Essential Elements of a GREAT Corporate Security Program

Maybe you’re a Security Professional, or maybe you’re just someone who doesn’t want to get your credit card stolen, or get shot walking out to your car at night.   Either way, There are a few basics you need for an effective Corporate Security Program.  Whether it’s a hospital, a big box store, or a local government agency, or one of the Fortune 100, these Basic Corporate Security elements are essential:

1.  Start with a baseline Security Risk Assessment – for both IT Security AND
     corporate or physical security. (You can’t improve if you don’t know where
you are).

2.   Get a plain or fancy Incident Reporting program and start recording and
categorizing ALL security incidents, whether they are related to theft, violence,
natural disasters, Ebola, or active shooters.  This gives you the power to stay
on top of new, emerging threats (the ones identified in the security risk
assessment),  and make  frequent adjustments based on real-time information,
also known as data-driven security.

3.   Review and Update your Policies and Procedures to address what’s
changed in the environment. P’s and P’s also add the power of COMPLIANCE
ENFORCEMENT
to the security enforcement.  This increases security’s
visibility and importance to management.

4.    Create Security Awareness among the staff members.  You have two
eyes, but if you add in the employees, you have 1000 eyes or more.  Eyes
that know what to watch for, how to report escalating incidents early, and
staff members who can improve their personal safety through situational
awareness.

5.     Mandatory annual Security training for all employees.  Staff members
need to get the latest information on reporting, information protection, how to
physically protect themselves, and patients, students, customers, visitors and
everyone else who enters your facilities.  Many information breaches start
with a theft of a laptop, something that could totally be avoided with
better training.

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6.      At the end of the first year, do a second (and annual) security risk
assessment so you can measure improvements in awareness, in
         implementation of critical controls (I have a list of 75), and changes
in the threat profile.

These steps create an annual cycle of Continual Improvement in the
security program, based on fresh evaluation, which also turns out to very
cost effective and informs management about which controls have the
‘best bang for the buck’.

For more information and the matching white paper, send your request to:
info@riskandsecurityllc.com

 

Second Ebola Patient in the US Confirmed by CDC

As the media is reporting incessantly, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has been diagnosed with Ebola.  The transmission mechanism hasn’t been announced, but again, it looks like it may be related to taking OFF the protective
gear.

Obviously only 2 cases is not a country-wide epidemic, and 99% of the people who read this are hundreds of times more likely to be hit by lighting, or drown in the bathtub, than they are to ever catch Ebola.

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However, healthcare workers are more at risk.  I have heard journalists continue to report that all hospitals are READY – THEY ARE NOT!  They report on the New York
City hospitals, but HEY, the first and second cases were in DALLAS, TEXAS!

What can an average person do at this point?  Call up your local hospital and ask them if they have prepared an isolation treatment area, ask them if they have full protective
gear available right now – today.  Ask if they have updated their infection control
procedures in the last 30 days.

The squeaky wheel forces organizations to pay attention to things like EBOLA preparation, enhanced staff training, additional investments in Protective Suits,
temporary barriers, better hazmat disposal, and lots more.

Preparedness is the ONLY THING that can stop Ebola from spreading and safeguard
everyone from a killer disease!

Ebola!! Why the Entire World (and CNN) is Obsessed with this new Threat

Ebola is a terrible virus.  We have either seen in photos, or read about dead bodies laying in piles or vomit of blood in the floors of filthy clinics in West Africa.  We have been to the www.cdc.gov/ebola site 3 times already today.

And all this time, people are reassuring themselves, saying “It will never get to the US”. And what happens next?  Ebola shows up at Texas Presbyterian Hospital where, as I expected, everything that COULD GO WRONG – DID GO WRONG.

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The mountain of simple mistakes included:
1.  Seeing the patient, giving him antibiotics and sending him home,
EVEN THOUGH he was just in country from Liberia (West Africa).

   2.  Quarantining him and his friends is a tiny apartment with no anti-viral supplies, 
        leaving contaminated sheets and clothes on the floor.
3.  Not getting appropriate cleaning people in ASAP.
4.  Eventually establishing that 100 people could be infected with the
Ebola Virus.

Hospitals had only given their staff minimal instructions on how to deal with Ebola, so
Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas was not expecting to the the FIRST US CASE!

Ebola-Dallas2Tex

So, in less than 12 hours, it was real, the fears that the virus could somehow make it to the U.S. undetected – TURNED OUT TO BE TRUE!  And CNN and other media did a great job of uncovering every single mistake and scaring Dallas parents to death while they did it.  

WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW?  
Find out as much as you can about Ebola and how to keep yourself, your family and friends safe.  Get a little extra hand sanitizer, wash your hands often.  Call your local hospital and ask them if they’re prepared.  SOMEONE BETTER BE!

(Get updates daily at www.cdc.gov/ebola)

 

 

How to Rescue a Kitten by a Dedicated Dog Person

I am a dog person.  I’m a Beagle lover.  I have Snoopy toys all over my house, and leashes and dog dishes and photos of my beagles, and I never thought I would want a cat.  But I guess life has surprises in store for us, if we slow down and listen.  This is what happened to me.

I was living in south Florida and had two beagles, Roxy and Kerry.  Roxy had been diagnosed with terminal lymphoma but had chemo so she got an extra year.  Every morning I would walk with my neighbor, Maureen, and the Beagles.

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This morning was drenched with rain.  It was early, and not hot. It had rained hard all night so there was water everywhere.  As we walked down the street I heard a little faint
“meow, Meow, MEOW”.  I told Maureen, “I hear a kitten”.  “Oh no”, she said, “You haven’t lived in Florida very long, it’s a bird and not a kitten”.  We kept walking and I heard it again – MEOW – MEOW – MEOW.

I followed the sound and under a big leafy plant, I found a very tiny kitten, ribs sticking out, soaking wet, and no mama cat in sight.  I picked him up and wrapped him up in my
T-shirt.  Then we walked around the neighbor looking for the kitty’s mama, or possible other kittys, but found nothing.  The people who lived in that house were overseas for 3 months so he would not have been found.

I took him home.  I didn’t have any milk, so we borrowed some and I fed him with a medicine dropper.  I looked up KITTENS on the web, and found out milk wasn’t so good, so I went to the store, with Kitty in my vest pocket, and got him Kitty Milk, and
kitten food.  He was only 4 weeks old.   He was irresistible.

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My idea was to raise him and then find him a good home.  Of course, I fell in love with him, named him Tigger and now I am a cat lover and cat owner.  I have had dogs, and house rabbits and horses and ducks and geese and even an owl as pets, but this was my first kitty.

I was, and still am,  amazed at how soft he was, how sweet he was, how bouncy he was, and how much fun he was to have around.  Now he’s 6 months old and he still sleeps right next to me.

My dear Roxy passed away when he was 3 months old.  I loved her so much and many people say I found the kitty to help me get through missing Roxy so much.

My kitty, Tigger, follows me around the house, and comes when I call him.  He even likes to swim in the pool with me.  He also likes walking with Kerry.  He has his own red leash and halter.  He loves chasing and catching lizards, and watching birds.  He also likes climbing trees, but only goes outside when I go with him.

The point is that love of animals means all animals, and it means ALWAYS doing the
compassionate thing.  Someone threw  this little kitty away because they didn’t realize he was a feline star and source of great joy.   Rescues comes to us in all sorts of ways, and whether it’s a tiny kitty, an 1800 pound horse, a 6 pound lop-eared rabbit, or a beagle, take a chance and get yourself a friend for life!

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White House Demonstrates A Cascade of Security Failures

Imagine the shock and awe when I found out my home was MORE SECURE than
The White House, which, along with the U.S. Capitol Building, represents the
best of the Free World!

Why?  Because I LOCK MY DOORS.  Which means my Access Control is 100%
in place.
   A simple thing, but, because Access Control is the starting point for all
security – doors have to be locked.

We say that security should be re-assessed whenever there’s a major change.  And
certainly launching a war against ISIL might be considered a major change, especially
since there is an alert about home grown jihadis.  Do you think the home of the U.S.
President might become a target?

And who is responsible for the lax security?  It’s the Secret Service, the government
agents who are supposed to be totally dedicated to the best security on the planet.

And other things went wrong too.  And why my home is safer than the White House last week.

I have dogs on site and they are unleashed.  I don’t make the decision about whether to let the dogs out, instead, my vicious attack beagles go after anyone trying to enter the grounds at any point within the perimeter fence.  At the White House, because the dogs which are kept on site for just this sort of incident, were NOT RELEASED because the Secret Service agents thought the dogs might go after them.

The sniper who was at the White House with his gun trained on the intruder, didn’t shoot.He could have taken a shot to the intruder’s arm or to his leg, and that would have slowed him down, but instead, he held his fire, and the intruder made it in the doors and up the stairs of the White House.

The intruder was a REPEAT OFFENDER.  He should have had a big red mark on his forehead indicating that he WAS NOT CLEARED FOR ACCESS, but instead, he had nothing.  He was able to jump the fence and continue right along through the entrance.

The lovely decorative White House fence was easily breached, just jumped over.  Does this trigger a BRAINSTORM:  MAKE THE FENCE HIGHER!  Or, even better, ALARM AND ELECTRIFY THE FENCE!

 

At my barn, it took about $200 and less than two hours to totally electrify an enormous field.  Shouldn’t the President’s home be as well protected and my horse’s field??

Looking at the whole picture, we see that there are numerous problems, and that obviously the White House hasn’t had a decent SECURITY RISK ASSESSMENT in years, or that the assessment’s recommendations weren’t implemented.

With lots of high value targets in a relatively small area, the use of automated, quarterly
security risk assessments SHOULD BE A NO BRAINER!

What’s the underlying cause of this breach?  Was it the lack of procedures, was it procedures not followed, was it lack of training?  Was it a sub-plot?  Was it the just a cascade of failures?

Whatever it was, it made the U.S. look UNPREPARED to the entire world, and it reinforces the message that security is a process that has to be continually assessed and re-assessed.

I’m going to do my Patriotic Duty and donate my automated Risk Assessment software to the White House Secret Service to help them in this critical task!

Why the NFL Supports Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

The NFL finally suspended Adrian Peterson.  He wasn’t suspended for beating his poor 4-year old child with a tree branch.   He wasn’t disciplined for slamming his child’s head into the dashboard of the car because the child was crying AFTER being beaten.

He was suspended because a bunch of moms and media types got on Twitter, and TV, and the Internet complained about why someone who uses a little marijuana is suspended for a year, but if you beat a small child, there’s no punishment.

What’s happening is that the NFL and the gung-ho fans have build a rich underclass of
minimally educated sports stars who have violent tendencies and anger problems.  I
always wonder why they are so angry since they make 20 million dollars a year and can
do, obviously, almost anything they want, as long as the child, girlfriend or wife that they
beat or knock unconscious, doesn’t actually die.RayRice

Maybe that’s exactly why they are unhappy.  Maybe it’s tough to be completely famous, horribly rich, and have the team owners and the rest of polite society look down their down at these human cash generators.

The NFL can’t be allowed to condone the beatings and abuse of the girlfriends, wives, and children of these individuals.  They remind me of the Seaworld owners who make money on their tortured captive whales.

Maybe we need a documentary on NFL-FISH! OH, and remember all those
women, and moms and media personalities.  We’ll be watching and we’ll
be back!

 

How Mental Health Problems Directly Affect Hospital Security

Reprinted with permission from www.SecurityInfoWatch.com

BY CAROLINE RAMSEY HAMILTON 

DATELINE: JULY 28, 2014

Healthcare’s failure to address link between mental illness and violence putting lives in jeopardy. Pennsylvania hospital shooting highlights ineffectiveness of the industry in treating high-risk patients

Richard Plotts, the man who allegedly murdered a 53-year old caseworker at a suburban Philadelphia hospital last week by shooting her in the face, was formally charged with murder on Saturday following surgery to remove bullets in his torso.

According to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan, police in Upper Darby, Pa., where Plotts lived, were aware of at least three mental health commitments, including once after he cut his wrists and once when he threatened suicide — but said such stays can last just one to three days. Whelan also noted in his press conference that Plotts had also spent time in a mental health facility.

Every week brings a new story in the media about murder-suicides, patients killing healthcare workers, random shootings and assaults.   We can read the new polls like the article on U.S. shootings in healthcare, as well as the recent healthcare crime study by the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety IAHSS) that routinely reports that violence in healthcare is soaring.

Not only in healthcare, but throughout the U.S., these random active shooter trends are increasing.  To see how much of this violence is related to severe mental health problems, we only have to look as far as these high profile incidents:

  • June 14, 2012 – Buffalo, N.Y., trauma surgeon shooting
  • July 20, 2012 – Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting
  • Sept. 16, 2013 – Washington Navy Yard shooting
  • Dec. 17, 2013 – Reno, Nev. urology clinic shooting
  • Jan. 22, 2014 – LAX active shooter incident
  • April 2, 2014 – Fort Hood (2nd) active shooter incident

None of these incidents were related to poor performance review, losing a job, and only one of these could be called “domestic violence,” but what they all have in common is that the perpetrators were all severely mentally ill.

Guns scare me.  Guns kill people by accident and on purpose. I never let my children play with guns.  However, as I analyze the elements of these shootings and dozens more, my bias is changing.  I think it’s less about guns and more about mental illness.

Healthcare and hospitals would be the one industry where you would think that people would be concerned about the state of mental health of their patients and staff. Instead, it seems like mental health problems are walled off by society, treated ineffectively, and violent tendencies (which sometimes make their way onto patients’ Facebook pages) are largely ignored and unreported by the clinicians treating them.

So it’s left to the security and law enforcement community to deal with these individuals who are paranoid, depressed, angry, frustrated, disappointed, hurt, confused, and, ultimately, violent.

Now that mental health has been re-classified as another medical problem, the money is flowing to the treatment centers and it’s covered by Medicare. But progress doesn’t seem to be either easy or effective.

Dr. Graham C.L. Davey, Ph.D. writing in Psychology Today in January said: “Many of those health professionals (GPs and family physicians) at the first point of contact with people suffering mental health problems are poorly trained to identify psychological problems in their patients, and have little time available to devote to dealing with these types of problems. This increasingly makes medication prescription an attractive option for doctors whose time-per-patient is limited—an outcome which will have all the potential negative effects of medicalizing the problem into a “disease.”

And that’s exactly what we see, patients who don’t take their meds because of the negative side effects and so they become isolated and increasingly violent.  The side effects are clearly pointed out in TV commercials, that you’ve probably watched.

For example, one medicine has side effects that include sexual side effects, convulsions, brain shrinkage, stroke, death, suicide, violent thoughts, psychosis and delusional thinking.

The increase in hospitals adding seclusion rooms, expanding the number of beds for psych patients, and the time spent by both law enforcement and security professionals  in dealing with these troubled individuals, may account for one-quarter to one-third of an organization’s security budget.

Many of the security risk assessments we do are focused on handling mobile mental patients, including the baby boomers suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

As violent incidents continue to increases in our society, our workplaces, and in our hospitals, we need to spend more time looking for, and demanding treatments that work and that are sustainable by the patients so they can lead happier lives and we can protect the rest of society, and our healthcare facilities, from their potentially violent behavior.

http://www.securityinfowatch.com/blog/11598089/healthcares-failure-to-address-link-between-mental-illness-and-violence-putting-lives-in-jeopardy

Author: Caroline Ramsey Hamilton

Since 1988, Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton has been a Thought Leader in All Aspects of Active Shooter and Security Risk Assessment in both Public and Private companies and organizations. Specializing in Hospital and Healthcare Security. Hamilton is Certified in Homeland Security (CHS-III), Anti-Terrorism (ATAB) and Security Risk Assessment. As President of Risk & Security (www.riskandsecurityllc.com) she works with many hospital clients, and develops affordable risk-based apps for improving security risk assessments, and publishes the RISKAlert security awareness program. She lives in south Florida with one beagle, a rescued kitty and (on weekends), 4-year old twins.