The 11 September terrorist attacks have forced businesses in North America to dramatically reassess their ability to deal with security threats, according to risk consulting firm Kroll Inc.
The firm surveyed 100 executives from a cross-section of industries at a series of security seminars hosted in New York, Boston and Toronto during October 2001.
Results reveal that prior to September 11, information protection and employee integrity were the top security priorities. Now executives cite concern with emergency planning, business resumption planning, and physical security as their leading issues.
Jeff Schlanger, chief operating officer of Kroll's security services group, comments: "The survey results clearly demonstrate that business has received a wake-up call, and that that wake-up call was necessary. Many of them candidly reveal that they were not, and are still not, prepared to deal with both natural and man-made disasters."
Among the findings only 43% of respondents gave themselves a positive rating on their organisation's ability to "manage security risks" prior to 11 September. But 89% expect that to change within six months. Prior to 11 September, only 34% said emergency planning was important and 38% cited business resumption planning as important. Those numbers have now jumped to 86% and 80%, respectively. Likewise, only 40% identified physical security as a priority before 11 September. Now 89% place it at the top of their agendas.