How business can reduce the threat from subversive attacks

London, UK

G4S warns that across Europe, security services are on high alert to a potential increase in subversive attacks, following a spate of arson and sabotage strikes on infrastructure and businesses in the Baltics, Germany and the UK.  Here, Noah Price G4S Academy, International director, offers wider information about the increased threat subversives are having on businesses in Europe, and he also advises on steps companies can take to reduce the threat from this group.

Recent examples, according to Price, include a fire at a homeware store in Lithuania in May, which the Polish Prime Minister suggested may have been started by a foreign saboteur; investigators alleged an arson attack in London showed signs of overseas involvement; an inferno destroyed Poland’s biggest shopping mall and attempted sabotage on a military facility in Germany.

The threat from subversives is on the increase with almost half (44%) of European Chief Security Officers (CSOs) expecting to be impacted by this group, up from a third in the previous year. 447 CSO were surveyed in Europe for G4S’s first-ever World Security Report, which surveyed 1,775 CSOs in 30 countries globally.  CSOs from Austria were the most concerned in Europe about being impacted (60%).

Noah Price, G4S Academy International Director, said: "The anticipated rise in subversive threats across Europe signifies a critical juncture for corporate security. These threats are becoming increasingly more prevalent, so businesses must adopt a proactive and comprehensive approach to safeguard their operations and assets.

Businesses must invest in physical security measures such as AI-enabled surveillance systems, fire suppression systems, and multi-layered access controls. This should be done in conjunction with cybersecurity measures and fostering a work culture of vigilance and security awareness."

Advice on what businesses need to do to reduce the threat.

"Companies of all sizes can play a crucial role in preventing subversive threats against their organisation, and securing their country’s national infrastructure," says Noah Price . Tips include:

  • Enhancing cyber security Infrastructure: Invest in advanced cybersecurity technologies and ensure systems are regularly updated to protect against the latest threats. Implement multi-factor authentication, encryption, and regular security audits.
  • Physical Security Enhancements: In addition to cyber security, enhance physical security measures such as surveillance, access controls, and secure facilities to protect against sabotage and espionage.
  • Employee Training and Awareness: Conduct regular training sessions to educate employees about the latest security threats, phishing schemes, and safe online practices. Awareness is the first line of defence against subversive activities.
  • Incident Response Planning: Develop and maintain a robust incident response plan. This should include procedures for identifying, containing, and mitigating security breaches, as well as communication strategies for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Regular Risk Assessments: Conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities and implement appropriate mitigation strategies. This should cover both physical and digital assets.
  • Supply Chain Security: Ensure that third-party vendors and suppliers adhere to stringent security standards. A compromised supplier can be a weak link that exposes your organisation to subversive threats.
  • Collaborate with Security Experts: Engage with security experts and participate in information-sharing networks. Collaboration with industry peers and security experts can provide valuable insights and enhance threat detection and response capabilities.

Concluding, Price said: “Proactively incorporating as many of the above physical and cyber security measures will deter saboteurs and threat actors before they strike. A preventative approach is the best approach and one that all organisations must look to foster.”


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