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