corporations have been increasingly targeted for terrorist activities. Part of the reason for this, is because the traditional targets such as: military and government facilities have become difficult to conduct a successful attack against. As a result, terrorists have begun to focus more of their efforts on attacking various corporate interests. Where, the security is less and the odds are high of being able to inflict enough casualties as well as collateral damage, to create the same psychological impact. This is important, because it shows how terrorist organizations are increasingly changing their focus. Therefore, corporate interests need to be able to adjust to these changes, to avoid the negative impact that this kind of incident could have.
In the case of Host Marriot, they are wrestling with a number of unique challenges. As they are known for being a popular hotel for: tourists, business people and government dignitaries. At the same time, same their lack security procedures and large number of properties around the world have made them one of the primary targets for terrorist organizations. A good example of this can be seen with the 2008 attack of Marriot hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan. What happened was an Al Qaeda linked organization claimed responsibility for detonating a truck bomb. This would level the five story building and it would cause a nearby gas main to erupt in flames. Where, the attack would highlight the vulnerability of the facility, from a lack of proper security (i.e. concrete barriers and other safety measures). ("Deadly Bomb Blast Targets Marriot Hotel," 2008) This is important, because it shows the underlying challenges associated with, trying to protect the different properties from these kinds of incidents. As a result, Host Marriot needs to create an Incident Response Plan for these types of situations. To achieve this objective means that the plan must examine an opening scenario of such incidents and address all of the underlying challenges from this situation. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights, as to how the company can create an effective Incident Response Plan that will adjust to the different challenges they are facing.
Opening Scenario of a Possible Incident
The most likely situation that would be taking place is a similar kind of attack that occurred at the property in Pakistan in 2008 or there could be a Mumbai style attack. In the case of the Mumbai type of assault, terrorists could use: explosives, grenades and automatic weapons to size a number of popular tourist destinations. This would create a hostage situation resulting in: police and Special Forces units raiding the facilities where the terrorists were located (effectively ending the standoff). This is important, because if either one of these kind of attacks were to take place, it could expose the company to public relations disaster about security (for a host of different facilities). Once this took place, it would mean that many different guests would think twice about reserving any kind of rooms or conferences at the facilities. This could have negative impact upon earnings and the overall reputation the company has built with its cliental. ("Mumbai Terrorist Attacks," 2010)
When you step back and analyze this incident, it is clear that it is highlighting a number of different weaknesses at a host of different facilities around the world. At which point, the odds increase dramatically that terrorists will begin to target various hotels (in strategic locations). Part of the reason for this, is because they believe that these kinds of attacks could bring them the same type of exposure that took place with other high profile incidents (such as the Mumbai incident). Therefore, Marriot could become a target of opportunity for terrorist cells that want to create major disruptions and increase their exposure. This is significant, because it shows how the company needs to be utilizing ideas and strategies that have the flexibility to addresses these issues. While at the same time, it must be able to provide a basic foundation that can be augmented to specific security concerns in the region. Once this takes place, it means that the different facilities will be prepared against these kinds of situations (reducing the chances of terrorists successfully targeting various properties).
The Incident Response Plan for Host Marriot
To prevent the situation from spiraling out of control during the possible discovery of: suspicious activity requires creating plan that will specifically identify the different roles and responsibilities. This is important, because it will tell all personnel what to do in the event that these kinds of situations begin to take place. Once everyone has been properly trained, this kind of procedure could increase the number of eyes monitoring a facility for any kind of suspicious activity. At which point, the odds decrease of that the incident will spiral out of control, as this strategy will be able to manage a number of different elements.
As a result, a variety factors must be taken into consideration as part of any kind of Incident Response Plan to include: discovery, reporting the incident, coordinating with law enforcement, evaluating what took place, making adjustments and testing. These various elements are important, because they will provide everyone with a basic foundation about what to do. At the same time, it helps all staff members to understand how they can make a difference in improving site security.
The discovery period is when someone on the staff or guest is reporting a suspicious incident that is occurring. In this case, the person who sees what is taking place will immediately notify security of possible breaches that are taking place. While simultaneously, recording the incident and any individuals involved on the various CCTV cameras located throughout the property. At which point, the will immediately report the incident that was taking place to the proper authorities (i.e. law enforcement and hotel security). This is important, because being able to identify any kind of suspicious activity will help to prevent a repeat of previous incidents (as terrorist will often scout a target in advance of an actual attack). Once this takes place, it means that the odds decrease of the property being successfully targeted by these organizations. A good example of this can be seen with the foiled Time Square Bombing in 2010. What happened was an observant vendor noticed an SUV smoking, with its emergency lights on. Realizing that something was out of the ordinary, the vendor would call the police (who were able to dismantle the bomb before it exploded). ("Times Square Bomb Scare," 2010) This is significant, because it shows how the discovery period is when personnel have the greatest chances of preventing an attack, by being observant over what is taking place. In the case of Host Marriot, this incident should serve as an example of how the company can improve monitoring of its different facilities.
Reporting the Incident
Briefly we touched on how once an incident has been discovered, it needs to be reported to the proper authorities. This is vital, because once a report is received security and law enforcement officials may only have a few minutes to address the issue. As a result, anything that could be seen as out of the ordinary; needs to be reported immediately to hotel security. They will then coordinate these different efforts together with law enforcement and first responders to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. This is important, because it shows how in these kinds of situations time is one of the most important elements. Therefore, everyone will play a major role in helping to prevent these incidents. As the observations of different staff members will have an impact upon the security at a facility, due to the fact that they know what is out of the ordinary. Once everyone begins to embrace this principal, it will provide additional eyes and ears, by identifying as well responding to potential threats early. At which point, they can be mitigated by, being reported to the proper authorities in a timely manner.
Coordinating with Law Enforcement
Next, the facility must coordinate with law enforcement, to ensure that any kind of potential threat is neutralized. To achieve this objective, means that the company must have good communication and a working relationship with the various government agencies. In this case, this means that security / manages must work with local officials to improve monitoring and the response times. As a result, some kind of onsite security coordinator must be available at all times, to monitor and isolate any kind of possible threats to the facility. For example, let's say that reports are coming in of a suspicious van that has been parked in front of the facility during unusual times. Security official have contacted these individuals, but this van continues to engage in the same kind of activities. The minute that additional reports of this vehicle begin to come in, is the point that security needs to be coordinating with law enforcement. In this situation, this…