I just returned from a 12 day Master Class in security measures in one of the most targeted countries in the world – Israel. I liken Israel to a modern day Sparta and for good reason at just 23km wide they are Under constant attacks from Syria, Lebanon, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. The security measures in Israel are some of the best in the world. Yet, just as I predicted, vulnerabilities exist.
Security measures are a hot topic here in the United States amidst the constant talk of active shooters and violence against churches, synagoues and schools. For years we have been conducting security aduits for schools and citiies alike. And if your organization hasn’t yet performed these essential audits, get to it now.
As we have pointed out before and continue to point out the biggest security concern is the human element. Pearl Harbor is a perfrect example of this. The radar operators saw the planes coming. The higher ups didn’t believe it and decided not to send scouts to take a look. The result was devastating.
All of the security measures in teh world cannot keep you safe if the human element lets the guard down. While in Israel I went thru several security checkpoints, some were thorough and others were less than appropriate. The tools were the same, scanners, metal detectors, bag checks, dogs, and intimidating weapons. So, if all the tools of the trade are the same, how was I able to expose vulnerabilities in some of the tightest security forces in the world?
Human Elements Create Holes
You can see their Iron Dome working at night.
I found a 30 round magazine clip for a Glock on the bathroom sink in the public portion of my hotel. When I approached the front desk about this, they said it was okay. It wasn’t until I brought the clip to them that they listened intently and realized I was not speaking about a written magazine. And that is just one example of the human element at work.
Humans want to believe in good, they want to trust people, and they become lazy after working several hours. They also get complacenet in their duties after working in the same capacity for years and years especially when a marjority of time they don’t run into problems. Read our article on Complacency Kills So to expose the holes in security forces one needs to use these weaknesses to their advantage.
While in Israel, I tested the human element as much as I could. I turned on the charm, used avoidance techniques during searches, redirected conversations and waited for security forces to get worn out by the long day. And here is what happened.
While entering major shopping areas, security forces didn’t scan my bag with the metal detector. During the hand wanding procedures they only scanned my posterior failing to scan my anterior body. Later, another bag check failed to find the the concealed carry portion allowing me to sneak anything I wanted into the facilty. In addition, they only checked one of hte comparments. These are all major flaws which could lead to potential travesties. And lastly, with a little sweet talk at Passport Control, the agent did not even ask me a single question when exiting the country.
Failure to listen, look and learn create holes.
It’s the same with safety. If I have the best car in the world it doesn’t matter how hard you hit the brakes if there are no break pads. The best security in the world doesn’t matter if we are not going to do a full scan. If we are not going to search bags and we are not going to ask questions then threats are going to get thru your holes.
If you want the best security in the world, then you have to do one thing. Tighten up the human element. Do training. Manage properly. And never ever become complacent.