While collaboration before, during and after incidents is as old as time, what is new is a wave of technologies that make it far easier to communicate and manage tasks, people and other resources in both public and private sectors. This marks a significant shift from individual organizations running siloed systems to a community of organizations sharing vital information that affects security, safety and operations.
Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) has helped tear down technical barriers to this type of collaborative security. And, while there are still some political and legal obstacles – Why should I share information voluntarily? What should I share? What are the legal ramifications of sharing, or withholding information? – the fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding these questions are being overshadowed by a new sense of urgency that in order to manage critical situations effectively, information sharing is critical.
Chris Swecker, CEO of Chris Swecker Enterprises, who will be joining me on April 1st at ISC West to discuss this topic, points out that “the tragedy of ‘9-11’ ushered in a new era in the security field marked by unprecedented levels of information sharing and cooperation between and among government agencies and private sector security components. For the first time law enforcement and intelligence agencies became valuable conduits for sharing strategies, practices and even tactical information.”
Swecker, who is a former Assistant Director with the FBI and former Bank of America CSO, says we can see many outgrowths of this trend, including various state, local and federal government information sharing forums ranging from the vaunted NYPD Shield to the FBI's Domestic Security Advisory Council (DSAC).
Public/private sharing of technology such as CCTV and alarms in downtown, retail or industrial areas has also become more commonplace. Swecker cites productive partnerships in cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago and London, and successful collaborative initiatives between law enforcement and corporate security during special events that present unique and complex security challenges.
“In today's security environment no corporate security program can afford to go it alone. To be truly preventative, private security professionals must incorporate strategies that leverage government agencies, peer security organizations and security associations,” explains Swecker. “Collaboration is the key ingredient.”