FROM THE BLOG
Hardening Soft Targets- 17 October 2017
by Eddie Sorrells, CPP, PSP, PCI, Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel- DSI Security Services • Oct 16, 2017
We saw recently with the tragedy in Las Vegas that certain environments such as hotels and outdoor music venues are especially vulnerable to attack. Technology and security methods continue to evolve, but there are some basic steps that can be taken to make these environments more safe and secure.
A Soft Target is often defined as “a person or thing that is relatively unprotected or vulnerable, especially to military or terrorist attack.”
Examples of Hard Targets include airports, government buildings, military installations, foreign embassies, and nuclear power plants.
Tips for “Hardening” Soft Targets
• Develop a plan of action based upon on a thorough site survey and risk assessment.
• Physical site hardening takes time and proper planning. Hire a security expert to develop a plan based on your unique environment.
• Do ensure that the physical security measures you currently have in place are working and in good condition—locks, doors, gates, bollards, access control, fencing, CCTV.
• Internal: Utilize emails, staff newsletters, staff meetings, training manuals, and training sessions to make sure your employees are aware, informed, and prepared.
• External: Let local law enforcement and your security provider know your concerns and see how they might be able to assist you with an increased presence at your facility.
• Implement a heightened alert plan when threat levels increase. Create a plan with action items that can quickly be implemented in order to raise organization wide security awareness and respond to counter and reduce the threat.
• Move security posts to forward positions and provide security officers with specific post orders designed to counter/ reduce the threat.
• Invest in new technology such as emergency notification apps as a way to receive reports of suspicious activity and notify employees of potential threats.
Protecting perimeters of soft target facilities is no small responsibility. Knowing you’ve got the right equipment in place to secure the facility and to prevent human tragedy brings a peace of mind that no amount of money can buy. Carefully researching available options and consulting with experts will ultimately lead to the right solution.
For more information on how DSI Security can protect your business, employees, and property, visit our website at
Another Active Shooter: How Should We Respond?- 03 October 2017
BY: Eddie Sorrells, CPP, PSP, PCI
Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel- DSI Security Services
After having spent a productive few days in Dallas Texas last week exploring the latest in security innovation, technology, and education at the ASIS International Conference, most security practitioners awoke this morning to the horrible news of a new record-setting active shooter event in Las Vegas. Similar to several events that have occurred in Europe and other locations around the world, the shooter in this case chose to attack a large public gathering of thousands innocently enjoying an outdoor music festival. The fact that the perpetrator chose a hotel room 32 floors up, recalled memories of the Texas tower shooting in 1966, an event that most recognize as the first active shooter tragedy in modern American History. Many businesses, members of the public, and even security experts, are left wondering today what more can be done to guard against these types of attacks. There is no easy answer, and the fact that this was by its very definition a soft target environment, makes it even more difficult to plan for. However, I believe that one positive outcome of such tragedies can be a re-focus on planning for active assailant situations.
I have done numerous active shooter training sessions in the last year, and I begin each by recommending to each attendee that they not only focus on adhering to their company policy, but strive to have a mentally prepared response plan as an individual, regardless of what circumstances they find themselves in. The reality in 2017 is that you can encounter an active shooter in the workplace, on vacation, and at a large public gathering. Whether the attack comes from a vehicle, explosive device, sword or knife, or in this case automatic weapon fire, being prepared is the best weapon we have to survive such attacks.
What do gunshots sound like, what are my options for survival, and what could or should I do in the event I find myself in such a horrific situation, are questions that should be asked- not just by industries and organizations-but by each citizen. I know that many professionals in the security industry stand ready to educate our customers and the public on what a response plan should look like. Unfortunately, there is no perfect plan or absolute guarantee of safety in these situations, but preparation has been proven time and time again to minimize loss when tragedy strikes. There are already stories of heroic acts performed by law enforcement and private citizens that undoubtedly minimized further loss of life.
Also, there is a wealth of resources produced by knowledgeable experts on how to plan for such attacks. By way of example, one of my go-to references when advising customers on hardening soft targets is Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack by Jennifer Hesterman. This book and many others written by learned experts in the field can provide an excellent baseline for training and plan development. In addition, emerging technology such as gunshot detectors and emergency notification apps can prove invaluable in the mist of chaos when locating an active shooter is difficult. Lastly, organizations such as ASIS International are doing great work with making resources available and creating initiatives such as Security Cares designed to educate managers of small/medium-size businesses and cultural/community institutions—places that traditionally have not considered themselves targets—about the fundamentals of security prevention and preparedness.
Going forward many highly visible potential targets will debate new levels of screening, more stringent security protocols, and other methods to stop the next attack, but above all, let’s take this opportunity to really focus on planning and education so that when, or if, the next tragedy strikes, those involved are ready to respond. I take comfort in knowing that our profession stands ready to educate and support.
DSI Security Signs Agreement with HealthTrust- 17 July 2017
Dothan, AL—June 30, 2016 – DSI Security Services is pleased to announce a significant milestone as it continues to expand its Healthcare Security Services Division. The company has signed a purchasing agreement with HealthTrust to offer security services to a wide network of medical facilities across the country. Since its founding in 1969, DSI Security Services has become a national provider of healthcare security services, currently partnering with over 100 medical facilities with programs to protect patients, staff and visitors.
DSI Security Services Director of Marketing Boyd Clark sees DSI’s growth in the area of healthcare security. “DSI has been fortunate to have many opportunities in the healthcare industry over the last several years, and we are pleased to a sign an agreement with HealthTrust,” he says.
About DSI Security Services
DSI Security Services is a third-generation, family-owned and -managed company based in Dothan, Alabama. DSI is one of the largest privately held security companies in the nation with over 4,000 employees and a national presence. DSI offers a wide range of security services and products including electronics, uniformed officers, and consulting services. For more information, visit the website at www.dsisecurity.com.
HealthTrust (Healthtrust Purchasing Group, L.P.) is committed to strengthening provider performance and clinical excellence through an aligned membership model and the delivery of total spend management solutions, including supply chain solutions and a contract and service portfolio unparalleled in quality, scope and value. HealthTrust (www.healthtrustpg.com) serves over 1,400 acute care facilities and members in more than 22,600 other locations, including ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, long-term care and alternate care sites. Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, HealthTrust is an affiliate of Parallon Business Solutions, LLC (www.parallon.com), a leading provider of healthcare business and operational services, including revenue cycle management, workforce and technology solutions. On Twitter @healthtrustpg and @parallonconnect.
Social Media Continues to Bring About Innovation- AND Security Dangers- by Eddie Sorrells, CPP, PSP, PCI Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel DSI Security Services- 23 June 2017
Snapchat recently unveiled a new feature for its wildly popular app. For those that may not be familiar with the Snapchat platform, it is a way for people (mostly teens) to quickly share thoughts, pictures, and updates to those they are connected with. Recently a new feature was introduced that seeks to enhance this experience, but also has many parents and security experts worried.
The new Snap Map feature is exactly what it sounds like: A way to share your Snaps (updates), on a map, with friends. This allows the user to share their location with other users, and for others to see precisely where you are at a given time. However, members can add people they have never met to their friends list too. This can raise serious safety concerns for parents.
Some schools in Europe, and I am sure some in the US will follow, have issued warnings to parents such as: Please be warned that the location-sharing feature lets people “locate exactly where you are, which building you are in and exact whereabouts within the building.” Understandably, educational institutions are worried that this gives those with evil intent one more tool to inflict harm.
People have expressed concern online that the app could be used for stalking or working out exactly where somebody lives. “If you zoom right in on this new Snapchat map thing it literally tells you where everyone lives? Like exact addresses?A bit creepy, no?”- wrote one parent on an internet blog.
While Snap Chat has stated that the new feature is designed to give users the ability to see where their friends are to meet up for coffee, dates, etc., many security experts have said that this new Snap Chat update is an dangerous invitation for stalkers, kidnappers, burglars, and can cause relationship trust issues between vulnerable teens.
This is simply another reminder to be aware of what your children are using, and how they may be exposing themselves to unforeseen danger.
How to switch off Snap Map location sharing
- When in photo-taking mode, pinch the screen to open Snap Map
- Touch the settings cog in the top right corner of the screen
- Tap “Ghost Mode” to switch off location sharing
- Photos and videos posted to Snapchat’s public ‘Our Story’ will still be discoverable on the map
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