Doug Bedell — February 7, 2011, 2:49 pm

Don’t Rely On Static Security Alone

Security by a written checklist alone isn’t enough, Kip Hawley, former administrator of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminds us.

Hawley referred to the deadly suicide bomber attack last month at a Moscow airport to note that written security regulations typically define minimum, not maximum, security practices and can be bypassed by terrorists using methods not covered by the regulations.

Random security measures deployed on a continually changing basis are a desirable addition to static security plans, Hawley advises. “First, we need multiple layers of security deployed throughout the airport that are changing regularly and, to outsiders, seem unpredictable. Layers such as K-9 teams, random inspections and behavior detection agents…prevent terrorists from identifying a security gap and exploiting it.”

Second, ownership of security should be jointly shared by all involved, not parceled out to given parties for their exclusive attention. At airports, that includes airlines, law enforcement, vendors and the traveling public itself.

Finally, Hawley adds, we should be continually rethinking risk-management tradeoffs. How much tolerance, for instance, in various public and maintenance areas at an airport?

So, getting static in your security approach? That should be resisted because, as Hawley notes, terrorists can be “endlessly resourceful”. Ownership of security should be jointly shared by all involved, not parceled out to given parties for their exclusive attention.

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