More than two years ago, the world was jettisoned into crisis mode with the emergence of COVID-19. Everyone—from families to companies to countries—went into lockdown mode. Even though we distanced ourselves from others, there was a sense of unity, of camaraderie. We were in this together.
Since that time, frayed nerves became even more tenuous. Politics were interjected into policies, driving a wedge between populations who were, for a brief time, united. Supply chain shortages continue to wreak havoc on a country used to abundance and business owners struggle to keep their doors open because of employee shortages. Businesses that were already adopting temporary changes to keep their doors open, need to keep their options open for even more creative solutions or to modify those solutions already in place.
In the risk, security, and incident response industry, five areas emerged as focal points. As the crisis continues, and mental health becomes even more tenuous, these segments continue to be critical areas for focus.
Automation is essential for critical event management
Stripe, Dropbox, Slack, WhatsApp, Uber, Airbnb, and Kickstarter were all launched during the last financial crisis. Each model disrupted its industry by streamlining its processes and saw significant success by embracing automation.
Now the security sector itself needs to adopt automation processes. Automation is one of the biggest improvements that the industry can leverage for critical event management. It allows managers to regain control over ever-increasing security issues and build trust.
Automation is also critical in reacting to crises. Consider, for example, the increased focus on the . During a time of heightened emotions and a call for change, other disruptive factions have brought a dangerous element to peaceful protests. With hundreds or even thousands of people coming together in a small area, malevolence can insert itself quickly.
Automating security measures decreases response times and empowers personnel to quickly react to an escalating event.
People come first during incident response processes
COVID-19 is hopefully slowing down, but that’s difficult to see at this time, even as the long-term repercussions increasingly become obvious. However, the organizations that will get back to a semblance of normalcy will be those that put employees at the forefront. That humanize interactions and that care for each and every one. The individual will become the cornerstone. The growth spirit that organizations need to get through this worldwide crisis will mean putting people first.
The security community is no exception. Putting people first will mean that they are at the center of your decision-making. That we understand the fundamental reasons why we plan each and every action. At the end of the day, it all comes back to the way we treat each and everyone during an incident.
Before starting planning, if we stop for a moment and ask ourselves:
1- How can I make sure my people (employees, customers, public members, etc.) get what they need when it counts?
2- What is important for them at any given point in time during and after the incident?
3- How will they feel about the situation?
4- Am I helping each one of them?
If everyone works in harmony in dealing with the issue, your organization will get back on its feet fast and even sometimes stronger.
Employees should now—and rightly so—be involved in the incident response process.
Allow them, for example, to quickly signify any problematic situation and to contribute to the recovery. All this will:
- Strengthen the resilience of the organization
- Create a feeling of confidence and security
- Limit interruptions and disruptions
Increasing this focus will ultimately promote strong growth for the organization.
Optimizing resources is essential for critical event management
In addition to causing irreparable damage to individuals and their families, this crisis has had significant economic consequences.
The security industry must quickly find ways to be cost-efficient while continuing to carry out our responsibilities. It will become essential to promptly put in place the technologies necessary to improve efficiency in security management while enhancing our response to various incidents.
Consider, for example, how the airline industry has been impacted by security risks, even in flight. Travelers’ tempers are short because flights are continually postponed or cancelled because of sick personnel, and enforcing new regulations such as mask mandates has created even more resistance.
More than ever, security is essential. The best security managers have been those who demonstrated the increased improvement in organizational resilience in a tight financial environment.
Incident response protocols need to be in place
All of this will only be possible through the development or adoption of incident response protocols. Every incident, whatever it is, follows a response protocol (whether it is planned or not).
Criminals and potential active killers are effective because they planned to set into motion a series of events or demands quickly. Nobody knows where or when this is going to happen, but security has to be trained to react quickly.
In January 2022, for example, a gunman entered a synagogue in Colleyville, TX, and took four people hostage. In all, an estimated 200 law enforcement personnel responded to the situation, and the hostages were rescued without injury. The gunman was killed. Strict protocols are necessary for all levels of security, including cybersecurity, physical security, business continuity, IT recovery, health and safety, and emergency management. These protocols put people at the center, allow continuous optimization and automate most actions.
Along with COVID-19, social and political upheaval has introduced uncertainty in just about every facet of our lives. We have adjusted to these challenges, but it’s essential that we continue to look at ways to put our people first, automate processes, minimize unnecessary costs, and focus on providing optimized security
Is your organization ready for critical event management?
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