30 April 2017

Complacency Risk: The Next Attack...

 In Ronald Kessler's book "The Terrorist Watch" you get the impression that this journalist, author and nonfiction story teller is walking a thin line. A line between telling us too much, because it could compromise national security and not telling us enough, so that the public can really visualize what the truth is.

"Inside the desperate race to stop the next attack". This book tag line says it all.
Drawing on unprecedented access to FBI and CIA counterterrorism operatives, New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler presents the chilling story of terrorists’ relentless efforts to mount another devastating attack on the United States and of the heroic efforts being made to stop those plots.

Kessler takes you inside the war rooms of this battle—from the newly created National Counterterrorism Center to FBI headquarters, from the CIA to the National Security Agency, from the Pentagon to the Oval Office—to explain why we have gone so long since 9/11 without a successful attack and to reveal the many close calls we never hear about. The race to stop the terrorists, Kessler shows, is more desperate than ever.

Never before has a journalist gained such access to the FBI, the CIA, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the other agencies that are doing the unheralded work of finding and capturing terrorists.

Ronald Kessler’s you-are-there narrative tells the real story of the war on terror and will transform the way you view the greatest problem of our age.
OK, so what? So how does this war on terror and media leaks within the context of Operational Risk impact your institution or organization? Here are a few ways:
  • Will your company have staffing challenges as a result of new immigration legislation or limits on H1-B Visas? Remember the 9/11 hijackers?
  • Will your institution require new systems and processes to meet increased compliance or regulatory mandates? Remember the Patriot Act?
  • Will you or a senior staff member be the target of a kidnapping, ransom or extortion plot at the hands of a terrorist cell? Remember Danny Pearl?
  • Will your organization be impacted by the leaks in the press regarding your operational strategy or Board Room discussions? Remember pretexting at Hewlett Packard (HP)?
Sharing information. Too much or not enough. The paradox of our generation as we all go digital. The speed of business in the connected economy and 24 hour news cycles has created a beast that will not ever be tamed or controlled.

Operational risks are a result of the continuous challenges to the collection, dissemination and analysis of information. Think about your own institution and those who hold the keys to the most valuable information.

Those who disclose operational secrets could be putting that "deal" in jeopardy just as easily as putting that "life" in harms way. Those who try to sleep at night in close proximity of their "Blackberry" know the feeling of information overload, or starvation. Both represent operational risks that keep the same people grabbing the Prilosec OTC or the AmbienCR.

Ronald Kessler's book is a wake-up call for all of us in the United States. A Presidential election is behind us and there has been over eight years of testing and waiting by those who wish to do us harm.
"To many fail to recognize that al Qaeda's long-term goal is to send the US the way of the Roman Empire. And too many in the press are willing to take the chance of compromising the lives of innocent Americans by running stories that gratuitously disclose operational secrets."
The risk of complacency is and will continue to be our greatest threat...

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