Thursday, November 12, 2015


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FALL 2015 Vol 1 - Issue 17
In This Issue

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Description: Day has just passed. To all who have served and are serving now, our deepest thanks and continuing respect. 

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 shoplifters... 

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 explanation... 

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:
·  Active Shooter Issues... re-examining your plans
·  Cyber Basics... the things that might be just enough to thwart an insider attack
·  What can you do with that college major?
·  Balancing Act - Between Hospitality and Security
·  There's room for your article!
I hope that what you read encourages you to write.
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Description: 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 look:

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Cyber Security
By Diane Griffin

At Security First & Associates we've taken to heart what National Journal former
Justice Department official Mike DuBose said, "Amidst all the concern and
discussion over foreign hacking, what gets lost is the fact that the vast
majority of serious breaches involving trade secrets or other proprietary or
classified information are still being committed by insiders."

Insider threats 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:

Control Access

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 using,
but immediately prohibit access to servers, networks and content.

Secure Wi-Fi Networks

Always make sure passwords are required for access to your company's Wi-Fi
network-making 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.)

Protect Against Viruses

The U.S. Small Business Administration site suggests installing, using and
regularly updating antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used
in your business. Such software is readily available online.

Don't Ignore Software Updates

There is a reason software vendors provide regular updates to their products
and platforms: to improve functionality and correct security problems.
Make sure all software has been updated-you can actually configure it to
install updates automatically.

Make Backup Copies

"Regularly backup the data on every computer used in your business," says
the SBA. "Critical data includes word processing documents, spreadsheets,
databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts
receivable/payable 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
policies-including 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 Associates, 
Diane Griffin:

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.

Public Sector
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 NYC:

If you are interested in federal positions and some that are overseas, this link will be helpful: and
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.

Private Security
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 buildings!

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 decade.

For a list of some of the largest private security employers and more opportunities, check the following website:

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 perspective.
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.

For a list of positions please visit: or even

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: 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. 

Hope this helps.
Jairo Borja 
Berkeley College, NYC -

Balancing Act
Description: INTRO IMAGEBy Seth Goodstein

In the hotel industry, security may take a back seat to hospitality since revenue "talks": 

From my 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.

As a 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.  

Alternatively, 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 equation.

Unpleasant 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 vigilant. 

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. 

In fact, "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. 

Our initial 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 in-service training.

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 bottom line.

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 'hospitality' value.

Seth Goodstein, CLSD is a retired Lieutenant from the NYPD who is Loss Prevention Manager at a major hotel chain. He can be reached at:

Description: 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 landlord?

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 address.

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. 
After the 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.

Before conducting 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 possible. 
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 re-implementing procedures.

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!

Tailor the 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 interior windows.

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.

Will occupants 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.

Distributing a 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 stocked?
·  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 incident? 
These are just a few of the issues that make pro-activity not re-activity the approach to take.

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 information. 

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 situation.

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: or by phone at: 212.258.3765

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