Magazine article Security Management

Home on the Page. (News and Trends)

Magazine article Security Management

Home on the Page. (News and Trends)

Article excerpt

Every month Security Management editors prowl the Information Superhighway, including its back alleys and cul-de-sacs, in search of the most useful security information. In addition, editors are always on the lookout for useful non-Web-based material that can be converted to virtual form for easy access. Below are a few of the current findings. Also look for the @ symbol throughout the magazine for references to supplemental material available in the "Beyond Print" section of Security Management Online.

Refinery risks. Threats to chemical plants and refineries are receiving unprecedented attention both in government circles and in the private sector. But of the threats usually mentioned--airplanes, truck bombs, rockets, and mortars--the public is overlooking a deceptively diabolical weapon: 50-caliber sniper rifles, a threat brought into the spotlight by recent events. According to the Violence Policy Center (VPC), a nonprofit organization devoted to curbing violence, these rifles pack the same wallop as mortars and rockets without the same legal restrictions on use: A round fired by such a rifle can "knock down hovering helicopters, penetrate armored limousines, and ignite bulk fuel tanks from a distance of 10 football fields," according to a VPC report. And these weapons are widely available.

"Although rockets, mortars, and other weapons of war are tightly controlled under existing federal law, 50-caliber sniper rifles are no more regulated than traditional hunting rifles and less regulated than handguns," notes the report. Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups already have them, the report says. The report also discusses vulnerabilities in chemical plants and refineries, referencing previous cases in which attacks on these facilities and on tankers were attempted. Potential solutions for the problem include regulating these rifles and banning their export to civilians. SM Online has the full report.

Business continuity. Financial services firms have long had to provide for business continuity in case of disruption. But 9-11 has led many of these companies to reevaluate these plans and consider whether to do more. To gauge how truly prepared U.K. financial services firms are, the U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA) conducted a survey. It found that despite an increased level of awareness in the last year, "the level of awareness is still an issue in some firms,"

Moreover, the roles and responsibilities of the business continuity management function were not always clear. In addition, use of third-party recovery site providers varied greatly. Among those that did use these providers, the use of service-level agreements--which ensure that the provider will offer adequate service in a disaster--was not widespread. While many companies incorporated these agreements into an underlying contract, "a number of firms did not actively manage this aspect of the contract," the FSA found. The FSA report, which includes best practices, is on SM Online.

Crime prevention. The so-called "Motorheads," a group of car devotees, would congregate in a park in Mankato, Minnesota, every day about noon. The group tormented other visitors and drove them off It also was a source of most of the assaults, drinking, suspected drug dealing, public urination, and property damage in the park. Police patrols, floodlights, and other measures didn't help. Police decided to analyze the situation, sending officers to interact with the partygoers for several weeks. …

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