Veterans Day has just passed. To
all who have served and are serving now, our deepest thanks and
It probably starts with Halloween. Now, we are in the thick
of the "Holiday Season". Retailers, whether on-line or
bricks-mortar are re-configuring "Black Friday" to spread
the deals and deep discounts on electronics through the rest of November.
Great opportunities for consumers along with cyber criminals and
A Russian charter plane with 224 on-board goes down shortly after leaving
Egypt's airport on the Sinai Peninsula. The debris -tiny particles of
people and the machine, cover square miles. A bomb makes the best
What was that about airport security... passenger and worker
screening... and explosive-detecting canines?
With one action, the tourist business, central to Egypt's
economy, is damaged for the foreseeable future...
Since our last issue, there continue to be communication
"glitches" affecting airlines, trains and other infrastructure.
None have nice clean explanations.
These comments are not suggesting we become paranoid... or like
"Chicken Little" with 'the sky is falling'. Instead, it is about
re-examining potentials for crisis and having sufficient back-up plans
already in place. (See Mark V. Murphy's article below.)
Candidates in the US presidential race have taken comic
turns, surges and slumps... still too far away from election day to take
it to heart.
What will be the overall take-away from 2015? Are there
challenges that will hit us this month and December that we can prepare
for? What do you see for 2016?
Please feel free to share your copy of Security Directions
with colleagues and with members of other associations where you think
there will be interest. If they then wish copies of their own, invite
them to join the e-mailing list.
Last issue, i mentioned that I'd rejoined the local
volunteer fire department. In October, a group of us completed the formal
training program as Fire Police so that we can be registered with New
York State's Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) as Peace
Officers while we are on duty.
One of the interesting points was that when someone runs the
traffic controls that fire police put in place, the 'call' is:
"Runner, Runner, Runner". Not "Mayday", which is
reserved for firefighters in grave danger. The take-away... perhaps we
also need several levels of notation for the depth of different
emergencies our security personnel encounter....
Again, if any of you have been working on Fire Prevention projects or on
other projects such as Explorers, with school students, I'd appreciate
your input on what you've found successful and what's not so much.
Whether an organization produces hard goods or develops
software or provides services - we all define acceptable levels of
"security" differently. How are you defining what's a
reasonable risk level where you work now?
This is a short issue -but wanted to get material to you on
a timely basis. Help us make the next issue bigger and cover more
topics... WRITE SOMETHING!
Below, find some contributions in this issue:
Issues... re-examining your plans
Basics... the things that might be just enough to thwart an insider
·What can you
do with that college major?
- Between Hospitality and Security
for your article!
I hope that what you read encourages you to write.
What's on your mind? Submit articles, opinions; news about
your career, whatever is of concern to you that will be relevant to your
colleagues. Keep submissions to 400-700 words whenever possible -so we
keep readers' attention!
Now is the time to prepare your work so it will be
seen, read and acknowledged. Consider this
your personal invitation to GET INK -that's digital ink of course!
-if you are thinking about it, please write about
Where is That Article You Have Been Meaning to WRITE? If,
it's still in your head... here's how to
Get Started Today:
Give yourself 10 minutes today to
identify one or more things that you'd like to share with other security
professionals. Then for the next 4 days, give it 10 minutes of your
thoughts on each of those top priorities and write them down. By the
end of a week, you'll have the basis of an article for SECURITY
If you get stuck -just give me a call - 631-565-7122. We'll iron out the specifics together. But don't
miss your opportunity to get published and share material with security
professionals from around the globe who read every issue of this
Reach thousands of your closest friends &
As time goes on
there's a tendency to look for more and more complex solutions to the
problems we face in securing information and data. It's worth going back to
the basics and re-examining whether everything we can do to thwart insider
attacks is already in place. Here's a short summary that might be worth a
5 Ways to Strengthen Your Cyber Security
By Diane Griffin
At Security First
& Associates we've taken to heart what National Journal former
official Mike DuBose said, "Amidst all the concern and
foreign hacking, what gets lost is the fact that the vast
serious breaches involving trade secrets or other proprietary or
information are still being committed by insiders."
are on the rise-especially for smaller businesses and organizations. These
are 5 ways security professionals can help protect companies against an
insider cyber attack:
Limit access to
data or use of business computers to anyone that doesn't
need it to do
their job. Laptops, tablets and smartphones are particularly
easy targets for
theft, so make sure they are never left unattended and are
always stored in a
locked location. Once a decision is made to let an employee go, or he/she
resigns, be sure to not only collect any technology they may have been
prohibit access to servers, networks and content.
sure passwords are required for access to your company's Wi-Fi
sure you have changed the administrative password that was on
the device when it
was purchased. (How many are still using: 1122334455...) In addition, make
sure the Wi-Fi network is hidden. (You can drop us an email to get
instructions on how to accomplish this if you wish.)
The U.S. Small
Business Administration site suggests installing, using and
updating antivirus and antispyware software on every
in your business.
Such software is readily available online.
There is a reason
software vendors provide regular updates to their products
to improve functionality and correct security problems.
Make sure all software
has been updated-you can actually configure it to
Make Backup Copies
backup the data on every computer used in your business," says
"Critical data includes word processing documents, spreadsheets,
financial files, human resources files, and accounts
files." Try to do backup information automatically. At
the very least,
make a point to do a backup every week.
While you may be
the person responsible for managing cyber security, make
sure all employees
are knowledgeable about the overall rules and
what they can and cannot post on social media. Additional information is
available at the FCC's Small Biz Cyber Planner.
Diane invites you
to contact her If you have any additionae questions. She is the Chief
Security Consultant at Security First and
Majoring in Criminal Justice Studies Can Lead To ....
By Jairo Borja
I have been in the Career Services Department at Berkeley
College since 2009 and started getting involved with our students majoring
in Criminal Justice in 2011. The field can be fascinating but the question
is often: what can I do with that degree? Where can I find employment? My
first response is for students to look at the three sections where the
degree will be helpful: public, private and non-profit.
Whether it is federal Marshal's service, municipal police,
school safety, court officers or any of the thousands of areas where sworn
officers are on the job, a degree is a first step. Then, almost every
position requires qualifying through a tough written exam; a comprehensive
psychological screening and a rigorous physical test. Once qualified,
people can expect in-depth training for the particular position and a
fairly long probationary period. If you live in the metro area, here
is a link where you can check for upcoming exams in
I recommend that people be patient. You might qualify on a
list that takes well over a year before people are called for initial interviews
and initial screening. I always ask that students listen to all the
instructions provided and follow them to the letter. What you do or don't
do can delay the screening process and eventually there will be a new test,
a new list and new candidates being considered.
It's a $350 billion industry -larger than public law
enforcement and probably more diverse in the assignments available. It goes
well beyond a guard standing at an entrance way. You even find contract
officers in charge of initial visitor screening at many government
The private sector has security professionals working in
IT-related services and the majority of about 2 million officers serving in
other aspects of the private domain. This includes operations,
investigations, event and special venue security, financial institution
protection, plant operations, transportation and manufacturing centers
-just to begin! According to some recent studies, private investigation is
one part of the private sector that will grow significantly in the next
In addition to your education, you will probably require
your State's security guard license and it is beneficial to also acquire a
fireguard license for the municipality where you will be working. If you
will be armed during your assignment, such as armored car operations, you
will be required to qualify for the appropriate pistol license, taking the
full training and refreshers related to that license.
For most private security positions there will be physical
qualifications, some psychological tests and an in-depth background check
focused on criminal convictions or pending litigation.
I separated out the non-profit sector because it doesn't get
as much emphasis as it deserves. We don't always think of the shift
supervisor over at The Salvation Army who collaborates with law enforcement
over incidents at various locations or recruiting new clients at various
jails/prisons for the Osborne Association.
Even being a Case Manager for the 'Bridge Back to Life'
program can bring together what you learn in Criminal Justice with a wider
You will need more education than an Associate Degree in CJ.
However CJ gives you a good perspective for careers in this area. Some
titles include: Case Managers, Case Aides, Intake Coordinators, Career
Coaches, Substance Abuse Counselors etc.
In addition to a CSW or MSW, non-profit work often requires
developing some special skills. To become a Career Coach or Job Developer
for Osborne Association requires experience interacting with employers who
can hire candidates that are ex-offenders. In the non-profit area you may
be helping individuals making the transition from jail and prison back into
with workforce or focusing on youth programs, shelter security, substance
abuse recovery centers, etc.
Finally and overall, for anyone seeking to open doors to a
security or law enforcement career, in addition to your college studies it
can be essential to network with others already doing the work you see in
your future. Join, ASIS International; create a professional on-line
profile on LINKEDIN (with a professional headshot photo so you "look
the part" to anyone considering you for a job).
Also, use LINKEDIN's resources for reviewing new job
postings. To join LINKEDIN go to: www.linkedin.com. And,
keep up to date on the latest technology in the industry; and stay in touch
with former classmates and professors so you can ask for recommendations
from them going forward.
In the hotel industry, security may take a back seat to
hospitality since revenue "talks":
experience, hotel industry executives overall, have always been concerned
with terrorism. It became more accentuated after September
11th but hotels were targets prior as well.
non-revenue-producing area in the hotel industry -and always spending,
security leaders can have a tough time getting management to see the
security department is indirectly contributing to hotel revenue. We're
balancing safety and security, along with a counterterrorism perspective
-and striving to deliver all our services while retaining the highest
levels of hospitality.
In a hotel setting
we focus on reducing loss and securing our assets -people and property, and
do it all in an inviting atmosphere. It's never been easy. Guests will not
want to stay in a hotel that is operated like a prison.
guests do not want to stay in an environment that allows just anyone to enter
and remain or create hostility. We're charged with creating this balance.
We aim at identifying how our policies and practices add to increases in
guest bookings. That's not easy, but if we can reach that point, security's
value becomes self-evident.
In my work, we've
found that keeping management aware of special security programs, many
occurring daily at the hotel, and any special compliments or comments we
receive via email or snail-mail helps cement our value in the hospitality
world-wide events where hotels are targets or guests are injured and
killed, keeps management aware that there is value in our counter-terrorism
programs. It's not a 'scare' technique, but by keeping the information
flowing to upper management it reinforces why we need to remain
We reinforce our
officers training in observation and reporting skills 24/7 -even in bad
weather or the dead of night. Sometimes, just officers' presence as an
alert and focused team helps support the concept that this is a facility
where guests can truly enjoy their stay.
"aggressive hospitality" is a key feature in deterring all crime,
including terrorism. It's crucial for security personnel to confront
suspicious persons, whether in the public areas of the hotel or behind the
scenes. Criminals and potential criminals do not want to be disturbed while
attempting to commit crimes!
The same can be
true about potential terrorists. Just as thieves, they generally
prefer "soft targets". If their surveillance of your site goes
undetected; if they can gain access and escape easily -your facility is a
desirable target. Hardened facilities may be passed up in lieu of
softer ones just because of accessibility.
officer training programs include covering all aspects of the hotel's
day-to-day operations. If the property is large and many people are
employed, it takes longer. Testing and review are essential.
If your property
allows, have a training officer as a regular part of your security force so
that the officer can effectively spearhead orientations and refresh
officers' awareness. As part of your in-service training, design a
program that includes: counterterrorism awareness, detecting hostile
surveillance, disorder control, laws of arrest as they apply to your
facilities and handcuff training (if allowed). Reach out to local police
and law enforcement departments to see if they have no-cost crime
prevention programs that can be incorporated into your initial and
Can you get all
the employees focused on protecting the hotel and the guests? The concept
and practical steps in providing 'aggressive hospitality' and reporting
suspicious activity can expand your reach. We do not wish to place
non-security personnel in confrontations but we want them to know that we
value their reports of anything suspicious, no matter how small.
In certain areas,
our work as the security team and our skilled reporting and documentation
can help cut our hotel's general liability expenses. We have our teams
involved in accident prevention and emergency response whenever an incident
does occur or there is a loss of property reported.
We've seen how
proper, detailed reporting, cuts financial payouts where there are
discrepancies between what an accident victim claims and what actually was
observed and in written reports from officers who were on-hand at the time.
Also, by instituting, monitoring, and documenting safety training, hotels
can often reduce workers compensation costs and claims. These are areas
that often represent considerable financial expenditures and can hurt the
As in any business
venture, earnings have to exceed expenses for the entity to survive and be
successful. As security leaders in the hospitality industry, we want our
departments to be viewed as contributing toward that goal. If
security looks like a constant drain on finances and we are doing all the
things outlined here, then we need to up our public relations initiatives.
We need to begin presenting all the contributions we make so that the
organization's executives have an easier time recognizing security's
Seth Goodstein, CLSD is a retired Lieutenant from the NYPD
who is Loss Prevention Manager at a major hotel chain. He can be reached
Active Shooter - Synthesizing an Action Plan
By Mark V. Murphy
What was that? Trucks backfiring? Gates slamming? Does your
staff know the difference between gunfire, traffic noises and construction
sounds? Those familiar with gunfire will tell you that the sound is not
what you hear portrayed in movies or on television.
Today it is
possible that you will have an active shooting incident on premises, no
matter the type facility under your command. And, before formulating plans,
there are questions and perspectives to take into account so you can devise
the best approach given the unique realities of your situation.
Often, it helps to
start with a series of questions: What are you prepared to do? Are there
armed as well as unarmed security officers in the facility? Are there
international as well as US organizations? Neither? If you have higher-risk
tenants, do they also literally have armed services totally independent of
anyone else's control? How will all this fit into your plan? What exactly
is your role in this -are you a tenant, employee, client or perhaps the
The right starting
point might be to identify how many different security groups are present
on a daily basis and which are 24/7 operations, and how many are on duty in
off hours. Do all the teams have an across-the-board communication program
that meshes with the team you manage? Probably not... Perhaps that is a
first step you put in place, now, when there is nothing extraordinary to
Is there data on
the response time for law enforcement and emergency medical services? How
long ago was the last incident requiring either group? Has anything in your
immediate vicinity changed: traffic patterns, construction, special events?
Is your facility in a rural, suburban, or urban area? Is it served by a
large police department or a small department, which depends on mutual aid
from other agencies?
Looking at the
overview: the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines
an active shooter as: "an individual actively engaged in killing or
attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area." The New
York City Police Department (NYPD) has distilled this definition to include
only those cases that go beyond the intended victim(s) to others.
HOUSTONREADY video, RUN-HIDE-FIGHT is a fairly well-known approach for
responding to an active shooter situation in a building. Some in the
security industry refer to the concept as the ABCs -in other words: (Get)
Away, Barricade, Confront. No matter what terms are used the concepts need
to be understood.
drills with building occupants, it helps if they think through response
plans. In an evacuation, we want them to leave behind their belongings,
visualize their entire escape route before beginning to move, and avoid
using elevators or escalators. Help everyone become familiar with the
various egress routes and where they will be on the street once outside the
building itself. The goal is to get away as far and as fast as
f hiding is the
next option, we want occupants to know the locations of secure areas in the
building. We may have even designated shelter locations. People using this
sheltering area will have to lock the door, blockade the entire doorway
with whatever furniture is available, cover the windows, turn off the
lights, lie on the floor, silence electronic devices (phones) and remain
quiet... not an easy feat for a group to do on a spontaneous basis.
Fighting to save
your life is the last alternative. If there is a group together, they may
have a better chance to survive. Working as a team, they can disrupt,
disable and incapacitate their attacker. It all has to be done ad hoc, but
if the approach has been thought through ahead of time -say during a drill,
the odds might improve for the occupants. Throw things, push, shove, hit,
kick, yell..... Improvise weapons, use office supplies (stapler, phones) or
building equipment, maybe a fire extinguisher.
Ideally, we can
actually get everyone to train for this unsettling possibility and that is
far more than paying lip service or issuing a memo. It is an ever-evolving
process: implementing, activating, reviewing, revising, redefining and
Incorporate how to
respond when law enforcement arrives on scene: follow all official
instructions, remain calm, keep hands empty and visible at all times, and
avoid making sudden or alarming movements. Most of your tenants have never
walked around with their hands in the air!
training to the specifics for each area of the facility and if possible
have the hiding locations on the inside of the building, close to the core
of the structure. These are some of the important features to have as part
of the designated areas: thick walls, solid doors with locks, minimal
Stock the shelter
areas with water, emergency first aid kits, and communication devices. Run
various drills and do them frequently so staff and occupants are familiar
with their options in different parts of the facility. All too often people
are only familiar with their immediate work areas, having little or no
knowledge of the rest of the building(s) and the surrounding area.
How will your
security staff react? Make them aware that first responders may not have an
accurate description or any description of the perpetrator(s) and therefore
must consider all they encounter as potential threats to their own safety.
follow the commands of the building staff and first responders, to ensure
everyone's safety? Better to review this in detail, ahead of time, during
the training programs. Help people realize that law enforcement's first
responsibility is to end the threat, not render aid to victims.
Just as we've
trained people to get details if they receive a bomb threat phone call,
when someone learns there is an active shooter on premises, the person has
to ask for as much information as possible: location, description, number
of shooters, direction they are traveling, etc.
pre-prepared blank form with the whole series of questions to ask, that
everyone sees and reviews when there is no threat, may help people who are
not usually involved in reporting incidents.
Better to call 911
twice, and give every bit of information -even if it seems trivial, then to
assume that someone else has already done it.
How did we decide
that we'd communicate across the entire building, reaching all the
stakeholders with every bit of essential information we've got? Practice
makes perfect.... Can we track the shooter via our surveillance video
systems, card access and security personnel?
By preplanning and
training, we can alleviate some stress that occurs during an
emergency. Here are some of the questions that we have to answer in
our pre-plan and in our training program:
·Where should the
Incident Command Station be located?
·How should it be
·What supplies are
necessary? Copies of what documents, procedures, list of necessary
notifications, water and food?
·How will your firm
continue its business if your facility becomes a crime scene and is
inaccessible during the post-event investigation?
·How and where will
employees be notified to resume business after the incident?
·How will we handle
employees who won't and/or can't return to the work location due to the
These are just a
few of the issues that make pro-activity not re-activity the approach to
What will we need
to share with the emergency responders? Have floor plans, keys, access
cards, and facility information available in a "pre-packaged"
form in an easy-to-get-to location.
If staffing a
command station is not feasible during the incident, establish an alternate
incident command station in a safe location. Relocate necessary documents
from the command station to the incident command station
Can another copy
of all the essential documents be in a separate secured location? Perhaps
that is with building engineering or in the "cloud".
If it isn't
already part of the plans your organization has for dealing with power
outages and weather catastrophes, consider having an alternate full command
station pre-stocked with all necessary documents and items (water, energy
bars...) Regularly review the command station(s) and ensure that
those documents and procedures are current, that the supplies are fresh.
As we look at the
pre-planning to deal with potential crises, it is also to our advantage to
have management liaise with emergency responders ahead of time. Generally
we also want to have someone assigned to act as spokesperson; to
communicate with occupants, media or other parties requesting
When an incident
occurs it may be the only incident occurring at that time but it could be
one of several designed to occupy, stretch thin, and stress emergency
responders. Formulate your incident plans to ensure a standard, yet be
fluid enough so you can adapt to what may be an ever-changing or escalating
Mark V. Murphy is
Director of Security & Life Safety at Worldwide Plaza, George Comfort
& Sons, Inc., 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019. He holds a
FDNY C of F Fire Safety/Emergency Action Plan Director, as well as a
Certificate of Property Management from NYU and a MS in Organizational Leadership.
He has served as the Treasurer of The Rockland County Shields for many
years and has been elected President for 2016 and 2017. Contact Mark
at: email@example.com or by phone at: 212.258.3765
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