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Responding to a Heightened Global Threat part 1

3rd August 2015

In recognition of the UK’s increased risk following the recent terror attacks in Tunisia, Paris and Copenhagen, Sungard Availability Services recently collaborated with TerraVenta – which specialises in providing training and support services for government agencies and companies – to share some of their knowledge at a well-received customer event.

With thousands of returning jihadists and the danger of lone wolf attacks by radicalised British nationals, the threat level from international terrorism to the UK is currently SEVERE, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Islamist terrorists pose a more dangerous type of threat as they are willing to die for their cause, which changes the dynamic of the attack significantly. In addition, as we saw in the massacre of holidaymakers in Sousse, weapons and training are becoming readily available to would-be terrorists from Libya. Already this year we have seen the shocking Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher killings in Paris, further armed attacks in Canada and Sydney and civilians murdered on the street by gunmen in Copenhagen and on the beach in Tunisia.

“However, terrorists do not need sophisticated weapons: an attack is possible using kitchen knives, vehicles and other readily available household items. It is the public attention provided by instant social media and around-the-clock news reports that these individuals seek.”

— Terraventa

As we saw in the 7/7 London bombings, an unsophisticated but graphic attack at one or more of London’s transport hubs, perhaps a major railway station, would bring massive disruption to the City with workers unable to travel. Then what is known as ‘the Werther effect’ can result in copycat terrorists unrelated to the first group seeking to repeat the attacks.

Survival tips
The surge in absenteeism after an attack by people afraid to travel can be significant, resulting in a huge drop in productivity. TerraVenta believes that by equipping employees with the skills and techniques needed to react and survive, companies are able to protect their staff, colleagues and their families, increase vigilance and reduce risk to the organisation, resulting in a company that is more resilient to everyday threats.

Businesses invest significant sums in their people, from recruitment to training and retention. Many employees possess vital skills and experience of considerable value to the business from senior executives viewed by fund managers as key factors in the company’s value to salespeople with important customer relationships, R&D specialists who carry new product ideas in their heads and star fund managers seen as the reason a particular fund is attractive.

“Employees are not only a company’s most valuable asset but businesses also have a duty of care to protect every one of them. “

— Sungard Availability Services

TerraVenta’s work in studying the decisions ordinary people make in extraordinary circumstances has shown that by changing the dynamics of your situation – whether you’re in the middle of a natural disaster or trapped with a gunman – the ability to shift the odds in your favour, even slightly, can be key to your survival.

Without wanting to cause you undue anxiety, in our next post we share some of their tips from an insightful training day, including:

Marauding gunmen/terrorist attacks

Air travel

Road traffic accidents

Check out the blog again this Thursday to find out more…

This extract is taken from an article which first appeared in our customer newsletter AVAIL, from which you can access more news, views and details of our forthcoming events.