Risk and Security LLC

Risk Assessments, Training and More

This content shows Simple View


3 Cleveland Women Freed -The New Front Line of the War on Women

Posted on by

For the past 4 days, media attention has been focused on the three Cleveland girls who were abducted close to their homes and kept as prisoners in an old run-down house with neighbors on all sides.

NOW, neighbors tell how they broke down the door to free the women, the little 6-year old girl who came out with them, presumably the child of their abductor, and stories of screams coming from the house over the LAST TEN YEARS.

Besides the obvious curiosity about how they are, how this happened, how they were subdued for so long, and all the salient details, my question is WHY DID THIS HAPPEN, AND WHAT DO WE NEED TO CHANGE TO MAKE SURE IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN!

As a security analyst, I have to place some of the blame at the door of the Cleveland police, not that they are different from any other police department in the U.S.  Police are trained to catch criminals – that is their reason for being.   But it seems that, increasingly, in crimes where women go missing, even a 16-year-old, the search for them never really gets underway.  With no speeding car to chase, no easy suspicious person to detain, they stop looking.

Statistics say that about 2300 people go missing every day, over half are men, so that
leaves about 1000 females, and of these, about 70% are young women. so that easy math – about 700 A DAY! or 255,500 EVERY YEAR!

My point is just that the Cleveland Triple Abduction should be a wake up call for parents, citizens AND law enforcement to find a better way to search for these missing girls.

The world has changed – we have cameras, social media, facebook pages, and we need for all of these to be routinely used to find missing girls before we see another case exactly like this one.

Why the FBI and DHS Need Google’s Help to Track Potential Terrorists

The Boston Marathon bombings were bad enough.  The loss of life was terrible, but the runners and their families who lost legs and feet because they wanted to give their Dad a hug at the finish line were worse.

One week later, we all watch with trepidation as the first bomber is killed and the second captured bleeding in a boat in Watertown.

THE MOST TERRIBLE NEWS OF ALL IS THAT IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN PREVENTED!!  This is EXACTLY the situation that DHS was supposed to catch.  This is EXACTLY why the agencies were ORDERED to share information, and still these guys can tweet all they want, show violent Islamic videos on their web sites and call for Jihad and NOBODY NOTICES!!

This is made even more incomprehensible because the U.S. government was ALERTED BY THE RUSSIANS that one of them was DANGEROUS.

What do we need to do to get these agencies to start paying attention to these potential terrorists?  DO WE NEED TO MAKE THEM WEAR A RED SHIRT?

If the IRS can keep track of every American and in 2 minutes call up their entire history of taxes, and the Department of Labor can calculate your benefit rates in less than 1 minute, and Social Security keep track of all your information – why can’t DHS and the FBI  keep a contact database current?

Why can’t they have a person who scans these web sites and Facebook sites for Jihadist pages and then cross-references them with the site’s owner?   Why can’t a trip to a violent region of the world trigger a PING, as I heard one congressman call it.

Every company in the world has a simple Contact database on their own customers and suppliers that gives them years of data.   WHY CAN’T WE BE PROTECTED FROM THESE TERRORiSTS.

This one wasn’t hiding in the shadows – he was ON SOCIAL MEDIA!   He wasn’t locked up in a cabin – he was traveling internationally,   his brother was getting a scholarship.  And they did this FOR YEARS!!

This intelligence failure is just exactly like 9/11 all over again.  These agencies are so procedural that they cannot connect the dots.  Ok – they’re human. But we have super computers that CAN connect the dots and do profiles and create alerts…

Maybe we should call Google and get some help.  We obviously need it.



New App does a Workplace Violence Baseline Assessment

New Workplace Violence Prevention App helps companies do an OSHA Violence Baseline Assessment

DATELINE:    Boca Raton, Florida,  March 12, 2013

Workplace Violence in US companies is a problem that is getting worse.  Workplace violence is a serious recognized occupational hazard, ranking among the top four causes of death in workplaces during the past 15 years. More than 3,000 people died from workplace homicide between 2006 and 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additional BLS data indicate that an average of more than 15,000 nonfatal workplace injury cases was reported annually during this time.

The latest figures show that high-risk organizations like hospitals, behavioral health treatment, home health workers and late night retail establishments are at a dramatically increased risk for experiencing a violent incident at work.

OSHA, and over thirty state government regs recommend that companies do an annual Workplace Violence Basement Assessment, but these are time-consuming and difficult to manage.

To solve the problem,  Risk & Security LLC has released a new web-based app, Workplace Violence Risk-Pro©, which makes security directors into Risk Professionals!

OSHA standard 3148 (Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care &

Social Service Workers)and the new OSHA Inspection Directive, Enforcement Procedures for Investigating or Inspecting Incidents of Workplace Violence, from September, 2011, are both included in the new, easy-to-use application.

The program has been tested on some of the largest organizations in the US, and runs on a laptop, PC or tablet, and even on a smartphone!.  Workplace Violence Risk-Pro©  is built to be affordable and simple to use.

The web 2.0 program, includes newly compiled, updated threat databases, and automated web-surveys  based on the exact OSHA Directives.

The new program gives human services and security professionals a quick and easy way to conduct a workplace violence baseline assessment that will pass an audit!

The Risk-Pro©  model has been used for easy software applications with the Department of Defense and over hundreds of organizations, hospitals, maritime organizatons, and local, state and federal government agencies.

About Risk & Security  LLC

Risk & Security  LLC is a security risk assessment and risk analysis company with over 30 years of combined expertise in security risk.  It specializes in consulting on risk assessment projects and global application development of risk solutions.  Risk & Security partners with security companies around the world to provide state-of-the-art security expertise to analyze risk and recommend cost-effective countermeasures.

The team of risk and security experts is led Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton, who has created more than 40 software programs, and conducted more than 200 specialized security risk assessments in a variety of environments, including companies in the United States and around the world, including in Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa and Qatar.

Why Workplace Violence is Always a Catastrophe

Workplace violence incidents are one of the most damaging events that can happen to any organization.  The good news is that workplace violence is one of the few threats that companies can actually prevent before it happens.

Unlike earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, war, and explosions, workplace violent incidents can be prevented if the organization makes a commitment to educate their employees, and give them the knowledge they need to address a potential problem with a co-worker before it gets to an explosive level, for example, making the active shooter drills part of the security program.

In many ways, workplace violence is worse than other kinds of violent incidents because it always involves a major violation of trust, and it also has a malicious component, where the perpetrator is deliberating focusing on violence against a fellow human that they know personally and may have directly worked with, sometimes for year.

According to OSHA, workplace violence is a serious recognized occupational hazard, ranking among the top four causes of death in workplaces during the past 15 years. More than 3,000 people died from workplace homicide between 2006 and 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additional BLS data indicate that an average of more than 15,000 nonfatal workplace injury cases are reported every year.

As well as the violation of trust and the violence itself, the incidents usually terrorize both the victims and other employees, especially those who know violent individual and are left to wonder how they failed to recognize the danger signs.

Some organizations report that employees, even those who weren’t hurt in an incident, exhibit PTSD-type symptoms following an incident.  And the company’s reputation is often damaged, just from the publicity of the event.

One of the main controls that protect against a violent incident, is doing a Workplace Violence Assessment.  This specialized risk assessment involves interviewing employees at all levels of the organization, looking at the OSHA guidelines, such as those detailed in OSHA 3148, (www.osha.gov/Publications//osha3148.pdf).

The assessment also includes making sure that every violent, or threatening incident gets reported in a standardized way, that all the incidents are tracked, and that there is a de-escalation process that can be easily followed to prevent someone from getting to a violent stage.

There are new programs available that automate the Workplace Violence Assessment process and make it into a simple and standardized
project.  To review a standardized, data-based, Violence Assessment Report, go to:   www.riskandsecurityllc.com/.




The Active Shooter Threat and Why We Need to Stay Situationally Aware

2012 will be remembered as the Year of the Active Shooter, where terrible tragedies across our country refocused people on issues surrounding gun control.  In many ways, it’s that old argument about whether the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

In many schools and hospital, it could be argued that the needs of the many to be safe, and NOT TO GET SHOT,  outweigh the needs of the few – to possess assault rifles and high capacity magazines, which allow them to kill a large number of people with almost no effort.

No matter what side of the debate you fall on,  the debate has certainly brought the debate back from and center.

And along the way, it took the Active Shooter threat from a phrase that only a few security people knew about, into a phrase that was trending on the web and Twitter.

The Department of Homeland Security made a variety of resources available to deal with the Active Shooter Threat (many can be found at  http://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness) with tools includes a video, and booklet.

Whether you are an elementary school, like Newtown, a movie theatre, like Aurora, a regional mall, mountain resort or anything else, the number one way to counter the Active Shooter threat is to increase security awareness of the staff.

I have had teachers tell me  “my job is only to teach, I shouldn’t have to be responsible for security, too”.

Unfortunately, everyone has to be responsible for good security, or we are all at risk.  And again, there’s the trade-off (aka, the risk calculation):

Measure the inconvenience of having to keep your eyes open and be willing to report any suspicious behavior VS. being a casualty of a mass shooting, or having someone you know killed.

Looks like a pretty easy calculation to me:

Small Amount of Effort (no cost) = Big Increase in Security !!

Make sure you friends, family and staff are aware of the Active Shooter Threat!

Will the Risk of the Sequester Affect Security Budgets in 2013?

Every time the TV is on, every anchor is crying about the dreaded Sequester.

Will it have an impact on security budgets?  I have seen security budgets, especially for the facilities security departments, swing from almost unlimited budgets after 2001, to bare bones in 2009 and 2010, and thought they were trending back up for 2013.

Now, with the uncertainty about what a Sequester  actually is, (please note my use of the capital “S”), how will it affect our security departments?

Obviously, the most obvious casualty are the government contractors who’s contracts may be arbitrarily cut, and civilian managers of federal programs will see lost days and furloughs.

The trickle-down effect will probably extend to state, county and municipal governments, too.   So that means it’s even more important to start budgeting new security controls so that the most important get the funding!

One of the themes we go over in our webinar programs is how important it is to create a COST JUSTIFICATION and Return on Investment information so that you can create a business case for every control you need to improve security.

And one more thought on the Sequester – we often see an increase in crime, white collar crime and fraud when things are unsettled and people aren’t sure what’s going to happen next.

Maybe it’s a good time to do another risk assessment?  Maybe the Sequester is the next new Threat!



Maybe we’re just tired of “Serious”.

After watching the Sunday political shows, every journalist asks, “Why is the media so focused on the Petraeus Investigation?”

I have a defense for this:  we’re all tired of the REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF.

After the election, which felt like it lasted over a year, and then the worry about the impending disaster of the fiscal cliff (please, don’t say “PHYSICAL CLIFF”), maybe everyone is exhausted by the urgent and important issues and would just like a good old fashioned sex scandal. And we got one!

An amusing, lightweight story, where the main players are stereotypes themselves, the attractive, social-climbing women, the glamorous jet-setting generals, who take time out of fighting terror to send out sexy emails, is a delight after all the serious reporting of the last four months.

I think we should be able to enjoy it a little, and as Mr. Bennett said in Pride & Prejudice, ” For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?”.   And it’s the General’s turn!

After Aurora – Where Do We Go From Here?

Having written several articles on gun violence and remembering exactly where I was after Columbine, I know that very few security professionals are interested in restricting access to firearms.

But clearly this is terrorism.  This is murder.  All the outcry about abortion, and protecting fetuses, and there’s not even a peep when 12 young people are gunned down, having done nothing to deserve such a vicious fate.

So what we are talking about is HOW TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC from acts of terrorism and murder.

Anyway this could have been prevented?

1.  Now we know he was under a psychiatrist’s care, he should have flunked the assault rifle purchase test.

2.  If the theatre had true locking back doors, and alerts when they were propped open, he could not have
come back inside with his arsenal.

3.  If the back door had cameras and was monitored, he could have been caught, or at least, the public address system could have warned the patrons in the theatre.

Since none of these things were done, a terrible tragedy took place.

I think we are safer with cameras everywhere and active, real-time monitoring of those cameras.  I’m all for controls like panic alarms (which should be as common as fire alarms), and for annual security assessments.

Maybe we can learn something.

How long does it take for OSHA to develop standards – like for Workplace Violence?

Why OSHA standards take so long to develop

The Government Accountability office reports to Congress on items of interest to Congress and their constituents.  One area that was recently examined was how long it takes OSHA to update standards, or develop new standards.  Here’s a look at the results:

By:         David LaHoda  April 30th, 2012

A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on why OSHA standards take, on average, more than seven years to complete found that “increased procedural requirements, shifting priorities, and a rigorous standard of judicial review” contributed to the lengthy time frame.

In responding the GAO report, Randy Rabinowitz, OMB Watch’s director of regulatory policy said: “In the years since its creation, OSHA’s charge to protect workers from harm has been undermined by Kafkaesque demands for additional reviews of existing rules mandated by new statutes and executive orders,” according to The Hill. While OSHA’s internal inability to remain focused on priorities and regulatory follow-through was the counter argument presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“While some of the changes, such as improving coordination with other agencies to leverage expertise, are within OSHA’s authority, others call for significant procedural changes that would require amending existing laws,” according tot he GAO report.

The GAO report recommended that that OSHA and NIOSH improve collaboration on researching occupational hazards. In that way OSHA could better “leverage NIOSH expertise in determining the needs for new standards and developing them.”

To access the entire 55-page report, go to: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-330