The security week that was: 12/11/09

Playing loose with TSA docs

It was a shocker of a story. This past month it was found that the Federal Business Opportunity website had posted a document detailing TSA security measures (and lack of measures). What's even more shocking is that this document was posted back in March. Undoubtedly it was bookmarked on the PCs of every terrorist training camp from Iraq to Afghanistan. Frankly, I feel that it is of utmost importance that we have a comprehensive federal cybersecurty audit to find out just how loose we are playing with "sensitive information."

The document speaks for itself and has some embarrassing points for the TSA inside it, but I didn't find the document particularly eye-opening. What continued to shock me was the poor quality redaction of the document and the fact that such a document could be posted on a federal website to begin with.

Violence and security in schools
Murder narrowly averted, Vandy research, blogging about school violence

In case there was any doubt about whether it is a good idea for guns to be on campus, consider the terrifying tale of Jason M. Hamilton, who walked into a classroom with a brand new hunting rifle and opened fire at his professor because of bad grades. Fortunately the gun, which had just been purchased at Dick's Sporting Goods, jammed after Hamilton missed his first two shots, leaving the professor uninjured. Campus police arrested the young man, but here's the interesting part: Campus police had just gone through training on how to deal with an active shooter. What's relevant, of course, is that had Jason not been a poor shot and had the brand new Marlin rifle not jammed, this would not have stopped before bloodshed. It's another reminder that active shooter incidents are incredibly difficult to prepare for. Assistant Editor Joel Griffin was covering school security news of an entirely different variety. Vanderbilt University Professor Torin Monahan has a new book out which makes a bold statement that plays against so much of the anecdotal, unstudied information provided in the security industry that security technology makes a facility safer. The book's research points out that school districts with heavy use of security and surveillance have no less crime than those that do not use such measures. As you might expect, the outcry was heavy from experts in the security field. Kenneth Trump, the president of consulting firm National School Safety and Security Services and former member of the Division of Safety and Security for Cleveland Public Schools, had this to say about Professor Monahan's research: "Suggesting that reasonable, balanced security measures does not deter crime or contribute to safer environment may make good Ivory Tower academic theory, but it lacks common sense and any understanding of the safety challenges facing schools and other societal organizations today." Get the full story here.

Also check out our PublicSafetyWatch blog for more thoughts about guns on campus and a look back at the Virginia Tech massacre.

Bank security updates: Webinar and ATM security podcast
Photo slideshow examines banks' CPTED in practice, plus a look at ATM skimming crimes

Coming this Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, is one info-packed webinar looking at crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) for banks. A highlight of the presentation from Briggette Jimenez, physical security manager for SunTrust Bank, is a collection of almost 30 images of banks around the U.S. which she will use to illustrate CPTED in action. Sign up today for this very visual webinar presentation, which I feel is applicable for all persons in corporate security -- whether at banks or not -- as well as security integrators serving bank facilities.

In addition to next week's webinar on banking CPTED, we have produced a new podcast, Episode 45: ATM Security and Credit Card Skimming, that addresses serious trends in ATM security that effect both banks and their customers personal privacy.