private industry, the enforcement of security program policies requires a company to be fair, firm, and consistent. Take, for example, a company that has a clear security rule that all visitors must be escorted by the company representative who is responsible for the visitor while on premises. If a visitor is found roaming around by himself in a secure area, the employee who brought the visitor to the property should be disciplined.  </p><p>And the discipline should be consistent, whether the employee is the CEO or the janitor. The enforcement should be documented and tracked, to monitor patterns of behavior. If the violation is severe enough that it results in a loss of property or affects employee safety, the matter should be referred to the violator’s manager for evaluation and possible further action. </p><p>Consistent and fair enforcement of the rules across the entire organization will further solidify a culture of security. It will demonstrate that security matters to the organization, and that it plans to ensure that the rules are followed. To expand on an earlier example, if the CEO forgets his or her access badge and either goes home and gets it or signs for a temporary one, the standard is set at the highest level of the company.  </p><p>In the end, success in developing a culture of security at your company will mean the organization has established a robust, comprehensively assessed, and documented security program across the enterprise. Executive leaders are meaningfully engaged, and everyone is educated in the program’s components and follows them. </p><p>--<br></p><p><em><strong>Thomas Trier</strong> served for 25 years as a special agent of the FBI, where he attained the rank of assistant special agent in charge in the intelligence branch of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Trier has also served as the leader of corporate security for a Midwestern electrical transmission-only utility company. He now provides advisory services through Security Intelligence Consulting L.L.C.</em></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465