Guest OpEd by Matt Bradley, Vice President of Global Security Solutions at OnSolve
More than halfway through 2021, many of the challenges that caught us off guard last year continue to linger, raising thorny questions for security leaders.
What are the most pressing issues government organizations will face during the remainder of the year?
How can you ensure you’re ready to handle the anticipated and the unforeseen?
How can you add value to your organization and manage multiple critical events?
Security leaders who can answer these questions will create a resilient organization and be ready to handle the next big disruption. Yet, resilience doesn’t happen by chance; it requires careful planning and execution.
For many of us, 2020 was the “Year of the Pandemic.” Now is the time to ensure 2021 is the “Year of Resilience.”
To reach this goal, pay attention to these five post-pandemic trends and take steps to bolster your defenses.
Post-Pandemic Recovery Execution
Our initial thoughts on recovery jump to vaccination efforts, and with more than 2.85 billion doses delivered globally, progress is happening. But recovery goes beyond vaccinations.
As more businesses return to full capacity, economies are showing signs of a rebound. For instance, we’re seeing a surge in travel.
However, as outbreaks pop up from COVID variants, restrictions and shutdowns may be reinstated on short notice.
Civil unrest, exacerbated by the pandemic, is likely to continue.
In addition, consumer behavior is now permanently changed, as adoption of digital services accelerated over the last 18 months.
Finally, supply chain delays, absenteeism and periodic dips in productivity as the workplace continues to dynamically change will challenge government and businesses alike.
To keep employees productive and healthy, bring customers back into public spaces and meet digital expectations, organizations will need to be flexible and agile.
In fact, 80 percent of CFOs list digital transformation as a top five priority, and direct investments in such technology are expected to reach $6.8 trillion between 2020 and 2023.
However, true resiliency requires us to move beyond spreadsheets and emails.
Organizations also need timely and accurate risk intelligence to know what’s happening, collaborative incident management to respond to critical events and global communications to keep all stakeholders informed.
(A lot can happen in 90 seconds. Natural and manmade disasters can unleash chaos in the blink of an eye. And decision makers don’t always have the luxury of a second blink. At OnSolve, our purpose is making sure the right people get the right information at the right time. If you are responsible for helping your organization respond to a crisis, OnSolve has the experience and capabilities to help you save time, money and lives. Courtesy of Onsolve and YouTube.)
Employee Mental Health
Mental health issues skyrocketed as people suffered from isolation during the height of lockdown. From January to September of 2020, the number of people who took the Mental Health America anxiety screening increased by 93 percent compared to 2019.
Even though the world is beginning to reopen, there will be setbacks.
With remote work more prevalent, organizations need to know where employees are working, so they can identify risks associated with their location.
Managers must be well-versed in recognizing “pandemic fatigue” and signs of mental stress and the steps to take when they see it.
(Now that we’re a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re beginning to have an understanding of the lasting long-term effects the disease has. While we continue to learn more about the physical long-term complications of COVID-19 on patients, we’re also learning about the psychological toll of the disease on patients, healthcare providers, and the general public. Courtesy of Osmosis and YouTube.)
Resilient organizations will go beyond the standard duty of care when it comes to mental well-being.
Managers need communications capabilities that allow them to easily conduct welfare checks on employees, whether it is during a hurricane, in a high-anxiety event like the Capitol riots or during long-term isolation.
The Infodemic and Misinformation
Misinformation can be dangerous, and during a crisis it can escalate. Fake news around the pandemic has included inaccurate details on vaccine availability, side effects and supposed cures.
Social media has added fuel to the fire to the point where the World Health Organization has provided tips on how to flatten the infodemic curve.
Some sources are also deepening the political divide in America. An analysis discovered websites providing “unreliable news” increased their share of social media interactions in 2020.
Between January and May of 2020, 1.1 million articles contained misinformation relating to the pandemic, according to a Cornell study.
(The delta variant is fueling a surge in new cases, predominantly in areas with low vaccination rates. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Jul 15, 2021.)
Resiliency starts with risk intelligence that filters out misinformation from unreliable sources and “bots.”
An ongoing critical communications program allows you to build trust with employees and other stakeholders through consistent, timely sharing of validated data.
Armed with accurate information, security leaders can focus on what really matters – responding quickly, mitigating threats and protecting your people and assets.
In 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million. Meanwhile, global cybercrime costs are predicted to increase 15 percent per year for the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
The SolarWinds attack, which impacted companies such as Microsoft and infiltrated the U.S. government, demonstrates no one is immune to a cyberattack.
As employees continue to work remotely on potentially insecure networks, cybersecurity becomes an even more pressing issue.
That’s why security leaders must be armed with vetted information and the capabilities to swiftly handle threats.
Artificial intelligence significantly improves your ability to get actionable intelligence into the right hands at the right moment.
For instance, AI-powered risk intelligence can sift through data, find what’s relevant and determine the type of incident, the severity and the potential impact – all within minutes.
When this intelligence is well-integrated with mass notifications and group messaging capabilities, response teams can be activated and all stakeholders informed in time to act.
The New Normal for the “Office”
The workplace is once again morphing. Some employees will remain remote, while others will return to the office. Most, however, will adopt a hybrid approach.
A wider, more dynamic footprint will create challenges for security leaders unless they have a way to monitor locations and communicate with stakeholders easily.
With AI-powered critical event management, security leaders know when a threat is real, who is at risk and what steps to take.
(There’s a fine line between critical event management and critical event mis-management. With speed, relevance, and usability, we give our customers what they need to successfully resolve crises — true actionable intelligence. Courtesy of Onsolve and YouTube.)
A strong defense against these five trends starts with an internal assessment. Now is the time to update your crisis management plan and evaluate the technologies and capabilities in place to manage such challenges as cyber threats and misinformation.
With an updated and well-documented plan and the ability to get the right information to the appropriate people as soon as an issue arises, your organization will be prepared for the predicted challenges that lie ahead, as well as the next unknown disruption.
About the Author
Matt Bradley is currently OnSolve vice president of global security solutions.
A veteran security operations expert for more than two decades, Bradley has deep, first-hand knowledge of security operations management, as well as an understanding of the critical challenges facing organizations in the future.
Most recently, Bradley served as Regional Security Director for the Americas at International SOS, where he led the security services business and advised key executives on risk management solutions.
Prior to International SOS, Bradley worked in Honduras as the Security Director for Tigo Honduras where he handled all matters relating to physical security; health, safety and environment; crisis management; and fraud investigation.
He was also a General Manager for I Solution Security, where he advised on security matters for the Honduran President, Minister of Security, and Minister of National Emergency Commission. Previously, Bradley had a distinguished 14-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Download Your Free eBook: Chaos to Control
Whether it’s a hurricane or a wildfire, a plane crash or a plant explosion, a local outbreak or a global pandemic, your organization needs the capabilities to bring more control to chaos — now more than ever.
With billions of alerts sent annually and over 60 combined years of proven support to both the public and private sectors, OnSolve delivers critical event management capabilities backed by unmatched industry expertise, which keeps our customers safe, informed, assured and productive when it matters most.
They do that through a SaaS-based global portfolio that delivers scalable, easy-to-deploy-and-use solutions for the rapid and secure exchange of vital information and coordination among organizations, people, devices and partners, regardless of the situation or level of need.
For further information, please visit www.onsolve.com.
Onsolve Returns to Compete in Fourth Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program
American Security Today’s ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards program is today in its Sixth Year and continues to recognize the Outstanding Innovations of top firms and agencies in the Homeland Security and Public Safety fields.
The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
American Security Today is pleased to announce TSA Administrator David Pekoske, will join the organization as a featured speaker at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon, on November 18, 2021 at ISC East in New York City.
“On the heels of an unprecedented global pandemic, continued unrest in our cities and potentially catastrophic cyberattacks on our nations critical infrastructure, the focus of the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon will be on the latest, state-of-the-art innovations that are driving investments in new public security and safety technologies and systems,” said AST Editorial and Managing Director Tammy Waitt.
“As a recognized expert in crisis management, strategic planning, innovation and aviation, surface transportation and maritime security, David Pekoske’s message highlighting his top priorities and challenges for the TSA based on his years of wide-ranging experience will be critical to our attendees internalizing the critical nature of these escalating challenges, and realizing innovative new approaches to meet them.”
The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK, Fortior Solutions and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.
|Access Control/ Identification||Personal/Protective Equipment||Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism|
|Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System||Interagency Interdiction Operation||Cloud Computing/Storage Solution|
|Facial/IRIS Recognition||Body Worn Video Product||Cyber Security|
|Video Surveillance/VMS||Mobile Technology||Anti-Malware|
|Audio Analytics||Disaster Preparedness||ID Management|
|Thermal/Infrared Camera||Mass Notification System||Fire & Safety|
|Metal/Weapon Detection||Rescue Operations||Critical Infrastructure|
|License Plate Recognition||Detection Products||And Many Others!|
|COVID Innovations||And Many Others!|
Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?
Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register for the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Luncheon Today
At ISC East 2021 you with the opportunity to interact with a broad array of security industry professionals.
ISC East works closely with other businesses in the security and public safety space to help bring together the Northeast’s largest security trade show each year.
In collaboration with premier sponsor SIA (Security Industry Association) and in partnership with ASIS NYC, ISC East is proud to work with and be supported by various associations, trade publications, charities, and more.
Therefore, the ISC audience of security dealers, installers, integrators, consultants, corporate, government and law enforcement/first responder practitioners will be joined by the ASIS NYC audience of major corporate managerial-through-director-level national and global security executives.
The combination of one-on-one conversations with the industry’s top innovators, integrators and security executives, special events, high-quality education and training, and strong support from industry associations, will allow attendees to learn and evaluate solutions from leading security exhibitors and brands.
With the integration of the Natural Disaster and Emergency Management (NDEM) Expo, the show is moving even further into our reader’s wheelhouse!
Your ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon registration includes complimentary attendee access to both ISC East – and NDEM!
Thank take advantage of this exclusive luncheon opportunity to take a break from the show – Invite your team, guests, clients and show visitors to a lovely and affordable plated meal event in the heart of New York City, for a fabulous networking opportunity!
Go to https://americansecuritytoday.com/product/awards-luncheon/ to secure your seat or reserve a table.
***Limited space available so Register Today. There will be no on-site registrations.
Why American Security Today?
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.
American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.
American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers eyes throughout the story with cutting edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.
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The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.
‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’
AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.
Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.
These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.
AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.
AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.
Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.
To learn more about the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, Check Out the New 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2020 ‘A Year in Review’.
The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.
It is your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2020 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.
From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.
For a complete list of 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, click here.
For more information on All Things American Security Today, and the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at email@example.com.
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