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Threats to the community- Government working with Business

Vulnerability Assessments are now more common with businesses concerned with business continuity, and company resilience in the face of increasing threats and complexity in impact of global events on local operations.   These assessments are important for Corporate Leadership to determine what mitigating actions should be taken to ensure maximum profitability of the company.  As complexities increase, more companies will turn to government to “assist” in identifying threats and risks, especially for critical infrastrucuture businesses, or key or niche economic contributors to a region or nation.   The article Private Sector Spies an Opening in the Australian IT  on 21 January,  Australian Security IO Director-General Paul O’ Sullivan  is quoted saying “We’re developing stronger ties with the business community to ensure that our threat assessment is targeted where it needs to be, and to allow businesses to make more informed risk management decisions concerning overseas operations.”   It’s important to realize that Private Sector also will extract valuable information based on threat and risk reporting provided through Government information with other organizations vigilant against evolving threats, natural or manmade.  Capabilities such as imaging, or sensors, such as provided by Government agencies may have significant value to a business.  The image below, in a normal setting is one type of resource that is rarely available to private industry due to cost.  But insights for industry, such as identifying hotspots, or even understanding how other building structures or operations can affect the other company in a crisis, may drastically affect the perceived vulnerabilities, or the procedures or actions to be taken during emergencies.

NOAA LIDAR Imagery of Ground Zero

Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Imagery from NOAA

So there is a strongly justified need for collaborative innovation between these heterogeneous organizations to benefit Private and Public alike.  Yet there seems to be a lack of trust which must be overcome and is more easily overcome through trusted systems designed to share this type of “actionable information” that provides value to both Government and Industry.

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  • The State and the private sector can synergise by provisioning a common platform – a professional body.This should be driven by the elected members of the body comprising of the academics,industry practisioners to name a few;the State or any individual Private firm should not wield influence.Periodical conferences,regular interactions thro’ the forum will add value here.The vulnerabilities should be identified and discussed here;based on which the security measures undertaken.
    The chief impediment,in my opinion,will be the dishonest decision makers,dishonest vendors and the dishonest politicians.
    Traditionally the defence purchases are fraught with rampant corruption.If the vested interests impact the decision making,the vulnerability will be disregarded.Senseless policies and procurement will override the addressing of the meaningful actionable items.