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Finding the Balance Between Prevention and selection of Response


In any security context, organizations attempt to prevent hostile activities and attempt to implement security procedures for early warning and effective prevention. However, when prevention has failed, these organizations find themselves extremely vulnerable in the reaction process where they must rapidly respond and solve the problem.  This becomes very difficult when resources are mostly invested in prevention, rather than in effective response mechanisms.

It is imperative to find an operational balance between prevention and response in order to feel comfortable in both positions and know that your capabilities exist in both spheres of action. But his becomes an extremely difficult task and let me explain why.

1- Organizations want to believe that they will not be selected as a target

2- It is easier to invest in an expensive CCTV or access control system rather than training security operatives to respond to active shooters

3- Organizations prefer to invest in the area where they could not engage themselves in facing the problem

4- Investing in response mechanisms means to the outside world that you are a target so you choose to be in denial

So let us get a few point clear in our terminology from the operational perspective: These terms are not academic and serve to describe the activities that are the building blocks of a security apparatus.

Prevention is the result of offensive and defensive measures that intercept the opponent in the initial phase of the attack and/or in its planning

Response is the selection of the most surgical set of mechanisms that will stop the opponent from continuing the attack that has already initiated in an effort to minimize damage

The operational balance resides in the professional investment in the offensive and defensive dimensions of security so they become complementary and specialize in their respective functions. When prevention has failed, the security apparatus knows how, when and to which extent to implement the right response. A response should be the direct result of rapid identification, selection of modus operandi and neutralization of the threat. The term neutralization refers to not allowing the opponent to continue its violent activity which has already started. Our aim becomes stopping the continuation of an attack in order to minimize human damage.


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