There’s a lot going on in the world of physical risk and vulnerability; it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news and developments. We’ll keep you informed with the best content to keep your organization safe and secure. Check out the top news and headlines from the past month.
From CNN: Over the past several weeks, shocking images have emerged from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests: tear gas has been fired outside shops, protesters and police clashed in dramatic face-offs, and thousands of demonstrators occupied the city’s airport. In recent weeks the demonstrations have sometimes turned violent in public places, disrupting the city’s transport network, but the city, a financial hub has been clear when it comes to both business travel and tourism: Hong Kong is open for business.
Our take: As an employer, it’s your responsibility to keep your employees safe when they’re working — whether they’re in the office or traveling for work. The U.S. is one of several countries that’s released a travel advisory for Hong Kong, so if your workers are traveling there, make sure they’re prepared. If possible, book hotels and meetings in areas where there aren’t demonstrations. Be flexible with travel arrangements if a flight is canceled. Make sure your employees are insured, have contact information for the U.S. Consulate and are enrolled in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which will send alerts and your employees easier to find in an emergency.
From CBS: Hurricane Dorian started to move northward toward the U.S. Tuesday morning after stalling over the Bahamas and causing widespread devastation. Millions of people in Florida and the Southeast were anxiously watching the storm, a powerful and menacing threat sitting miles off the Florida coast.
Our take: Our first thought during catastrophic weather events is often — naturally — for our homes and families, but we have to make provisions for our businesses, too. Businesses are often targets for looters after an evacuation, they sustain just as much storm damage as homes, and often businesses don’t recover from natural disasters. According to FEMA, 75 percent of businesses without a continuity plan will fail in the three years after a natural disaster. To prepare your business for a storm like Dorian, develop a plan to identify, assess, and mitigate your risk. FEMA’s hurricane toolkit is a good place to start.
From Security Infowatch: Since January 2018, about 75 new entrants have gained venture capital (VC) investment of over $900 million for physical security solutions in commercial and industrial buildings. Physical security-related VC investments in 2018 amounted to around $561 million, a 75% increase in funding levels from the previous year, when $321 million was invested. 2019 looks set to continue the high level of funding experienced in 2018, with $355 million already invested in the sector this year.
Our take: Increased VC funding is a vote of confidence in the solutions being developed by physical security organizations today. It’s good news for a couple of reasons: it shows that investors place a value on physical security solutions as well as those that deal with information security. It’s also evidence that there has been an increasing amount of innovation in the physical security market.
From Security Infowatch: Houses of worship, both domestically and around the globe, have increasingly become targets for perpetrators of gun violence. Mass shootings at houses of worship in the United States in the last ten years have caused 54 deaths and injured an additional 40 people. Religious leaders globally – rabbis, pastors, imams and others – have a duty of care obligation to their congregants, lay staff, officiants, and other guests they host. Unsurprisingly, many of them are struggling with how to quickly increase the security of their facilities to meet such duty of care.
Our take: While it can be impossible to predict an active shooter incident, religious leaders can take steps to mitigate the risk of an active shooter targeting their house of worship. Rabbis, pastors and imams should develop a relationship with police and other law enforcement now. The conversations they’ll have with police now will help inform their security decisions and the plans they’ll make if an incident ever does occur.