Crisis Management & Business Continuity


The Realities of Counter Terrorism aspects in Crisis Management & Business Continuity for 21st Century Threats

Response & Recovery

Effective and timely response, as well as post-event recovery, are vital factors in mitigating the impact of a terrorist attack on any organisation. The key policies to use are crisis management and business continuity documentation.

These documents can be employed to enhance response plans, and ensure an immediate and coordinated reaction to an incident involving terrorism or hybrid threats.

Additionally, the business continuity (BC) plan plays a pivotal role as it integrates all the necessary requirements. It can encompass both response and recovery actions following an incident from terrorism and hybrid attacks by people with violent intentions.

The size and complexity of the organisation determine the appropriate documents to be utilised for planning the response and recovery to a terrorist or hybrid threat attack.

Small & Micro businesses may find it more practical to adopt a comprehensive catch-all document for their Counter Terrorism Plans.  This method can incorporate crisis management and business continuity aspects, to consolidates all relevant requirements.

Medium to large organisations, especially those with multiple sites or high footfall locations and a substantial workforce, can require a more extensive and detailed planning system that will require counter terrorism considerations adding.

Such complexities demand a more thorough approach to ensure the safety and security of personnel and assets during a crisis situation.

By tailoring the terrorism mitigation response and recovery plans to the organisation’s specific needs and scale, the implementation of effective mitigation measures becomes more feasible.  This will bolster the organisation’s overall resilience in the face of potential threats from terrorism and hybrid threats.


Proven Systems

Key Point: The effectiveness of the protective security process in mitigating terrorist and hybrid threats depends more on the processes and types of mitigation employed to educate staff.

While various management systems, such as ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), BS (British Standards), ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security), and others, provide frameworks and guidelines for security management.

The core focus lies in implementing robust and adaptable security processes with real world capabilities.

The key is to tailor the counter terrorism measures to the organisation’s specific needs and risk profile, regardless of its size, complexity, or the industry it operates in.

Counter Terrorism measures within crisis management and business continuity plans can be integrated into any management system, ensuring a cohesive and effective security approach.

By adopting proven options and best practices, organisations can create a comprehensive protective security process that addresses various vulnerabilities and risks associated with terrorism and hybrid threats.

Regardless of the management framework adopted to implement counter terrorism mitigation, what truly matters is the organisation’s commitment to creating and maintaining a robust and responsive protective security process tailored to its specific needs and risks.


Emergency Services Response Gap – Planning Considerations

If an attack occurs on your premises or near by, the initial and ongoing situation will be chaotic (fact), and there might be a significant gap in the emergency services’ response time (fact), known as the Emergency Services Response Gap. The length of this gap can vary greatly, ranging from a few minutes to an extended period, depending on the nature and Method of the Attack.

During this critical phase, it is essential for organisations to comprehend and acknowledge that there will be a period when staff and customers must be capable of responding effectively under their own direction.

This emphasises the importance of preparedness and training to empower individuals to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions to protect themselves and others in the absence of immediate external assistance from the emergency services.

To address this response gap, organisations should focus on implementing robust emergency response plans, and employ modern day approaches to educating staff and empowering all personnel to make decisions, keep in mind any training should be targeted at creating thinking time and empower staff by giving them real world actionable information.

These measures help build a culture of preparedness, ensuring that individuals can react quickly and confidently in high-stress situations, thereby reducing potential harm and increasing overall safety during the critical moments before emergency services arrive.


Crisis Communications

Effective crisis communications are of paramount importance during a crisis situation caused by terrorism and hybrid threats, particularly when local and international media attention converges on the affected area.

The organisation must be prepared to respond promptly and responsibly through various communication channels, addressing concerns from senior management, staff, and customers.

A crucial element of crisis communications is the development of a well-crafted holding statement. This statement serves as an initial response to the crisis, providing essential information and reassurance while the organisation gathers more details and formulates a comprehensive response strategy.

The holding statement is pre-planned and should be carefully designed to convey a clear and consistent message to the public and stakeholders.

Having pre-determined lines or key messages is essential in crisis communications. These lines ensure that the organisation’s response remains consistent and aligned with its overall communication strategy.

Sticking to these key messages helps avoid confusion and potential miscommunication during a crisis.  Transparency and timely updates are critical during a crisis.

Providing accurate information as soon as it becomes available fosters trust with stakeholders and the public.

Crisis communications require careful planning, a well-crafted holding statement, a skilled media liaison, consistent key messages, and a centralised communication approach.


Post Event – Business Continuity Plans 

The post-event period following a crisis particularly from a terrorism event is a pivotal time that significantly influences how well an organisation can recover and rebuild.

Effective post-event recovery hinges on thorough prior planning and preparation. Organisations that have invested time and effort in developing comprehensive crisis management and recovery plans are better equipped to handle the aftermath of a terrorism event.

A credible recovery strategy involves clear communication with all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and the broader community.

Transparent and consistent communication fosters trust and helps manage expectations during the recovery process.

Additionally, the post-event period is an opportunity for the organisation to learn from the crisis experience and conduct a thorough review and analysis.

The post-event period is a critical juncture that can make or break an organisation’s recovery. Reputations can be destroyed in heart beat without prior thought and consideration.

Adequate preparation and planning can lead to a credible and effective recovery, reducing criticality costs and enabling the organisation to bounce back more swiftly and resiliently.


Whats Involved & How to Deliver

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Tony Gledhill, a seasoned protective security consultant and founder of Mildot Group. With extensive international experience, Tony has designed and executed security strategies for leading energy and construction organisations operating in high-risk and complex environments.   His private sector expertise extends to training international government protection teams responsible for VIPs and critical assets, plus thousands of armed & unarmed private security guards. Leveraging over 16 years in the private sector after a distinguished 22-year military career, he brings a wealth of real-world knowledge.

Armed with real world operational insight, he knows what can be achieved with reasonable and practicable security solutions.