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Firms urged to renew security focus after terrorist attacks

With recent attacks providing a stark reminder of the threat posed by terrorists, businesses have been advised to place a renewed focus on their security arrangements.

The UK and other European and Western nations have been on high alert over recent weeks following the shootings and bombings in Paris on November 13th, which killed 130 people.

Governments and security forces have advised the public to show increased caution when visiting busy, built-up areas, with the Paris attacks targeting locations including a concert hall, restaurants and cafes.

In a statement issued in the wake of the attacks, Advanced Glass Technology (AGT), a company that supplies glass protection products like anti-shatter film, said businesses should also be particularly vigilant if they operate in heavily populated areas.

Companies based in or near the centre of cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh can increase their readiness to deal with all manner of threats by reviewing their security risk management strategy.

Martin Westney, managing director of AGT, suggested that many firms will find areas in which they can improve if they conduct a detailed examination of their current security arrangements.

"In the wake of such dreadful terrorist attacks, we would recommend that businesses undertake a threat and vulnerability assessment, as part of a wider review of their security," he said.

"This would help to identify any additional risks that they may be exposed to and determine what action needs to be taken to mitigate those risks. From our experience of working in London in recent years, levels of physical protection within many large employers are woefully inadequate."

AGT stressed that the likelihood of a direct attack on a single commercial site is low, so employers should be aware of how vulnerable they are to knock-on effects from attacks on high-risk areas nearby, such as visitor attractions or landmarks.

Mr Westney pointed out that a bombing near or directly outside a business property would have a "significant impact" on that company's ability to function, quite possibly causing a complete halt in operations.

He added: "We would also recommend that companies look at their business continuity plan and communication strategy for the workforce so as not to put them at further risk in such an incident."

Another important step for firms to take is to plan tests of emergency security procedures at least once a year.

Security should always be a priority for all organisations, regardless of where they are based, how many people they employ or their potential exposure to unpredictable events like terrorist attacks.

This will be a particularly important consideration for many firms over the coming weeks, with the Christmas period bringing higher risks because of increased volumes of goods moving along the supply chain and periods when offices and other sites are unoccupied.

There are various professional security services available to help businesses ensure their people, premises and property are protected, such as manned security and expert consultancy.


Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of ThinkStock

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