Blended Threats – When A Cyber Attack Impacts Venue Safety & Security

The following is an excerpt from the July/August issue of the International Association of Venue ManagersVenue Professional magazine. In that issues, Gate 15’s Sadie-Anne Jones wrote an article titled, “Blended Threats When A Cyber Attack Impacts Venue Safety & Security.” Access the link below the excerpt to see the complete issue and to read the rest of Sadie-Anne’s article!

Venue managers understand the importance of implementing and exercising procedures to prepare staff for various scenarios that could threaten safety and security. They focus on safeguarding their facilities every day by protecting against and preparing for physical disruptions. These disruptions include those that could negatively impact operations with the potential to compromise safety, or even an incident that may result in loss of life.

Most venue safety and security processes and procedures involve preparing staff to respond to physical incidents, but in today’s highly interconnected environments, cyber incidents have the potential to negatively impact operations that could also result in a physical incident. For example, ransomware or other malware could render building access control systems and crucial security equipment inoperative. Without contingency plans, equipment like elevators, HVAC systems, metal detectors, body scanners, ticket scanners, and surveillance cameras all have the potential to be impacted by a cyber incident, perhaps even all at once. If such impact occurred during a high-profile event, does your venue have procedures in place to respond in a way that maintains the safety and security of staff and patrons?

While it is crucial to address and mitigate the underlying cyber vulnerabilities, this discussion highlights the significance of how a cyber incident could potentially impact physical operations, especially now as more physical resources that venue professionals rely on have become interconnected with the cyber world. To help accomplish this goal we will consider real-world incidents where cyber and physical threats converged. The scenarios focus on two targeted venues during large scale events. These examples demonstrate how conventional physical security measures may become inoperative in today’s highly converged environment.

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