Doing the Right Thing

The industry has taken a lot of heat since the story aired, observers say. "These companies are under a lot of pressure right now and are trying to do the right thing," says Gary Salmans, senior vice president and leader of Marsh's critical incident prevention practice. "Companies that we work with are extremely proactive."

However, others believe industry can learn some valuable lessons from the report. For one thing, more companies need to move from "response" to "deterrence" mode, Sem says. The first deterrent, and the most powerful and inexpensive solution, is employee awareness training, yet it is often overlooked.

Other obvious steps are ensuring that gates are locked and well lit, and that outsiders are not permitted on site, or into sensitive areas. "I often test security awareness by trying to gain access to control rooms," Sem says. "In some cases, until staff have been adequately sensitized and trained, I have been allowed to walk in without question."

Lighting should not be neglected, either. It is usually fine near operating areas, Sem says, but can be quite poor along fence lines. Technology can also help. Sem recommends closed-circuit TV monitors with good motion-detection capabilities. "CCTV makes intruders worry they're being watched and greatly expands the range of security officers. Instead of having 10 monitor a site, you only need one or two."

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